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Energy

Global Green Energy Startups Choose Houston as Centralized Hub

04/15/22

As Houston leads the global energy transition, emerging startups are increasingly interested in relocating to Houston and relocating or expanding their operations. With growing demand, incubators and accelerators such as The Ion and Halliburton Labs have expanded their membership acquisitions to provide labs and office space, engage potential customers, and work with start-ups interested in building Houston into a global hub. of innovation. , human capital and green energy. We spoke with three companies headquartered in Greentown Labs, North America’s largest climate tech incubator, which emerged overseas but chose to move to Houston for greater opportunity. Companies include Lignium Energy, which has developed technology to turn cow manure into combustion; SeebeckCell Technologies, which develops and manufactures cells that convert industrial waste heat into electricity; and Boxes, a company that has developed a refill device for retail to help phase out single-use plastics. Click to enlarge Why did you choose Houston as your new headquarters? “The Lignium project mainly comprises two components: breeding and energy. Texas is one of the top cattle states in the United States and Houston is the energy capital of the world, with strong growth in innovation and alternative energy sources. So it seemed like a great place to start our operations. Houston also has great organizations that support startups. Agustin Rios, COO of Lignium Energy “Houston, being the energy capital of the world, is home to the headquarters of almost all energy segments, with many industry giants focusing on energy transition and clean energy. We knew this was the perfect place to connect and grow as a clean energy business. ” Ali Farzbod, co-founder and CEO of SeebeckCell Technologies “For Boxes, fairness is at the heart of our value system. Considering the ongoing energy transition in Texas and Houston being the largest and most diverse city, we decided to apply to Greentown Labs and have our US headquarters in Houston. Fernando Machín Gojdycz, CEO of Boxes What trajectory has your startup looked like since launching in Houston? “Thanks to the support we have received from Greentown Labs, endless doors have opened for us, facilitating the implementation of our roadmap in record time, managing to generate the key partners needed despite our arrival in Houston from from Chile less than three months ago.” Rios with Lignium Energy “SCT has interacted and benefited from networking with other energy companies by participating in the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator and joining startup communities such as Greentown Labs. Additionally, we have built relationships with companies like Chevron through the catalyst program offered by Chevron Technology Venture and have been able to recruit for our team.” Farzbod with SeebeckCell Technologies “Boxes has made great strides not only in the development of our devices, but also building a solid network since joining Greentown Labs, The Ion Accelerator and Capital Factory. intention in Houston in the search for new sources of energy, mainly renewable. Our project not only provides a fuel with a much lower carbon footprint in both its production and consumption than traditional sources, but also solves a huge environmental problem allowing a reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) at the source. source (manure), generating a carbon negative process that not only reduces GHGs from the energy generated but also from the original source. Rios with Lignium Energy “In addition to Houston being home to hundreds of companies that provide support activities to the energy industry, I believe Houston has the elements of a thriving startup ecosystem. The diverse talent pool at universities like Rice and the University of Houston is the perfect place to find angel investors, incubators, and venture capital focused on energy markets. We want to leverage this ecosystem and grow our business into a leading Houston-based cleantech company. Farzbod with SeebeckCell Technologies “With a large number of Fortune 500 companies, Houston has great potential to be one of the largest sustainable cities in the world. Boxes has a strong focus on single plastic issues, so our goal is to fuel the circular economy starting in Houston and expanding nationwide. “Lignium Energy began its journey four years ago with the generation of a pilot plant and validation of our product and process, generating sales of our pellets in Chile. We managed to move the operation to the United States with the start of construction of the first pilot plant on American soil, allowing us to validate what we are already doing in Chile before the eyes of world-class experts. Rios with Lignium Energy “SCT has joined the Chevron Technology Venture Catalyst program, marking a historic step for the company in the right direction. Additionally, we have expanded our leadership team by recruiting our new Chief Financial Officer, Syed Biabani, former Vice President of Global Business Development for BP. Farzbod with SeebeckCell Technologies “Boxes is currently working on accelerating our go-to-market strategy and hopes to be working with one of the largest consumer companies to launch. We hope to share more news with you soon! Machín Gojdycz with Boxes As a company with international roots, what do you see as the global implications for your technology? “Being a historically invisible problem, cow manure itself is a difficult problem to solve. The Netherlands, for example, plans to reduce the number of cattle by 30% to solve the problem, but Lignium not only solves it, but we also generate renewable energy from it. Since we know our solution is global, we have a very advanced international patent process, granted in 39 countries and with non-provisional patents filed in 19 countries. Rios with Lignium Energy “Globally, few countries like Canada have developed incentives for industrial scale waste heat recovery. We are developing platform technology that enables waste heat to become an energy source and offset carbon emissions. Farzbod with SeebeckCell Technologies “In order to solve the global problem of plastic packaging, we are building a cutting-edge retail platform to enable consumers to reduce the use of single-use plastic, which will also allow them to save money, while enabling retailers and brands to deliver essentials in a smart, affordable and sustainable way, without any waste. Houston, a hub of choice for a potential global company? “Houston is currently investing heavily in innovation, making it a prime location for a company like Lignium Energy looking to transform the way energy is produced. The amount of resources and skills available allow the solutions offered to “Be not just local, but global. Plus, Houston is a very accessible city, which makes it easier for a South American company like ours to enter the US market than other major US metropolitan areas.” Given the giant problem we are solving, we need to be in the right place to deliver that global solution, and once you have validation in a city like Houston, you have global validation.” Rios with Lignium Energy “Houstonian Diversity plays a crucial role in achieving global entrepreneurship; Currently, Houston is the center of foreign energy investment, and I think it co will continue to be so in the years to come with centralized mobilization via the airports. It’s also nice to get the added benefits of multicultural assets such as Houston’s culinary culture. Farzbod with SeebeckCell Technologies “I would say that there is a combination of factors ranging from Houston’s strategic geographic location to its human capital with great universities, a rapidly growing economy and of course its diversity that have positioned Houston as a global business hub that will continue to bring additional investors and opportunities from and for foreigners. » Machín Gojdycz with Boxes Learn about the importance of international businesses operating in Houston and our region’s ties to the rest of the world during International Business Month in May. The main event will be Houston’s State of the World Economy on May 20.

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