Canadian Manufacturing

Six cleantech startups awarded $50,000 Shell climate grants

Winning businesses will work to commercialize products from a hand-heat-powered flashlight to sustainable clothing

CALGARY—Seven Canadian entrepreneurs at the head of six separate cleantech businesses have been awarded $50,000 as part of Shell Canada’s Quest Climate Grant program.

The recipients were chosen by Shell Canada, Canadian Geographic and MaRS Discovery District based on their unique businesses or products, as well as their commitment to counter climate change.

“The kinds of innovations needed to address climate change come in many different forms,” Lorraine Mitchelmore, president of Shell Canada, said. “These exceptional young entrepreneurs show us how there are many ways to tackle what can seem like a daunting, global challenge. Together, as Canadians, our collective actions can make a difference. The Quest Climate Grant has been launched to recognize these efforts.”

The winners include:

  • Ann Stasia Makosinski—an 18-year-old student inventor and Google Science Fair winner known for her Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand. She is currently working on her latest invention, the eDrink, a mobile phone-charging travel mug, and said the grant will give her the opportunity to further develop her product design and bring the technology to market.
  • Michael Nemeth—of Bright Buildings offers passive house design and energy consulting services. Bright Buildings describes itself as creating an affordable co-housing project that achieves the highest standard of sustainable housing, 90 per cent more efficient than regular homes.
  • Hop Compost—Calgary-based Hop collects food waste from select Calgary and Vancouver restaurants, and using clean technology, transforms it into Canada’s highest-nutrient organic fertilizer alternative. As local growers use this signature product to supply food back into Hop’s restaurant clients, the company creates a regenerative, closed loop food system. Hop has saved over 1.3 million pounds of food waste from landfill since launching in February.
  • OTI Lumionics— a Toronto-based company working to unlock the full potential of OLED technology. The company was started more than eight years ago “as researchers in a lab with a small idea and big dreams for the future.” OTI makes OLED lighting, which is a new technology for energy-efficient lighting made of carbon based dyes.
  • Solar for Life—a not-for-profit organization that aims to provide access to clean and affordable energy to developing communities across the world. Through the organization’s network of ambassadors, Solar for Life raises funds and installs solar lights to reduce kerosene dependency in off-grid areas. The company works in three segments: micro-impact solar light donations, developmental research, and sustainable entrepreneurship education and programming.
  • Ungalli Clothing Co.—a Canadian clothing brand that designs and ethically produces clothing using 100 per cent sustainable materials. Manufactured with recycled and repurposed material including recycled water bottles, recycled cotton, and scraps from cotton factory floors, the brand ensures all its facilities are safe and its workers fairly paid.

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