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Meet the global tech companies launching from one of the world's top sustainability non-profits

Third Derivative, a joint venture between one of the world's most prestigious non-profits dedicated to the energy transition -- RMI-- and a global accelerator of sustainable businesses called New Energy Nexus, just unveiled a new group of companies they're working with that are developing technologies to help fight climate change.

"In order for us to get on the1.5 degree pathway there still needs to be a lot of climate tech innovation," Third Derivative co-founder Hara Wang said in an interview last summer. "We’re talking about the industrial sector and manufacturing sector and increasing the penetration of renewable technology beyond 50%... for all of that, new technology is required."

Third Derivative's goal is to ensure that the technologies that companies are developing technologies can turn those innovations into businesses. The group works with investors and corporate partners to ensure that early stage companies can find early customers for their products and services and the funding needed to get the innovation to its next major milestone.

The goal of the program is to give $100,000 in financing that converts into an equity stake when another investor comes along to fund the company.

"One of the challenges for the entrepreneurs in the space is that you not only really need to understand a technology, but also understand the financials and how you financially engineer it," said Wang.

Third Derivative, like its sponsoring organizations, is focused on finding companies whose technology can make a significant dent in greenhouse gas emissions across big industries. Companies in the program have to have a working prototype or service and at least two full-time employees.

Here's the latest batch that the accelerator has uncovered:

  • Who doesn't want to use an AI-powered add-on system that uses air injection to make semi-trucks more aerodynamic and efficient by reducing drag for long haul trucks.

  • Allegro Energy has the potential to reduce the cost and environmental impact of batteries a prerequisite for decarbonizing the power sector, which comprises 30% of U.S. emissions -- using what Third Derivative called a "microemulsion electrolyte technology". Electrolytes are substances that conduct electricity and are a critical component of chemical batteries.

  • Alt Mobility has developed an underwriting EV leasing platform to give low cost financing for fleet partners in India. Electrifying mobility in India is a tremendous opportunity to avoid building out new combustion engine infrastructure in one of the world's most populous countries

  • Altus Thermal’s proprietary innovations maximize performance and enable better integration for electric home water heaters, which account for nearly 1 gigaton per year of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Cell Propulsion is designing electric light- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, along with the software to manage fleets, for Indian logistics and transportation companies. These businesses account for 30% of transport CO2 emissions and are the greatest contributors to local air pollution in India, according to Third Derivative.

  • As more businesses push for a return to work, Kaiterra is developing technology to make that return better and safer. The company's hardware and software help companies measure, analyze, understand, and improve their heating and cooling and air quality, in a more energy efficient way.

  • With a software that can help property managers buy clean energy for their buildings, Lumen Energy pitches a service that automates pricing, selection, and rollout of new energy purchasing. The company values and predicts a building's energy use, then provides an energy blueprint for those buildings, before finally enabling installers to bid on construction. The company's software has the potential to help develop the 145 gigawatts of commercial solar available for development in the U.S.

  • Simply put, Perl Street makes new energy generation, storage, and distribution technologies -- like batteries, power plants and energy transmission and distribution -- open to more traditional lending. It solves the problem that Wang mentioned as a key concern for startup companies -- how to financially engineer a business to make it commercially accessible.

  • If the world is going to meet the 1.5 degree warming scenario set out in the latest IPCC report, it's going to need technologies like Pulsenics monitoring devices. It's a tech that can bring down the cost and ensure the stability of the new hydrogen economy (a necessary zero-emission fuel for industrial operations in an emission-free world) by monitoring the hardware that's needed to produce the industrial gas. accurately identify inefficiencies and degradations without needing to break open an electrolyzer.

  • RACEnergy's battery-swapping solution is being deployed across India to let people quickly and easily swap out battery packs for the two wheelers and three wheelers that dominate Indian roads.

  • This Indian company is helping commercial and industrial locations in that country make the switch to renewable power. The SafEarth software provides a "pain-free, high-quality solution for India’s C&I customers to go fully renewable," according to Third Derivative.

  • The oceans represent one of the largest untapped opportunities for the development of a climate friendly source of carbon sequestration, agricultural development, and ecosystem rehabilitation. With SeaForestation's technology, that opportunity can become more viable by bringing deepwater from the ocean to irrigate more shallow seaweed forests and kelp farms. It's important for the developing aquaculture industry, and has "gigatons of carbon removal potential as well as applicability in low-carbon food, feed, fertilizer, and fuel," the folks at Third Derivative said.

  • Skyven is taking one of the hardest emissions segments -- industrial process heat -- and turning it into an opportunity for bit manufacturing and industrial plants. Through waste heat capture systems, industrial heat pump installations, and the financing and development of renewable alternatives, Skyven has a service to help industrial customers go green.

  • The Australian power grid is very exceptionally dirty. With coal making up about 75% of the power production in the country. While renewables are growing, they need software like SwitchDin's to integrate and orchestrate the variable wind and solar power onto the power grid for utilities.

  • TekUncorked's platform is focused on making the Indian power grid smart, connected, and predictive with real-time, 24/7 infrastructure monitoring that pinpoints potential threats to electricity distribution to avert losses and facilitate sustainable, reliable power.

  • This Indian tech startup is bringing 3D printing technology to India's construction market. The company's tools enable quick, affordable, and customizable construction of basic infrastructure, reducing build-time and contributing to zero-waste strategies.

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