Last month, Foresight Canada, the country’s largest cleantech ecosystem accelerator, released its third annual list of Canada’s 50 most investible cleantech ventures. Over the two-day event, cleantech investors and innovators came together to connect with one another to catalyze Canada’s cleantech sector.
This was the first time the event was held in Calgary, the city’s connection to energy, tech and entrepreneurship makes it a perfect backdrop to showcase the future of Canadian cleantech. Eight Calgary companies were featured on this year’s list.
We sat down with the innovators behind each of these ventures to discuss how they are working to support net-zero and create a more sustainable future.
Named after British engineer, mathematician, physicist and inventor, Hertha Ayrton, Ayrton Energy is a proud female-led company that is changing the way hydrogen is transported and stored. Ayrton is developing a first-of-its-kind liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) that will enable the safe, efficient and scalable delivery of hydrogen over long distances.
Founder and CEO Natasha Kostenuk hopes to capitalize on Alberta’s position as the largest hydrogen producer in Canada and believed the province is the right place to make an impact on Canada’s ambitious hydrogen goals. Having recently closed a successful round of funding, Kostenuk says that being a Foresight 50 venture will continue Ayrton Energy’s momentum.
Cvictus, a second-time Foresight 50 honouree, is using its Enhanced Hydrogen Recovery™ to create a carbon negative and nature positive, real-world solution to the most difficult climate challenges.
Its patented and proprietary technology can decarbonize the most difficult sectors by producing hydrogen and chemical feedstocks that are cleaner and cheaper than incumbent technologies. Cvictus’ work was recognized as the Hydrogen Project of the Year at the 2023 Canadian Hydrogen Convention.
As a second-time Foresight 50 honouree, Earthware is disrupting the $160B takeout container industry through its zero-waste return-for-reuse takeout container service. Founder John MacInnes seized the opportunity to create a sustainable circular economy of reusable containers in a province that boasts one of North America’s most successful and efficient deposit return systems.
By partnering with local restaurants and the Alberta Bottle Depot, Earthware’s rinse-and-return-for-refund takeout container program incentivizes Calgarians to keep garbage from ending up in our landfills.
Innervision Wellbore Technologies
Innervision is developing a specialized well integrity management technology that can accurately detect, locate and create 3D visualizations of leakage pathways in wells. Through better leak detection and management, Innervision’s technology helps reduce the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.
Innervision’s goal is to help the energy industry reduce methane vent flows and ensure the protection of both carbon storage reservoirs and freshwater aquifers.
Founded in 2020, Kanin Energy is bridging a crucial gap when it comes to decarbonizing the heavy industry by supporting the deployment of existing cleantech solutions in alignment with their clients available capital and existing business models.
Kanin Energy uses an innovative energy-as-a-service model to support heavy industry companies across North America find ways to turn wasted heat energy into revenue. For Dan Fipke, Chief Development Officer, the Foresight 50 recognition goes to show that ventures like Kanin Energy that are catalyzing existing cleantech through innovative business solutions are just as important to reaching Canada’s net-zero goals as direct technology providers.
Born out of the University of Calgary in 2019, Litus has developed advanced chemistry nanotechnology that selectively harvests lithium directly from aqueous sources with minimal disruption to the environment. From six cubes of water per day, the Litus LiNCTM technology can supply one tonne of lithium per year.
In addition to its breakthrough technology, what sets Litus apart is its innovative approach. Instead of relying on an unpredictable supply chain system, CEO and co-founder, Dr. Ghada Nafie and her team built their own state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind nanomaterial manufacturing pilot facility in southeast Calgary. Today, Litus is able to produce up to five kilograms of its patent pending nanomaterial per day.
A cleantech waste-to-energy company, Recover is the only commercial hydrocarbon waste recycling facility in the world that processes hydrocarbon waste, recovers the hydrocarbons, and avoids substantive volumes of GHG emissions.
With less than 1% of oil base mud drilling waste currently being recycled, CEO and President Stan Ross is deeply passionate about the work Recover is doing to shift from an unsustainable linear economy to a sustainable circular economy. Being listed as one of Canada’s 50 most investible ventures, he believes, will only create more expansion and funding opportunities for Recover.
SolarSteam is revolutionizing the renewable heat industry by providing a zero-carbon heat solution for their institutional and industrial clients. SolarSteam’s novel patent-pending technology mitigates the high cost and high emissions associated with fossil fuel heat generation.
CEO Apostol Radev is honoured to have been named one of Canada’s most investible cleantech ventures for the second time in a row. He appreciates the support SolarSteam continues to receive from Calgary’s booming tech sector.
Calgary holds a unique spot in Canada’s cleantech ecosystem. Innovators and investors alike are increasingly recognizing it as a place where cleantech talent, technology and resources converge to create innovations that could bring Canada – and the globe – to net-zero. These Calgary-based Foresight 50 ventures are a testament to the city’s thriving cleantech scene and the potential that Calgary holds for investors and innovators alike.