DENVER and HOUSTON — March 10, 2021 — The Shell GameChanger Accelerator™ Powered by NREL (GCxN) has selected three additional startups to participate in the program. The new companies are focused on creating electrochemical systems that can help reduce carbon emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors and represent the program’s fourth cohort. GCxN provides promising cleantech startups with technical resources to accelerate product commercialization while de-risking investment.
The selected startups are using electrochemistry to sustainably restructure the development of society’s most widely-used chemicals, materials and fuels. The fourth GCxN cohort includes:
- Air Company (Brooklyn) – Transforming carbon dioxide captured from the air into impurity-free alcohols for spirits, fragrances, sanitizers and a variety of consumer industries, as well as for carbon-negative fuel in the long-term.
- Ionomr Innovations (Vancouver, B.C.) – Developing ion-exchange membranes and polymers used for electrochemical applications in order to reduce the use of cost-prohibitive and toxic materials. Applications include green hydrogen production, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture and utilization (CCU).
- Versogen (Wilmington, Del.) – Versogen is developing a breakthrough electrolyzer technology that uses water and renewable energy to produce green hydrogen at scale in a reliable and affordable way. Versogen’s systems are built around its patented anion exchange membranes (AEM) and earth-abundant materials. This hydrogen-generating solution will substantially reduce industrial carbon emissions and lay the foundation for a sustainable energy future.
“Almost every aspect of our modern lives depends on certain materials and fuels, but with great consequence. For example, the American manufacturing industry is on-track to become the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the next ten years,” said Katie Richardson, GCxN program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “The selected GCxN startups are restructuring essential building blocks to reduce the carbon impact of essential goods and services.”
“GCxN’s fourth cohort will help prove that electrochemistry technologies can replace carbon-intensive legacy processes. As renewable energy costs continue to drop, cross-industry initiatives and partnerships will prove that it’s possible to cost-effectively scale these technology applications and achieve real-world impact,” said Haibin Xu, Shell’s GCxN program manager.
GCxN startups are nominated by the program’s network partners—more than 60 cross-industry cleantech incubators, accelerators and universities—before undergoing in-depth review by Shell and NREL. Participating companies benefit from NREL’s state-of-the-art research capabilities, receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding, and have access to networking opportunities through NREL’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Participating startups have raised more than $52 million of funding to date, representing a $21 leverage ratio for each dollar of GCxN funding. Portfolio companies have also hired 51 new employees since GCxN program onboarding.
The Shell GameChanger Accelerator™ powered by NREL (GCxN) is a multi-million dollar, multi year program developed in collaboration between Shell GameChanger and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to discover and advance emerging clean technologies with the potential to dramatically alter the future global energy landscape. GCxN identifies promising startup companies through an ecosystem of more than 60 cleantech business incubators, accelerators and universities, providing access to up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding in the form of technical expertise to develop and demonstrate new energy technologies. GCxN is made possible by funding through Shell GameChanger.