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Velocity seeks to commercialize revolutionary battery technology


Salient Energy, a company developing new high-tech batteries that will enable the shift towards renewable energy, was among the top winners at the Velocity Fund Finals, held today at the University of Waterloo.

Founded by a student, two researchers, and a chemistry professor from the University of Waterloo, Salient Energy is working to commercialize battery technology that will help address fluctuations in power supply and demand that have been a hurdle in advancing renewable energy. In addition to winning a $25,000 prize, Salient Energy also won the top hardware prize of $10,000.

Salient Energy is working to commercialize battery technology

“Not many people know that the supply and demand in our electrical grid needs to be equal. This has been fine with fossil fuels, because even though demand can’t be controlled, we could just burn more or less coal to control our energy supply. However, if we want to rely on renewable energy, where we can no longer control supply or demand, we need to change how the system works,” said Ryan Brown, business lead and co-founder at Salient Energy.  “The way we do this is to incorporate batteries, charging them in times of excess supply, and discharging them in times of excess demand, balancing the system.”

Winning the Velocity Fund Finals will allow Salient to move from its current model to build an application scale prototype and secure partners for their pilot project.

Velocity is an entrepreneurship program at Waterloo

Velocity is an entrepreneurship program at Waterloo, providing the workspace, mentorship, community, and funding that startups need to build a successful business. In addition to receiving a share of today’s $125,000 in funding, the winners will be admitted to the Velocity Garage, the largest free startup incubator in the world.

During the competition, 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup and business communities. Judges considered innovation, market potential, market viability and overall pitch.

The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000 and will receive free workspace at the Velocity Garage:

* CubeXLab Technologies provides automated vision inspection solutions that are affordable, flexible and easy- to-use for part and component manufacturers in automotive, fastener, plastic injection and pharmaceutical industries.

* Knote offers a natural language processing platform to help companies leverage the power of artificial intelligence in documents and big data processing. Their tools enable companies to support employees by automating routine, time consuming work, and by improving efficiency.

* UpGrain uses low frequency electro-magnetic field stimulation of seeds to increase overall yield of various crops by 20 percent. They use advanced mathematical algorithms to calculate the most suitable time to maximize treatment effects on seeds.