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Introducing Third Derivative’s Cohort 24-1

Our tenth cohort is the largest since Third Derivative’s initial launch, spanning sixteen countries and several firsts for the accelerator
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About Cohort 24-1 

RMI’s global climate tech accelerator, Third Derivative, was built to accelerate the rate of climate innovation. Cohort 24-1, our tenth cohort to date, helps us once again support breakthrough technologies and business models critical to decarbonization across the world.


The energy transition is a challenge of global proportions, and at Third Derivative we believe that our ecosystem’s strength lies in its ability to support startups in every part of the world. In that spirit, these companies span sixteen countries and come out of a competitive pool of over 250 applicants. They are led by a group of diverse, truly trailblazing innovators — nearly a quarter of these startups have at least one female founder and at least one founder identifying as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). As we step back and marvel at the solutions these teams are building, several themes emerge that are reflective of Third Derivative’s own constantly evolving perspectives on climate tech.


Decarbonizing the heaviest industries 

Heavy industry comprises a third of global emissions but constitutes only a tenth of climate tech venture funding. In many industrial sectors, climate technology development is still nascent, and deployment often requires concerted collaboration with incumbents, policymakers, and financial providers, among others. With our incoming cohort, we’re excited to support solutions that are rising up to face this challenge.  


Ammobia (San Francisco, CA, USA) 

The Haber-Bosch process that underpins ammonia production is energy-intensive, requiring high pressure and needing additional downstream processing. Third Derivative’s first green ammonia startup, Ammobia’s breakthrough technology enables ammonia synthesis at 10X lower pressure directly from renewables while reducing costs and increasing flexibility. 


Ayrton Energy (Calgary, Canada) 

Hydrogen, key to transitioning several sectors, requires storage at high pressures and extremely low temperatures. Ayrton Energy is disrupting this paradigm by offering hydrogen storage in a liquid form, allowing for handling similar to diesel to, using infrastructure — such as tanks, trucks, and rail — that already exists. 


CargoKite (Munich, Germany) 

Shipping has long been an inefficient, complex, and notoriously hard to decarbonize industry. CargoKite’s new autonomous, wind-propulsion-based vessels seek to fundamentally reorient today’s model of container transport at the same cost efficiencies as today, but through individualized, point-to-point transport. They are Third Derivative’s first maritime-focused startup. 


Edgecom Energy (Toronto, Canada) 

Industrial-commercial manufacturing facilities are complex. Eliminating emissions requires multi-pronged approaches that also align with financial bottom-lines. Edgecom Energy’s products provide real-time insights and custom recommendations by continuously monitoring consumption data down to the machine level, creating a return on investment from day one. 


Oxylus Energy (New Haven, CT, USA) 

Methanol has extremely high energy density — approximately 100x that of lithium-ion batteries, 50x that of liquid hydrogen, and 15x that of liquid ammonia. Oxylus Energy’s novel catalyst is capable of converting carbon dioxide and water to green methanol in a single-step electrolytic process with renewable electricity for use on-site in chemical processes as well as for hard-to-abate sectors like shipping and aviation. 


Still Bright (Newark, NJ, USA) 

Minerals that are critical to electrification technologies are already scarce and face high demand: crucially, wind and solar require five times as much copper as fossil fuel sources. Still Bright is developing an electrochemical alternative to smelting that can process Chalcopyrite, a form of copper ore that makes up over 70% of the world’s reserves enabling reduced supply chain risks and greater economic efficiencies. 


TrelliSense (Superior, WI, USA) 

Methane’s immediate superheating effects call for a high-impact, near-term climate change mitigation strategy. To identify and triage these Methane emissions, TrelliSense’s near-continuous and inexpensive sensor tracks the sun over the course of a day, collecting sunlight that is then analyzed for the imprint of methane in the Earth's atmosphere using grating spectrometer technology. 


Cutting carbon from our buildings 

Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of global emissions. The construction industry is complex, globally disaggregated, and interfaces with diverse stakeholders, each with their own priorities and incentives to decarbonize. As Third Derivative continues to ramp up our focus on the climate impact of the built environment, we’re excited that six of our Cohort 24-1 startups are working on solutions that reduce the energy needed to build and operate buildings. 


ecomedes (USA) 

ecomedes is filling overlooked gaps in the interior buildings decarbonization space by consolidating information — be it carbon, energy, water — on key interior materials and products into a central database, so that property owners and their supply chains can choose lower-carbon options that meet their needs. It is the largest sustainability aggregator for B2B products across the world. 


Embue (Worcester, MA, USA) 

Multifamily residential buildings have a large emissions footprint, much of which can be reduced through the enablement of grid-interactive, smart systems. Embue’s comprehensive solution optimizes heating, ventilation, and cooling equipment in real time, shifting when energy is used and delivering alerts to staff about critical building issues. 


Heat Inverse (Ithaca, NY, USA) 

At Third Derivative and RMI, we’ve long been excited about building materials that provide a passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) effect — which drastically reduce indoor temperatures across building use types, as well as for trucking, solar, storage, and electronics. They provide energy consumption reductions as well as protection from deadly heat waves in regions where air-conditioning is a luxury, not a norm. Heat Inverse is our first startup in the space. 


Magnotherm (Darmstadt, Germany) 

Almost all cooling devices today rely on energy-intensive refrigeration technology over a hundred years old. Magnotherm’s solid-state technology can create cooling systems that are 40% more efficient than incumbents without any legacy refrigerant use. 


MIMiC Systems (New York City, NY, USA) 

Air conditioning and electric fans consume 20% of the electricity used in buildings globally; this is expected to grow 3X by 2050. MIMiC Systems is building a resilient, cost-effective, leak-resistant solid-state heat pump that moves beyond mechanical compressor-based systems that currently dominate the market. 


Pathways Technologies (New York City, NY, USA) 

Transparency in the supply chain is critical to enable real estate developers to make informed decisions on material use. However, materials manufacturers struggle to decarbonize due to how costly, labor intensive, and slow it can be to understand where emissions stem from. Pathways’ AI-based approach to life cycle analyses allows product manufacturers to inexpensively evaluate the carbon impacts of their products in real time with changes to suppliers, processes, transportation, and more. 


Doubling down on energy storage 

Batteries are widely recognized to be the backbone of decarbonization: how effectively we store the energy we generate will determine how fast we are able to transition our homes, grids, and industries. We’re proud that many of our Cohort 24-1 companies are working on new chemistries, new processes, and new business models with the potential to speed up this transition. 


Creating a circular battery economy 

To meet battery demand, the world will need >30X the supply of raw materials like lithium by 2040. Mining virgin materials for batteries especially, however, poses geopolitical, economic, environmental, and social challenges. Fortunately, promising recycling and repurposing solutions exist, and Third Derivative is excited to continue growing our presence in this space. 


ACE Green Recycling (Houston, TX, USA and Singapore) 

ACE Green’s lead and lithium-ion recycling technologies operate on the core principle of modularity and cost-effectiveness, using electrified hydrometallurgical processes to recover metals from batteries across the globe. 


Allye Energy (London, UK) 

By repurposing batteries from undertapped waste streams, Allye Energy is bringing modular, multi-chemistry energy storage directly to where commercial and industrial customers need them with an energy-as-a-service business model and demand management capabilities. 


Enabling new battery chemistries 

Decarbonizing the electricity grid requires energy storage over long durations, but lithium-ion technology is cost-prohibitive for these use cases. They also face challenges for stationary energy storage due to its daily and deep charge-discharge cycles, safety requirements, and operational cost considerations. Promising alternatives exist for various use cases, providing a range of benefits. 


Adena Power (Lewis Center, OH, USA) 

Adena Power’s sodium-metal halide battery is safer than lithium-ion due to lack of thermal runaway and is cheaper for storage durations greater than 6 hours, helping utilities get the most out of their renewable assets. 


Metal Light (Newark, NJ, USA) 

Metal Light has developed a metal-air battery that uses zinc to achieve unparalleled energy density (5X that of lithium-ion), delivering power for decentralized or mobile energy use cases that otherwise rely on diesel. 


Offgrid Energy Labs (Noida, India) 

Offgrid Energy Labs’ novel zinc chemistry provides an alternative, representing greater safety, reliable supply chains and lower total cost of ownership for stationary use cases and ‘workhorse’ mobility applications. 


phelas (Munich, Germany) 

Munich-based company phelas’ modular, standardized, and highly deployable liquid air energy storage system offers one of the best routes to stable, round-the-clock power supply, especially in settings where storage is co-located with renewable assets. 


Helping consumers and small businesses transition 

While large businesses and corporations are relatively quicker to invest in renewables, efficiency solutions, or electric vehicles (EVs) rapidly due to the resources to them, adoption by consumers and small business owners is just as important in creating scale. We’re inspired by some of our Cohort 24-1 startups that are using innovative models to expand the reach of climate technology and enabling many more to come along on the energy transition. 


Blitz Electric Mobility (Jakarta, Indonesia) 

Already a leader in sustainable logistics in Indonesia, Blitz’s full-stack logistics and telematics platform brings together vehicle manufacturers, enterprises, and gig workers — usually first-time EV users —across Southeast Asia for electric deliveries at greater efficiencies and lower costs.  


Earthbond (Lagos, Nigeria) 

Earthbond’s marketplace is helping displace dominant diesel generator use for productive uses in Sub-Saharan Africa by prequalifying small- and medium-sized businesses and matching them with local currency financiers and high-quality solar providers. 


itselectric (New York City, NY, USA) 

The rapid adoption of electric vehicles in urban America still faces concerns of range anxiety and insufficient public charging, especially for drivers that lack access to dedicated off-street parking. itselectric is an on-street charging system powered by the spare electrical capacity of buildings, allowing for rapid installation at less than a tenth of the cost of public chargers. 


Koolboks (Paris, France) 

Refrigeration penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa is still below 20% due to high energy needs and an unreliable grid. Koolboks’ affordable off-grid solar refrigerator stores energy in the form of ice, rather than only batteries, reducing emissions from both diesel-powered refrigerators and food loss waste. 


Investing in cutting-edge renewables 

Even as conventional photovoltaic solar and wind energy are rapidly proliferating across the world, Third Derivative sees opportunities for new technologies that are bringing next generation research to commercial viability and real deployment. We expect these solutions to take renewables where they can’t go today, whether that’s due to installation costs, space constraints, or long-drawn interconnection queues. Four of our new startups are doing this, and more. 


Active Surfaces (Cambridge, MA, USA) 

Perovskite and organic solar technology currently faces scale-up challenges relating to durability and manufacturability, which Active Surfaces is addressing with lightweight printable modules that integrate seamlessly with buildings. 


Eolic Wall (Lima, Peru) 

Small wind has immense potential to complement solar and reduce need for storage, but has long been too inefficient to be competitive in the market. Eolic Wall’s modular system solves for this, reaching the same efficiency levels as giant turbines, enabling the proliferation of distributed wind energy at scale. They are our first South America-based startup. 


Heliotrope Photonics (New York City, NY, USA) 

The tandem perovskite design approach has long posed manufacturing challenges despite significant promise to enhance the efficiency of existing solar. Heliotrope’s novel thin film perovskite bypasses this by developing a package-coating that converts UV light — otherwise not used by a solar cell — into usable infrared light. (Stockholm, Sweden) 

The profitability of large-scale renewables relies on high-quality foresight into generation as well as market behavior. Its Python-first platform allows accurate forecasting and unique power trading capabilities that greatly optimize asset performance and productivity. 


Removing carbon from the atmosphere, for good 

Finally, negative emissions technologies — those that capture and permanently store or remove CO2 from the atmosphere — will play an important role in helping achieve net-zero targets. Building on from the successes of our First Gigaton Captured cohorts, with Cohort 24-1 we’re glad to continue shining the light on companies focused on innovative solutions in this space. 


Carbon Atlantis (Munich, Germany) 

Carbon Atlantis’ novel electrochemical direct air capture (DAC), built with off-the-shelf components, presents a scalable, energy-efficient approach to carbon removal.  


Carbonade (Israel) 

Carbonade enables low-temperature single-step conversion of captured CO2 and water to syngas, for production of e-fuels. 


Octavia Carbon (Nairobi, Kenya) 

Our first Africa-based DAC startup, Octavia’s geothermal-integrated technology relies on waste heat for up to 85% of its total energy consumption. 


Yama (Paris, France) 

Yama pairs high-efficiency air source heat pumps with electrochemical DAC, decreasing energy consumption by 30% and capital intensity by 10% compared to standalone electrochemical technologies. 


Accelerating the climate tech ecosystem together 

With $69 million in capital (both debt and equity) raised by Cohort 24-1 to date and over 500 climate jobs created, these startups are already showing signs of market traction, long-term value generated, and attracting investment interest. As they join Third Derivative’s ecosystem of corporate partners, investor partners, and subject matter experts, we can’t wait to see the impact they’ll continue to make on the energy transition.  


This is only the beginning: if you, or anyone you know, is building a breakthrough startup addressing emissions in the hardest to abate sectors, we’d love to hear from you.   


The application deadline has been extended to April 2, 2024, to join future cohorts of our virtual 18-month accelerator program and our ecosystem of corporates, investors, and subject matter experts. We know how challenging it is to scale climate technology and want to meet you exactly where you are. Learn more and apply here.