Tech Tuesday at the Energy Transition Centre | From Innovation to Commercialization: A Founder’s Journey

Energy Transition
27 Jun 2023

Transitioning from research to commercialization is challenging and complex. From network limitations to navigating regulatory pathways to scaling technology from bench-scale to activating pilot projects, bringing innovations to market is a journey. Learning from those who have gone on this journey, including their pitfalls and successes, is crucial.

During our panel discussion moderated by Heather Marshall, CDL-Rockies Site Lead, we will explore the founder’s journey, moving innovations from bench-scale to real-world applications by leveraging business mentorship through programs like the Creative Destruction Lab Rockies. We will provide a look inside the program, hear the panelist’s experiences in it, and discuss how business mentorship has impacted their venture’s trajectory.

Moderator | Heather Marshall, CDL-Rockies Site Lead: Heather applies nearly two decades of experience in stakeholder relations and business development, along with a passion for building community through authentic relationships, as Site Lead at CDL-Rockies. In this role, Heather leads the CDL-Rockies team in delivering high-quality programming focused on accelerating the commercial potential of early-stage science and technology-based companies, positively contributing to the economic impact in Calgary, Alberta, and beyond.

Panelist | Heather Christie-Burns, VP at Pembina Pipeline, CDL Mentor: A successful energy entrepreneur and engineer, having founded, grown, and sold two companies within the last fifteen years. Heather is a mentor for technical and financial professionals and was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2018 in the CIBC “Trailblazers and Trendsetters” Category by the WXN. She is a member of the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors and is an independent board member of Interface Fluidics, a nanotechnology company. Heather’s interests are in industry collaborations, energy technologies, and GHG emissions reduction projects.

Panelist | GeoGen Technologies: Developed a new way to harvest geothermal energy that allows end-of-life oil and gas wells to become profitable geothermal wells. GeoGen generates electricity in the subsurface, which avoids the expense of moving heat and transmits electricity directly up to the surface via a wire. Offering competitive projects in horizontal wells in reservoirs at or above 80C, changing the paradigm in geothermal. GeoGen is partnering with well owners to transform their liabilities into assets.

Panelist | Aqua-Cell Energy: Developed saltwater batteries for commercial buildings, small industrial facilities, and grid operators to store solar power. The battery technology applies proprietary salt water-based chemistry to a commercial water treatment technology, electrodialysis (ED), allowing for fast scale-up with an existing supply chain. The safe, non-toxic, and long-lasting batteries increase efficiency by 30% and power density by 25%, lowering the cost of solar project installation for clients.