by Alexandria Angco, RIC Centre Project Manager
Full-time entrepreneur Andrew White has been focused on commercializing his successful and growing cleantech venture ever since he founded his company in 2011. He created SulfaCHAR™, a biochar that removes toxic and corrosive hydrogen sulfide from biogas, and it captured the attention of the clean tech industry. CHAR Technologies has received lots of government support, generated revenue, and took their idea to commercialization. Now, CHAR enters the new year with an exciting phase in their journey by moving into their own space in Mississauga.
But like many other startups, CHAR Technologies began with an idea and a plethora of questions for starting the business. This led them to join the RIC Centre in 2012. “I found out about the RIC Centre when I first founded the company through an introduction to one of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR), James Sbrolla. After our first meeting at the RIC, and seeing the opportunities to accelerate the business, we joined immediately” said Andrew.
The RIC Centre offered a variety of services to fast-track CHAR Technologies Inc.’s growth. They became a tenant in RIC Centre’s Incubator program which helped them address their challenges and bring SulfaCHAR™ into full commercialization. Funding, for instance, played a large role in the early stages of the company. They received over $200,000 from programs such as VentureStart and Market Readiness (OCE) within their first year as a RIC Centre client. In 2016, their efforts in raising funding enabled them to meet a financing condition with SD Natural Gas Fund, funded by SDTC and CGA (Canadian Gas Association), for a $750,000 grant.
Soon after being awarded, CleanTech Capital Inc. and CHAR Technologies announced their joint business venture. White and CHAR Technologies have continued success and they are not showing any signs of slowing down. In January 2017, they are entering their very own commercial space.
“It is great to see Char Technologies successfully exit the RIC Incubator after receiving financing from the SD Natural Gas Fund, an investment from Cleantech Capital and going public on the TSX,” said Sunil Selby, Chair of the RIC Centre. “CHAR Technologies availed many hours of advice and mentorship through the RIC Incubator program including access to an incredibly broad network.”
RIC Centre is excited for the progression that Andrew and his company will have and we are not the only ones. “I welcome news that the team of professionals from CHAR Technologies chose Mississauga to invest, expand and compete,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said. “It is encouraging to see innovative start-up companies, launched with the support from the RIC Centre, create jobs and do business in our city. Council is committed to working with community partners, like the RIC Centre, to ensure that Mississauga continues to be a leading place where great ideas become a reality by growing from concept to commercialization.”
CHAR Technologies has welcomed lots of success and milestones since launching in 2011. In 2017, CHAR Technologies plans to complete their SD Natural Gas Fund project by producing 1-tonne per day of SulfaCHAR. With the successful growth and performance CHAR Technologies had in the previous years, 2017 ought to look bright for Andrew White.