SNS: Special Letter: CO2 as Cash Crop: A Second Look at Algae

SNS: Special Letter: CO2 as Cash Crop: A Second Look at Algae


Volume 15, Issue 20    
Week of May 14, 2012

In This Issue


Special Letter: Co2 As Cash Crop: A Second Look At Algae

  • Algae As a Solution
  • Why Now?
  • The Origins of an Algae Technology Group
  • Efficiency Needed: Price, Fuel, and Nutrition
  • Innovating and Integrating
  • Scale and Commercialization
  • Looking Forward
  • About Dan Simon


Publisher’s Note: The world has seen its first wave of solutions to the problems of global warming, of cleantech, of alternative sources for food and fuel. Many have been tried, and many have failed, not only on technical grounds, but also through pricing issues, scaling problems, or overall failures in business models.

Next week, at FiRe X, we will be showcasing many new ideas and companies, but one of the more important will be the idea of “Twinning” the fossil-fuel energy plants of the world with plants that justify CO2 as an economic good, rather than a threat.

Heliae qualifies on all of the above counts: the company has been there, done that, lasted through the initial wave of algal startups, perfected the efficiency of its technology, achieved the kind of strategic and deep-pocketed funding necessary for this kind of race, honed its business model through a pivot or two, and is in a second or third phase of scaling.

Whether your interest is purely in alternative energy, food, cosmetics, fertilizer, or chemicals, or whether you recognize the near-inevitability of the Twinning idea, I think you’ll find Heliae an exciting story from top to bottom. As it moves into Indonesian operations and scales once again, we think it is one of the most important companies to watch, today and tomorrow. Which is why we have picked it as one of this year’s FiReStarter Companies. – mra.

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