McGill University and venture studio BXVentures have officially spun out their first joint cleantech venture: Montréal-based FeX Energy.
FeX Energy is the first joint spinoff since McGill and BXVentures first partnered to commercialize select cleantech projects that originate in McGill’s research labs. FeX Energy has specifically been launched out of McGill’s Alternative Fuel Laboratory.
“Early-stage spinoff companies need more than just funding to be successful; this program will position them for long-term growth.”
FeX Energy has developed a technology that uses metal fuels to create renewable energy. This technology, which McGill says has been successfully tested in a lab setting, works by burning metal powders to produce high-temperature heat, which can then be used to generate electricity, such as through steam turbines.
After burning, these metal powders can be replenished and made reusable by adding basic chemicals, like hydrogen. The cycle of burning and recharging these metal fuels can go on endlessly and generates a higher energy density compared to other renewable sources with no carbon emissions and without the use of dangerous chemicals.
FeX Energy’s technology is rooted in research conducted by McGill professor Jeffrey Bergthorson, who is also FeX’s chief scientific advisor. Professor Bergthorson has dedicated almost two decades to studying this field.
FeX Energy is currently in the process of securing a patent for its technology, according to McGill. The company’s goal is to cater to industrial organizations seeking to reduce their carbon footprint in their operations.
According to a statement issued by McGill this month, FeX Energy will receive operational support, entrepreneurial experience and climate tech expertise from BXVentures, which includes mentorship, training and team building, financial backing, business development and various other shared services.
“FeX Energy is a first demonstration and a great example of the deployment and commercialization capabilities of BXVentures Canada applied to cleantech innovation developed by McGill University,” said Marc Guilbert, co-founder and CEO of BXVentures Canada. “As we kick off our partnership with McGill, this is a great opportunity to provide the business-building resources necessary to accelerate the rollout and impact of FeX Energy’s ground-breaking energy system.”
BXVentures is a cleantech-focused venture studio that identifies net-zero technologies and helps early-stage concepts become scalable businesses. While BXVentures is an international venture studio, it has a Canadian outpost in Montréal, which is led by Guilbert. BXVentures is currently raising a targeted $250-million USD venture fund to continue scaling early-stage cleantech ventures.
In April, BXVentures signed an agreement with McGill to accelerate the development and execution of McGill’s portfolio of cleantech research. In a recent statement, Mark Weber, director of the office of innovation and partnerships at McGill, said the venture studio concept is a “good fit” with McGill’s approach to technology transfer.
“Early-stage spinoff companies need more than just funding to be successful; this program will position them for long-term growth,” Weber added.
Feature image source Unsplash. Photo by Christopher Burns.