Pyrowave wins $20,000 at BASF Canada’s startup challenge

Pyrowave

Pyrowave, a Montreal-based plastics recycling company, has been selected as the winner of BASF Canada’s startup challenge.

“Tapping into the innovation of the startup community will help to drive the entire chemistry industry.”

Pyrowave’s tool helps convert locally mixed plastics into products used by the chemical industry to manufacture new plastics. The competition was hosted at the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s Good Chemistry Conference in Ottawa.

Pyrowave has developed a technology using small-scale, microwave-based machines designed to improve the economics of recycling of Styrofoam, by converting plastic input into high-value chemicals. Companies can then sell the recycled output to large chemical companies, and reduce costs by decreasing hauling of light waste material.

“Tapping into the innovation of the startup community will help to drive the entire chemistry industry forward,” said Marcelo Lu, president of BASF Canada. “Startups are future-focused and will help to solve some of society’s biggest challenges. BASF shares that commitment and supports members of Canada’s innovation community like Pyrowave.”

BASF is a German-based chemical company that also looks to promote other cleantech chemical companies. The company said many digital and innovation-focused startups were considered for the competition, with the top four companies tasked with pitching business solutions for evaluation by an industry-focused judging panel live at the conference.

The evaluation criteria included strategic fit to chemical-related markets, innovation, business plan, global scalability and presentation. In addition to receiving $20,000, Pyrowave will meet with member companies of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, to evaluate potential future partnerships.

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The company was founded in Montreal in 2013, and has raised a total of $3.9 million CAD in six funding rounds, with its most recent round in April 2016. The company was previously awarded $790,000 in financing in a round led by the GreenSky Accelerator Fund. Its technology helps convert locally mixed plastics, including polystyrene, into products used by the chemical industry to manufacture new plastics.

BASF Canada’s first Innovation Pitch Series was held in January, where Toronto-based Genecis was named the winner for its synthetic biology platform to convert organic waste into premium chemicals and materials.

“We are proud to see support from the industry for leading technologies,” said Jocelyn Doucet, CEO of Pyrowave.

Image courtesy Pyrowave.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast