MaRS Discovery District and Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) announced November 30, that the grand prize winner of the three-year Women in Cleantech Challenge was Summit Nanotech.
The challenge was a three-year program with the aims of identifying top female innovators across Canada who were developing technologies to tackle the world’s environmental challenges. The goal of the challenge was to advance breakthrough ideas into market-ready cleantech products with the potential for global impact.
Summit Nanotech is developing a green lithium extraction process to help meet the energy storage needs of the future. The startup aims to minimize environmental impact while developing its direct lithium extraction processes to deliver a reliable and consistent supply of battery-grade lithium products.
Since 2018, Summit Nanotech has secured a $10-million USD in Series A financing, grown from one to 16 employees, filed three patents, and launched a multi-client pilot program in Chile.
“The Women in Cleantech Challenge was designed to help mitigate the gender imbalance in cleantech and to scale six new high potential cleantech companies led by women. It is my pleasure to congratulate the grand prize winner, founder and CEO of Summit Nanotech, Amanda Hall,” said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS.
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Summit Nanotech’s goal is to ensure complete customer control of their lithium production, enabling industries to use an inexpensive and sustainable source of lithium for batteries that can be used in portable devices, mobile gadgets, and electric vehicles.
Over the course of the challenge, six finalists were able to attract $52.5 million in investments and a cumulative 82.5 employees. The other finalists were Kitchener-Waterloo-based Evercloak, Victoria-based Open Ocean Robotics, Montreal-based Dispersa, and Toronto-based companies Solistra and Genecis.
MaRS and RBC stated that due to the success of the inaugural program they plan to support a new group of 10 women entrepreneurs in a year-long program with support from undisclosed federal research centres.
“The Women in Cleantech Challenge doesn’t just seek to level the playing field for women; it seeks to inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs and leaders to build our clean energy future,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of natural resources.
Featured image by Summit Nanotech