Some of the far-reaching effects of the Energy Institute’s work can be seen in the companies that have sprouted as a result of our work in energy innovation. Below are some of the spin out companies that are affiliated with the CSU Energy Institute.
Envirofit, now the largest supplier of clean-burning indoor cookstoves to the developing world, began at the Colorado State University Energy Institute in the Energy and Engines Conversion Lab (EECL). Envirofit was started in order to provide retrofitting kits for two-stroke engines used in snowmobiles, motorcycles, tuk-tuks, rickshaws. The retrofit kits reduce toxic emissions while simultaneously increasing fuel efficiency by as much as 35 percent. Bryan Willson, executive director of the Energy Institute, and his team had designed these kits in order to help snowmobiles run more cleanly. The team soon realized they could market the kits to other two-stroke vehicles, and use the same technology they developed to create clean cookstoves to meet the needs of the developing world. Today Envirofit’s cookstoves serve over five million people worldwide.
Xpower, now a Rwanda-based company, that has partnered with the Energy Institute’s Smart Village Microgrid lab focuses on developing solar powered microgrids and smart metering systems that provide affordable electricity to communities without access to energy. CSU is actively involved in helping Xpower meet its goals.
Factor[e] is a venture development firm with a mission to improve lives in the developing world through increased access to sustainable energy and related services. Morgan DeFoort, Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, was co-director of the CSU Energy Institute prior to founding Factor[e], which is now housed in the third floor of the CSU Powerhouse Energy Campus. Factor[e] finds, validates, funds, de-risks and grows social ventures that aim to solve global problems. The small staff is a collection of experienced entrepreneurs, technology innovators and academics.
Access Sensor Technologies
Access Sensor Technologies is a focused team of chemists, engineers, and business professionals and is located at the CSU Powerhouse Energy Campus in our Resident Enterprise Partners Zone (REPZ). Their goal is to develop inexpensive and accurate environmental and biological tests that can be used by everyone. Dr. John Volckens, professor of mechanical engineering and co-founder of Access Sensor Technologies, helped start the company through his research collaborations at Colorado State University.
Dr. Azer Yalin, mechanical engineering professor at Colorado State University Energy Institute co-founded mAIRsure, which is located at the CSU Powerhouse Energy Campus at the REPZ. mAIRsure provides system solutions to the problem of methane emissions monitoring for the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. Their aim is to provide defensible and actionable data on emission sources through advanced cloud-based analytics and mobile sensors.