Get to know Carbo Energy - Techstars Sustainability Paris Accelerator

Mar 29, 2024

David Trejo Pizzo, CEO & Founder

Carbo Energy pioneers redox flow batteries that harness waste chemicals for eco-friendly electricity storage, leading the charge in sustainable energy solutions. Our large-scale storage solutions offer cost-effective alternatives, making energy storage accessible to all.

1.   Describe the problem/the industry that you are trying to mediate (and precise the UN SDG-s you are solving).

Carbo Energy ventures into the frontier of energy storage solutions, tackling the pressing issue of sustainable energy adoption. Traditional energy storage methods often rely on environmentally harmful materials or have limited scalability. Our innovation targets the critical need for efficient, eco-friendly large scale energy storage systems. We specifically aim to address the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

At Carbo Energy, our commitment to sustainability is deeply rooted in our alignment with the SDGs, prioritizing four key SDGs in our mission: Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action.

Our redox flow batteries utilize waste chemicals, turning a potential environmental hazard into a valuable resource. By repurposing these chemicals, we not only provide a sustainable energy storage solution but also contribute to reducing harmful waste streams. 

This approach aligns with global efforts towards clean energy adoption and waste reduction, fostering a more sustainable future for generations to come while addressing the critical issue of storage for more resilient power grids.

2.   How did the idea to create the company come to mind? How did your team come to be?

The genesis of Carbo Energy is rooted in the collective expertise and shared vision of our founding team, with a significant influence from our experiences at Siemens, where several members, including the founder and three others, gained invaluable insights into the intricacies of power grids and the challenges of scaling renewable energy and storage solutions. Building upon this foundation, the founder and two team members previously co-founded a startup specializing in smart grid analysis and leveraging grid data, ultimately leading to a successful exit in 2021.

Since September 2021, our dedicated team of electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineers, along with simulation specialists, has been diligently working on the development of our battery technology.

As we continue to grow, we are actively recruiting talented individuals to join our engineering team, with plans to expand into sales and regulatory positions in the near future. Our journey is fueled by a commitment to addressing the pressing challenges of energy storage and contributing to the resilience of power grids in the face of climate change and resource depletion.

3.   Why did you choose to participate in the Paris Techstars accelerator program? What are you looking forward to the most?

Participating in the Paris Techstars accelerator program was a strategic decision aligned with our growth and sustainability mission. The program offers unparalleled resources, mentorship, tons of networking opportunities tailored specifically for startups aiming to drive positive environmental impact.

The decision to choose the Paris location was deliberate, considering its position as a global hub for sustainability initiatives and innovation. The ecosystem and Techstars' proven track record of accelerating startups solidified our decision to join the program.

Our journey to Techstars began when we met with Raphaele Leyendecker Fabbri, the managing director of the program, at a sustainable startup match-up event in 2023. After several discussions with the team, we decided to apply, seizing the opportunity not only to participate in our first acceleration program but also to explore the potential of conducting business in Europe. Moreover, the participation of Audun Abelsnes, Managing Director of the Equinor & Techstars Energy Accelerator, and his team to the program further affirmed that this was the ideal environment to receive invaluable advice and guidance for our journey.

We are currently based in Argentina, with one pilot project underway in Argentina and discussions for two additional pilots in Colombia and Chile, our participation in Techstars represents a significant step forward for our team gaining global visibility. By participating in Techstars, we aim to accelerate our growth trajectory, refine our business strategy, and forge strategic partnerships crucial for scaling our impact globally.

4.   What are you the most proud of in your initial journey with your company?

Reflecting on our initial journey with Carbo Energy, several milestones stand out, but one is particularly key. We achieved our first breakthrough when we obtained the initial lab results of our chemical combinations for the battery, coinciding with our outreach to interested companies. Initially, the results showed promise, but they fell short in meeting the required charge and discharge cycles for a battery destined for production. However, through the hard work of our team, within just two months, we developed a new formulation that enabled us to achieve a battery capable of performing 10,000 charge and discharge cycles optimally in the laboratory. This breakthrough marked a significant moment, providing us with the first combination that forms the foundation of our battery technology today.

5.   How do you plan to measure the positive impact of your company in the next 5 years? Environmentally focused question.

As we embark on our journey, measuring and maximizing our positive environmental impact remains a top priority for Carbo Energy. Over the next five years, we plan to:

Quantify the reduction in carbon emissions facilitated by our redox flow batteries compared to conventional energy storage solutions. By conducting life cycle assessments and tracking energy savings, we can accurately gauge our carbon footprint reduction.

Monitor the volume of waste chemicals repurposed through our technology, highlighting the tangible benefits of our circular economy approach. This metric will not only showcase the environmental benefits of our solution but also underscore the economic value generated from waste stream utilization.

Conduct regular environmental audits to assess our overall ecological footprint and identify areas for improvement. By implementing sustainable practices across our operations and supply chain, we can minimize environmental impact while maximizing resource efficiency.

Carbo Energy is committed to leveraging technology and innovation to drive positive environmental change. Through rigorous measurement and continuous improvement, we strive to make a meaningful impact on global sustainability challenges, one battery at a time.

For the latest news on our applications, please visit our page.