Vartega selected for investment from VilCap Investments

Beyond the Cleantech Bubble: Village Capital Energy US 2018 Program

In 2006, former Vice President Al Gore came out of obscurity to share a message: the world is heating up. “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award and made climate change a household term.

But what happened next may have done more harm than good for the clean energy startup space.

In the months after the movie came out, a wave of concerned millionaires and billionaires responded to Vice President Gore’s challenge by pouring venture capital into clean energy startups. Their goal was to save the world—fast. But many of them were new to investing, and not familiar with or ready for the long, patient process of developing a clean energy company.

The cleantech fad turned into a bubble, and the bubble popped. The once-hot sector turned into a graveyard. From 2011 to 2016, US venture capital investment in cleantech declined from 650 deals a year to 450 deals a year and from 17% of total venture capital dollars to 7%.

Village Capital's Energy US 2018 Program

A decade later, the team at Village Capital is convinced that clean energy is back. Investors like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Generate Capital are ready to devote the time and commitment that clean energy companies deserve.

In April Village Capital ran the final workshop for their latest energy program, Village Capital Energy US 2018, in collaboration with Autodesk Foundation, BNY Mellon and UBS. This year’s program was focused on the transportation-energy nexus—startups making it easier to move people and things.

They brought together eight early-stage transportation startups and connected them with investors and mentors for more than 30 hours of face-to-face meetings. At the end of the program, the affiliated fund VilCap Investments offered $75,000 to the two startups ranked “most ready for investment” by their peers: Colorado-based Vartega, a chemistry-based recycling process that recycles carbon fiber for use in lightweight airplane and automobile parts; and New York-based Go Kid, a ride-sharing service for schools, sports leagues and families.

Vartega's Success in the Program

"It was such an honor to work and learn alongside other amazing and inspiring entrepreneurs through the Village Capital Energy US 2018 Program. The caliber of companies selected by Village Capital was phenominal which made it an incredibly valuable experience for our team," said Vartega CEO Andrew Maxey. "We were able to share our experiences about how we're growing our company to make an impact while receiving guidance and counsel from our peers and mentors that are doing the same."

Vartega aims to be careful stewards of all of the resources they have at their disposal, not just carbon fiber. They plan to treat the investment from VilCap Investments in the same way and will be using the funding to increase their impact in the energy and transportation sector through greenhouse gas emissions reductions of cars and trucks.

In addition to VilCap Investments Vartega's other investors include Techstars, Rockies Venture Club, E8 Angels, Arizona Tech Investors, Desert Angels, and Frontier Angels. Vartega has also received non-dilutive funding support from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade through their Advances Industries Accelerator Programs

To learn more about the Village Capital Energy US 2018 program and see the full list of startups, download the free 25-page report—Moving Electrons: Rethinking Transportation for a Cleaner World.

Source: https://vilcap.com/2018/05/09/news-village...

Vartega partners to form AMIDE Alliance for thermoplastics additive manufacturing

 
 Recycled carbon fiber thermoplastics for additive manufacturing value chain

Recycled carbon fiber thermoplastics for additive manufacturing value chain

 

New Alliance for the Development of Sustainable Thermoplastics and Additive Manufacturing in Colorado

Golden, Colo., July 24, 2018Vartega and the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) today announced the formation of the Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing Infrastructure Development and Education (AMIDE) Alliance. The alliance, which was formed by a group of industry and academic partners as the result of a $500,000 Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) Collaborative Infrastructure Grant award from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), will close a significant gap in the materials supply chain in Colorado by providing critical resources for the development of thermoplastics for additive manufacturing.

The AIA grant funding will support the creation of at least three innovation centers in Colorado focused on the development and application of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and additive manufacturing materials. The centers will house equipment critical to the maturation of new additive manufacturing technologies and materials as well as programs that train and educate new generations of professionals, students and technicians.

“This was an extremely competitive grant cycle, but the review committee and the Economic Development Commission recognized the value that Vartega, CCIA, and the other project partners could bring to the state through this investment in an advanced materials and additive manufacturing ecosystem,” said Katie Woslager, senior manager, Advanced Industries, State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

The founding partners of the alliance include Vartega, CCIA, Colorado State University, EWI and The 3D Printing Store. Additional support for the grant proposal and the AMIDE Alliance comes from the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Arkema, Autodesk, Colorado School of Mines, the Composite and Nanocomposite Advanced Manufacturing Center (CNAM), Draper, Front Range Community College, The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), Johns Manville, Lulzbot, Michelman, Rocky Mountain SAMPE, StudioWest Concepts and Universal Plastics.

Support also comes from Colorado manufacturers AMP Industrial, the Crestridge Group, Oribi Manufacturing and Steelhead Composites, which already have new products in development using advanced materials and manufacturing methods, including 3D-printed and extruded carbon fiber thermoplastics. Alliance members will be represented by a seven-person governance board made up of industry and academic partners.

“There was so much great work happening in Colorado around the adoption and acceleration of 3D printing, but we kept running into the same problems sourcing and developing new materials and identifying local expertise for these applications,” said Vartega CEO Andrew Maxey. “As we recognized this gap in the supply chain and workforce, we were able to work with our customers and partners to put together a vision of what a vertically integrated supply chain would look like. We’re excited to be part of the newly formed AMIDE Alliance to close this gap and increase innovation in this growing and important area of manufacturing.”

Vartega produces recycled carbon fiber from scrap material generated in aerospace, automotive, wind energy and sporting goods manufacturing. They combine their recycled carbon fiber with thermoplastics to make custom materials for use in 3D printer filament and injection molding for applications such as sporting goods, consumer products and car parts. Through its participation in the AMIDE Alliance, Vartega will make capital equipment investments to increase the production of custom thermoplastic formulations in Colorado.

Shelly Curtiss, CCIA executive director, noted, “Advanced materials and additive manufacturing are impacting just about every industry right now. We see a huge opportunity to leverage these new developments throughout the cleantech sector for the benefit of our members who are focused on renewables, energy efficiency, clean water, oil and gas, mining and transportation.” CCIA will serve a critical role in overseeing the establishment of the AMIDE Alliance board and administrating the grant funds for the innovation centers.

The aim of the AMIDE Alliance is to create an ecosystem for materials development and testing through investment in equipment and resources. This ecosystem will enable accelerated development of advanced materials for additive manufacturing and training for the next generation of skilled workers in the new manufacturing economy. These goals will be accomplished through the creation of innovation centers in collaboration with Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines and Vartega.

The Colorado State University center will be located at the Composite Materials, Manufacture and Structures Laboratory (CMMS), where a six-axis robotic system will be installed for direct manufacture of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. The Colorado School of Mines center will be located in the Interdisciplinary Advanced Manufacturing Teaching Lab. This center will house a Hewlett Packard Jet Fusion 580 3D Printer for evaluation and characterization of fiber-reinforced polymer powders being developed by project partners. The third innovation center will be located at an industry partner facility and will include extrusion equipment for the development of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics for 3D printing applications.

In addition to the innovation centers, EWI in Loveland, Colorado, will provide advanced nondestructive evaluation, modeling and inspection services to support the ongoing new materials development. Workforce development is also a critical objective of the AMIDE Alliance, and support for these efforts will be provided by Front Range Community College, Colorado School of Mines, IACMI and ACMA through the development of a curriculum focused on closing the skills gap for additive manufacturing and composites.

To learn more about working with the AMIDE Alliance please contact CCIA at info@coloradocleantech.com.

Source: https://choosecolorado.com/oedit-seeds-inf...