founder

Founder Profile: Energy Storage Reinvented For The Green Age

Summary

Raised to-date: $485K ($50K goal, $1.07M max)

StorEn Technologies is a fascinating company that has developed a battery technology that can make storing solar energy sustainable, affordable and maintenance free.

A little bit sci-fi and a little bit science, StorEn is in the late stages of the development lifecycle with plans to commercialize its technology in both commercial and residential applications.

I sat down with my fellow Italian, Carlo Brovero to discuss the technology and commercial viability of StorEn Technologies, which is raising via StartEngine.

Check out our discussion below.
Chris Lustrino

Carlo, you spent years in M&A and corporate finance roles. How has your career helped shape your approach to building Storen?

Carlo Brovero

My years in corporate finance gave me an understanding of the different stages of a company’s growth together with its financing needs that define a clear roadmap for StorEn moving forward.

Chris Lustrino

For those that don’t know can you define StorEn as a business?

Carlo Brovero

We design vanadium flow batteries. We bring proprietary innovation to a demonstrated technology with proven fundamentals. We focus on improving performance as a strategy to reduce the battery’s cost.

We also developed technology to eliminate service inspections, thus developing a battery that is virtually maintenance free. Our innovation makes our batteries financially viable.

Chris Lustrino

How does StorEn technology differentiate from other home batteries like the Tesla home battery?

Carlo Brovero

The Tesla Powerwall is based on the lithium technology and carries the strengths and weaknesses of the lithium technology. Our batteries are based on the vanadium flow technology.

Unlike lithium, our batteries last for 25 years with no decay in capacity over time at 100% Depth of Discharge. Hence our cost/cycle is already much lower than lithium.

Chris Lustrino

When will you be ready to commercialize the product and what is the go to market strategy?

Carlo Brovero

We are currently industrializing our batteries. We target manufacturing in mid-2019. We are entertaining conversation with several partners. The most appropriate go-to-market strategy, either direct or via resellers, will depend largely on the target application.

Chris Lustrino

As we think about the opportunity how large do you think the at-home battery storage market is here in the US and what other countries are you considering as well?

Carlo Brovero

The majority of homes with solar panels benefit from a net-metering regime. This allows them to feed their surplus solar energy into the grid, effectively using the grid as their massive virtual battery.

There is often a temporal mismatch between generation and energy needs, hence many States and counties are phasing-out net metering to promote self consumption. Germany for example recorded the 100,000th home battery installation in August 2018. In locations without net metering, a residential battery is a necessity.

Chris Lustrino

Will you also be selling your product B2B and if so what types of organizations do you think would be interested in solution like this?

Carlo Brovero

Our 5kW/30kWh battery is designed for residential installation, as well as industrial use. It can work as a power backup device not only in homes, but also in telecom towers and data centers.

The telecom industry looked for a replacement of lead acid batteries for a long time. Experiments were carried out with fuel cells, then abandoned due to their high cost.  We feel that we can now offer the telecom industry a viable solution.

Chris Lustrino

How do you plan to monetize the product? Is it a one time fee or are you building in some sort of recurring charge for a service model as well?

Carlo Brovero

Given the long duration of our batteries, we imagine a rental model in addition to outright sales. This would make our batteries more accessible to the public.

Chris Lustrino

For anyone considering installing one of these in their homes, how safe is Vanadium?

Carlo Brovero

Our batteries use a water-based, non flammable, non-explosive electrolyte, therefore, our batteries can be installed inside a house. In some States, restrictions exist forcing the installation of lithium batteries away from the home.

Chris Lustrino

How hard would it be for someone else to create a product like this with the technology you have created?

Carlo Brovero

The performance enhancement  and cost reduction that we have achieved are due to our IP, give us a competitive advantage. Our patents deliver blocking protection with defined broad claims.

Chris Lustrino

Where do you envision this business in the next five years?

Carlo Brovero

From a business point of view, we would like to have built a successful, profitable company for the benefit of those that have invested in StorEn.

We hope to have contributed to the electrification of off-grid communities, especially in developing countries by offering dependable energy storage.  We would like our technology to have contributed to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions and global warming.

If you care about companies that are committed to reducing environmental impact through clean energy technologies, we think StorEn can fit in well with your investment portfolio.

We will be interested to watch the team go-to-market and see how well received it is. Move over Tesla batteries, StorEn has tech that appears to have deep differentiation to current competition.

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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