The emerging green technology industry signals an unprecedented increase in environmental consciousness. Post-recession green principles are included in a number of the best startup businesses of recent times. From building materials to solar tech advances to environmentally friendly ways to generate oil, today’s green startups could grow into the top companies of the future. For cutting-edge products that help to preserve the planet while boosting the economy, these five tech startups are ones to watch.
Project Frog specializes in creating flexible, eco-friendly materials for builders and architects. These energy-efficient, modular components have been used to make a variety of structures, from schools and community centers to health clinics, retail stores and even 7-Eleven convenience stores. Some have described their materials as “IKEA for construction”; building components are pre-made and need only nuts, bolts and a few add-ons to complete a structure. The best news is that Project Frog buildings reduce energy consumption by as much as 80%.
Seven Seas Water
With just a scant 2% of our planet’s water safe to drink, a large part of the world’s population struggles to find clean water every day. Seven Seas Water offers an affordable solution, making treatment products that turn dirty or salty water into clean water. With close to 20 plants operating in several countries in the Americas and Caribbean, Seven Seas helps deliver more than 25 million gallons of clean water a day. It has plans to expand service to Asia and the Middle East.
BrightSource Energy creates solar panels along with eco-friendly power sources for entire communities. It has designed solar thermal technology that produces steam to create electric power. Its innovative solar products help customers reduce dependence upon environment-scarring fossil fuels. BrightSource has thus far assisted in five large-scale projects in the US, Jerusalem, Europe, South Africa and China.
Ecovative Design uses the organic mushroom-like compound mycelium combined with agricultural waste to make an alternative kind to Styrofoam packing peanuts. While traditional styrofoam packing materials could sit in a landfills for a million years or more, mycelium decomposes in just a few days.
A problem with oil-based energy is that oil must be removed from the ground, destroying miles of the earth even when there aren’t any accidents or spills. Solazyme has engineered a safer way to create oil ― through algae and plant materials. Solazyme grows and ferments micro-algae with no light and converts photosynthetic plant sugar into natural oil through a process the company calls “indirect photosynthesis.” This technique could greatly reduce our dependence on harming the earth to extract fuel oil.