Cleantech startup Moment Energy --created by four SFU alumni, formerly students in the Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE) program-has secured $3.5 million in seed funding that will further its efforts to create sustainable energy storage systems by repurposing of retired electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The startup’s solution has been installed in off-grid areas to reduce diesel consumption and enables a transition to renewable energy. To date Moment Energy has partnered with world-leading automakers in electric vehicles to pilot its systems in three remote communities, repurposing batteries and displacing the need for generators.
Since its formation in 2020-- and production in a Surrey-based home garage-Moment has tripled the size of its team and recently established both an office and manufacturing facility in Port Coquitlam.
Co-founders Edward Chiang, Sumreen Rattan, Gurmesh Sidhu and Gabriel Soares first came together as students in the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship ’s capstone program, Technology Entrepreneurship @ SFU.
They further developed their venture over two entrepreneurship co-op (eCoop) terms, which provided them with $10,000 (each semester), co-op credit, and office space, business development services and mentorship. As part of eCOOP, Moment Energy was also officially brought on to Coast Capital Saving Venture Connection incubator for further support and mentorship.
Moment Energy’s goal is twofold: to address an increasing influx of EV batteries and repurpose all of them for re-use by 2030. The seed round investment will enable Moment Energy to continue serving the off-grid market, and further commercialize its energy storage solution to expand into on-grid commercial and industrial applications. The company is actively recruiting new candidates to join the team and work together on a mission to provide worldwide access to clean, reliable and affordable energy.
With this financing goal achieved, Moment Energy will graduate from Venture Connection’s incubator program, but in keeping with the Chang Institute’s commitment to founder development and entrepreneurial growth, the four SFU alumni will continue to receive individualized services and support through a pilot Founders Circle program.
The investment is also the latest in a series of accolades for the startup, including a $100,000 grand prize win at Spring Activator’s 2021 National Impact Investor Challenge , the Social Impact award at SFU’s Coast Capital Venture Prize competition earlier this year, and landing 3rd place at the province’s largest tech competition, New Ventures BC.
Recognition as entrepreneurial leaders
The founders have also been individually recognized: Chiang as a 2020 Next Canada alumnus, Soares as the recipient of a Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25 award, Sidhu as 2021 Report on Business (RoB) Globe and Mail Changemaker, and Rattan as a Corporate Knights 30 Under 30, Clean50 2022 Emerging Leader, and as part of the inaugural MaRS Women in Cleantech Accelerator.
CEO Edward Chiang shared that "as an engineer by trade, it was really the TechE@SFU program and eCoop that inspired my interest and love of entrepreneurship. The programs helped to open my eyes to what social entrepreneurship is really about.
"The most amazing thing about the entrepreneurship community at SFU is the people. Everyone is willing to help out - no matter what stage your venture is in. Everyone is accessible, friendly and I believe we have one of the best entrepreneurship ecosystems in Canada."
Shannon Bard, who mentored the team through the Venture Connection incubator and as Climate Solutions lead for the Chang Institute, says, "Moment Energy is providing the types of climate solutions that Canada needs to address the climate emergency and contribute to the path of a net zero carbon emission future."