As a technology incubator, HiFunda is engaged in the following pursuits:
- Identifying opportunities to develop innovative materials-based solutions that can become high-potential energy opportunities
- Reducing technology risk and increasing the technology readiness level of these technologies through product development/R&D
- Recruiting experienced management to lead commercialization of specific technologies
- Spawning product-oriented new businesses that are highly focused on commercialization of specific technologies.
HiFunda’s President, Dr. Balky Nair has successfully executed this model at HiFunda and elsewhere previously in his career. Founded in 2008, HiFunda spawned its first new entity Oscilla Power, Inc. (OPI) in 2009 (focused on renewable energy applications based on innovative materials technology) and catalyzed its growth through SBIR grants and seed-funds. OPI has raised more than $4.2 million in angel/venture investment and an additional $3.3 million in government grants. Another company , OPI Downhole LLC, based in Texas was founded in 2011 to commercialize the magnetostrictive power generation technology for downhole drilling and completions applications.
Key members of the HiFunda leadership team have worked together for more than a decade on a variety of energy and materials technologies. During their prior employment at Ceramatec Inc., Dr. Nair and Mr. Jesse Nachlas, HiFunda’s Director of R&D, championed an emissions sensor technology. This technology ultimately formed the basis of a new spin-off company from Ceramatec Inc. for commercialization of emissions sensor technology (EmiSense, Inc., founded in 2005, now EmiSense Technologies LLC) led by Dr. Nair and Mr. Nachlas. They set up a 7,500 sq. ft emissions sensor development, testing and manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, UT. EmiSense was acquired in 2008 by the ownership group of CoorsTek, Inc., the largest ceramic component manufacturer in North America, and continues to thrive in Salt Lake City as a technology leader in on-board emissions sensors for vehicles.
HiFunda seeks to demonstrate that human creativity and innovation can help humanity outpace the demands posed by rapid global industrialization and current resource constraints, and ultimately make the world economically stronger, more productive, cleaner, more secure, and self-sustaining.
HiFunda aims to develop new and disruptive energy and materials technologies that can help to bring better, smarter, safer, environmentally friendly and energy efficient technology solutions to the market.