As a technology incubator, HiFunda is engaged in the following pursuits:
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 materials technologies that can help to bring better, smarter, safer, environmentally friendly and energy efficient technology solutions to the market.
At HiFunda, we are always interested in hearing from talented, educated, experienced, and passionate people who might want to join our team. If you have a desire to be involved in a diverse materials and technology company, we invite you to contact us, tell us about yourself, your experiences, education, and directional drive. Send us your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HiFunda’s business model is to found new entities that it retains an equity stake in when the business case and maturity of specific technologies are sufficiently mature to attract highly qualified, dedicated management and external capital. From time to time, we will explore investment opportunities in these spin-offs. If you are interested in learning more about the associated investment opportunities, please complete our contact form, and we will be back in touch soon.
HiFunda is interested in novel and disruptive energy harvesting and production technologies that can reduce delivered cost of electricity from renewable sources. In 2008, the HiFunda team began exploring the opportunities for commercially viable ocean wave energy systems. This led to the development of a novel concept and system design that allowed cost-effective, highly scalable magnetostrictive alloys to produce significant quantities of energy in specific wave environments with no moving parts. The technology platform converts mechanical energy into electrical energy in a manner that is low-cost, scalable, flexible, predictable, robust and efficient.
To exploit this high-potential opportunity in the wave power market, HiFunda recruited experienced management to lead the commercialization of the magnetostrictive wave energy harvester. With leadership in place, Oscilla Power was incorporated in 2009. Their wave energy harvester is currently in the open ocean testing phase of development. Full scale testing is planned for 2014, with a commercially-relevant scale system ready for development in 2015.
HiFunda is interested in technologies that can increase the
energy efficiency, reduce emissions and/or greenhouse
gases and/or increase the power density for energy
systems based on conventional sources.
Thermal energy is the most dominant source of energy
used around the world for electricity generation, with
greater installed capacity than any other source of energy
globally. When turbines are able to operate successfully
at higher temperatures, they are more energy and cost
efficient. Through an ongoing US Department of Energy funded project, HiFunda and its partner, the University of Connecticut are developing a new thermal barrier coating (TBC) that can operate at surface temperatures of 1300 degrees C or higher. This new technology can be a game-changer in the gas turbine industry and can help to achieve higher turbine efficiencies and therefore lower fuel consumption.
Cost-effective, large scale energy storage systems can change the face of electricity distribution. Energy storage systems that have the capacity to capture and store electricity produced during off peak hours especially by renewable sources whose power production cannot be controlled to match demand, and supply it to the grid during periods of high demand can be truly transformational. HiFunda has innovative concepts for grid-scale energy storage that have tremendous potential and have low capital costs, very high charge/discharge cycles and do not use or generate materials that constitute hazardous waste. HiFunda is currently exploring avenues to demonstrate and mature this technology and set the stage for a commercialization focused entity.