TGE Tech Turns Trash into Electricity; Plans Pilot Programs

Maayan Venture’s portfolio company TGE Tech has “developed and patented a system whereby unrecycled refuse can be converted into fuel with a special patented device that turns garbage into gas – syngas, a well-known element that has some of the properties of gas, oil and coal,” according to Israel21c. The technology addresses a huge environmental problem — trash — whlie at the same time supplying “green energy”. While not as efficient as oil or coal, the electricity provided by TGE can be sold at a premium as part of government incentive programs.

A pilot program near Tel Aviv has been setup and a much larger program in Israel is being planned that will convert up to 200 tons of garbage per day into electricity. More systems are being planned for some South American and European countries.

Check out the full article here.


Leviathan Energy Signs $50M Deal to Provide Electricity for India

Leviathan Energy Ltd., is an Israel-based cleantech startup that aims to offer the least expensive electrical energy generation on the market by developing clean energy from waves, water, tidal, and wind. They take their name from the bible: “The Leviathan is mentioned in the Bible as a huge and powerful sea creature and is commonly translated as a whale. We chose this name as a reminder of the enormous energy present in nature.”

According to Jonathan Shapira over at Cleantech Investing in Israel, the two-year-old startup and Maple Leaf India PVT “have signed a letter of intent for a $50 million-plus contract to provide clean electricity for India.

The letter of intent covers three points: (1) Leviathan Energy will provide aerodynamic improvement technology for the development of Maple Leaf’s 450 MW wind farm in Kerala, India. The wind farm itself will provide over 900,000 homes with electricity and prevent the emissions of 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. (2) The parties will cooperate on development and implementation of Leviathan’s ocean wave energy technology in the Indian Ocean. (3) The parties will partner to manufacture Leviathan’s Wind Energizer for local use in India.

Raul Goldemann of MATIMOP, director of the India-Israel program, said, ‘We had a successful trip to India, and found tremendous interest in Israel technology.'”

The new startup has a one page website with a description of its core products.

Israel Delivers: TechnoSpin, Gizmox, Endogun, Applicure

Today Israel’s innovators made all kinds of headlines from cleantech to medical devices to software security.

Let’s start with TechnoSpin. The four year old startup has raised $8 million from US VC 21 Ventures. They develop and produce rotors for small wind turbines which, it claims, are cheaper to produce and more easily assembled than competitor’s products, and can be operated on 80% of the earth’s surface – not just in high-wind areas. TechnoSpin also develops wind turbine gears which produce torque that is then converted into electrical power. Check out an interview with the CEO, Maxim Rakov.


Next on the list is Gizmox. This 2006-formed web application design startup announced today that it has reached an agreement to market its software through Microsoft marketing platforms. The Maayan Ventures portfolio company will use its Ajax-based environment for running web applications to enhance Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment development partnership program.


Then there’s Endogun Medical Systems. The 2004-founded graduate of Meytag Technology Incubatorand now Biomedix Incubator portfolio company has announced FDA approval for its internal soft-tissue fastening solution. This procedure, a key element of many Minimally Invasive Surgeries (MIS), is difficult to perform. Endogun’s technology, apparently, makes MIS procedures more safe, effective and simpler to perform.


Finally, Applicure Technologies released a statement via email that it has signed an agreement with British Trafalgar Capital Management for an investment of up to $5 million over a three year period. The four year old company, which is still negotiating with other investors in Israel and abroad for additional financing, creates software-based products for web application security and database compliance.

Texas and Cleantech

Startech Early Ventures is trying to connect between Israeli hi-tech and Texas investors, according to Globes.  Similar to Virginia’s Gateway America (which I mentioned in an earlier post), Startech is aiming to help Texas boost trade relations with Israel and capitalize on Israel’s robust growth in the technology sector.

The VC has just hosted the “largest-ever delegation of Israeli high-tech companies to visit Texas” in a series of meetings and workshops held over a three day period.  The Texas government, academics and investors see viable partnerships where “Texan high-tech centers could be an excellent springboard into the US market for Israeli companies.”

Matthew Blanton, Startech’s founder, said the visit “opened the eyes of both sides. Unfortunately, many Texans think that Israel is a big desert full of camels. Texans who have never been exposed to Israel learned from this delegation the fact that if there are any camels in Israel, it does not contradict the fact that it is a high-tech powerhouse and great source of innovation.” 

He added that “large parts of the US that are suffering from prolonged droughts, especially Texas, could become attractive markets for innovative Israeli water technology companies.”

In other cleantech related news, Jonathan Shapira and Gene Dolgin of Israel Cleantech Ventures are hosting the second Cleantech Israel meetup on April 29.  The pair see a lack of government assistance, a paucity of networking opportunities and lots of cleantech-related research in Israel as ample justification for the event.  This meetup will include, among other things, a presentation by co-CEO Alon Tamari of  SolarPower Ltd.  For more info see here.

British Company Invests In Israel’s Ecotraders

ecotraders.gifBritish fund Trading Emissions PLC (TEP) has recently invested in Israel’s Ecotraders, a greenhouse gas emission trading company founded about seven years ago by former Environment Ministry Director General Roni Kumar and his colleague Adi Dishon. This start-up has grown to a formidable size in a sophisticated market. Here’s what they do in their own words:

“EcoTraders is a global player in the production and sales of carbon emissions on the global carbon market. Our business is to generate and sell carbon credits to provide project investors with revenue from carbon sales and the opportunity to benefit from investments in new technology. We help to mitigate industry and governments’ carbon liabilities through the sale of carbon credits.”

3carbon.gifFrom what I gather Ecotraders is run by a team of highly-educated environmentalists who also have a penchant for big business. Apparently they do most of it in Europe but also manage 70% of Israel’s emissions trading market. Now they plan to pursue high-polluting markets like China and Vietnam. After international agreements like Kyoto, big business has little choice but to figure out how to cut their emissions, and Ecotraders aims to be their consultant.

This great article in Haaretz describes what they do and their aspirations for future expansion.

Military Heavyweight to Head Project Better Place

picture-9.pngAccording to EETimes, Project Better Place (PBP) has just picked three more partners in its efforts to create an electric car-friendly Israel. San Francisco strategic design firm NewDealDesign will develop the industrial designs for the charging stations and other touch points on the grid, Israel’s Aran Research and Development Ltd. and Nekuda DM Ltd. will develop and install the electric vehicle recharging stations, and Moshe Kaplinsky will head the operation.

Most recently, Kaplinsky served as deputy chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), an experience which should give him not only the ability to mobilize forces needed to turn Israel into an electric car haven and R&D center, but also the personal business connections necessary to build the large-scale infrastructure required for such a massive operation.

Earlier in the week, Globes reported that PBP rented a large office in Tel Aviv which will serve as the project’s temporary headquarters. The short lease is apparently due to the possibility that a larger office may be needed in the near future, especially if everything goes according to Shai Agassi’s fast-growth plan.

PBP will build the electric recharge grid based on the ERGO model for clean transportation designed by Renault-Nissan.  The electric cars will be manufactured by Renault-Nissan and will be available at a discounted tax rate according to a program setup by the government to encourage participation.

For more on Project Better Place see the website. Also check out this video of Shai Agassi explaining his plan to take the battery-powered car to the next level.

Emission-Reducing Technology Start-Up Raises $2M

lextran.jpgLextran Ltd. is an Israeli company formed in 1997 that has developed an emission-reducing technology used in power plants. According to Globes it has just raised $2 million in its second round of financing from US investment company Poleris Energy Technology Holdings Ltd. at a value of $26.5 million. Its value has tripled since the first round of financing in October.

What is it? A “high boiling organic liquid” (named Lextran, incidentally) acts in profoundly complex ways to reduce air pollution (Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Oxide) in industrial installations powered by fossil fuel, i.e. power stations.

Lextran, which is a subsidiary of Ludan Engineering Co., says on its website that reducing air pollution is of profound importance to its mission. New worldwide environmental regulations affecting power plants are probably also important to its mission. Poleris is hoping that Lextran wins some lucrative deals on an enormous power plant in China. Its first client was the Israel Electric Company and it treats a power plant in Romania as well.