Archive for the ‘Company News’ Category


Yaletown Venture Partners – Another Active Quarter and New Identity

Washington, Kirk

KIrk Washington, Yaletown Venture Partners

Yaletown Venture PartnersAugust 2014 Quarterly Update:  Since our June update, Tasktop closed a financing, Endurance expanded its leadership and Board, and we’ve seen more industry awards earned by our portfolio companies. We’ve also done some work on our own business – launching a new website, a new brand identity and leaving behind the partner’s photo on our newsletter. We welcome your feedback – take a look at the new site.

Read the full update here.


Bacterial nanowires are really wires, not hairs

Battelle / PNNLBy Mary Beckman, published by PNNL

RICHLAND, Wash. – Some bacteria shoot out tendrils that conduct electricity. Now, researchers have determined the structure of one variety of bacterial nanowire, and found the wires are distinct from common bacterial hairs that they closely resemble.

The results will help scientists understand how bacteria build up or break down minerals, and help researchers harness the bacteria to make microbial fuel cells, batteries, or to turn waste into electricity.

Appearing later this week online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, the work was led by Moh El-Naggar at the University of Southern California. Contributors included researchers from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Penn State, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.

To determine what the nanowires are made of, researchers used genetics and molecular biology to narrow down the proteins involved. They found that rather than the expected bacterial hair proteins, the nanowires comprised specialized proteins called cytochromes that shuttle electrons. PNNL researchers helped make the cytochromes fluoresce in cells, allowing the team to show they are located in the wires.

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This work was supported by the Air Force, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institutes of Health.


Help Design the Next Generation of Personal Energy Systems

HydrobeeHydrobee has launched an online survey to improve the design of the new PowerBee personal renewable energy power system.   The short survey asks what features of the PowerBee are most desirable, where it is likely to be used, the user profile, and a few other questions.  Everyone who responds will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad Mini!

Hydrobee Stream Body - ModelThe survey just takes a few minutes and will greatly help us make the PowerBee system right for you. Look at the new design prototype, put on your thinking cap and share your suggestions for new applications and solutions!

Check out the new PowerBee design and user survey

Hydrobee is a startup company in Seattle revolutionizing the concept of personal renewable energy. The soda-can sized Hydrobee turbine battery harvests renewable energy from any natural energy source, including water pipes, rivers and streams, wind, fire, sun, bikes and muscles.  It puts out USB power for phones, LED lamps, or any USB device.  Once attached to an energy source, the battery in the Hydrobee can be “hot-swapped” with another battery or taken away with you for power on the go.


“Wetting” a Battery’s Appetite for Renewable Energy Storage

Battelle / PNNLBy Frances White, Originally published by PNNL

RICHLAND, Wash. – Sun, wind and other renewable energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy, windless days. Now a new material could allow more utilities to store large amounts of renewable energy and make the nation’s power system more reliable and resilient.

A paper published today in Nature Communications describes an electrode made of a liquid metal alloy that enables sodium-beta batteries to operate at significantly lower temperatures. The new electrode enables sodium-beta batteries to last longer, helps streamline their manufacturing process and reduces the risk of accidental fire.

“Running at lower temperatures can make a big difference for sodium-beta batteries and may enable batteries to store more renewable energy and strengthen the power grid,” said material scientist Xiaochuan Lu of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Read More…


Alternative Fusion Technologies Heat Up

helio_logo title_stacked_LinkedJul 24, 2014 |By M. Mitchell Waldrop and Nature magazine *The full article includes reference to Tri Alpha Energy and General Fusion.

Helion Energy in Redmond, Washington is developing a linear colliding-beam reactor that would be small enough to be carried on the back of a large truck. The Helion reactor will fire a steady stream of plasmoids from each side into a chamber, where the fuel is crushed by magnetic fields until fusion begins. Within one second, the fusion products are channelled away just as the next pair of plasmoids hurtles in. “The analogy we like to make is to a diesel engine,” says the company’s chief executive, David Kirtley. “On each stroke you inject the fuel, compress it with the piston it until it ignites without needing a spark, and the explosion pushes back on the piston.”

Helion has demonstrated the concept in a D–D reactor with plasmoids that fire once every three minutes, and it is now seeking $15 million in private financing over the next five years to develop a full-scale machine that could use D–T fuel to reach the break-even point, when it generates as much energy as it takes to run. The company hopes that its reactor could eventually reach the hotter conditions needed to fuse deuterium with helium-3, another combination that produces only α-particles and protons, with no neutron by-products.

Kirtley is optimistic about the money. “There is a giant market need for low-cost, safe, clean power,” he says. “So we’re seeing a big push in the private investment community to fund alternative ways to generate it.” And if the fund-raising is successful, says Kirtley, “our plan is to have our pilot power plant come online in six years.” Read more here.




Hydrobee Wins Innovative World Technologies Award at the SXSW V2Venture Competition

HydrobeeJuly 16, 2014, SEATTLE, WA – Hydrobee SPC won the Innovative World Technologies award at the SXSW V2Venture conference and business pitch contest on July 16, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Hydrobee Stream Body - Model“We are glad the judges recognize the huge impact our product can have on people’s lives,” says Burt Hamner, co-founder and President of Hydrobee. The small Hydrobee turbine battery harvests renewable energy from any natural energy source, including water pipes, rivers and streams, wind, fire, sun, bikes and muscles. It puts out USB power for phones, LED lamps, or any USB device. Equipped with a text messaging chip for remote on-off control, the Hydrobee will be sold via Pay-As-You-Go micro-financing so a billion people who live off the grid can have a renewable energy source for phones, lights, tablet PCs, and more.

To see Hydrobee founder Burt Hamner’s award winning 2-minute pitch presented at SXSW V2V, visit
V2Venture is a fast-paced pitch event geared to take the most innovative startups through a rigorous review and rehearsal process before unleashing them on a live audience and panel of esteemed judges. More than 200 companies submitted to present at V2Venture, and five finalists were selected in five different categories including: Education Technologies, Health Technologies, Mobile and Tablet Technologies, Culture and Entertainment Technologies and Innovative World Technologies. Read More…


HaloSource and Rain for Rent Alliance to Accelerate the Delivery of Enhanced Water Filtration Solutions

HaloSourceHelping Customers More Effectively Meet Environmental Regulatory Requirements

HaloSource® and Rain for Rent® are pleased to announce that they have signed a strategic partnership to provide customers with enhanced water filtration solutions. This alliance delivers customers a single source solution that cost effectively meets water discharge standards on their jobsites in an environmentally responsible way.

The HaloKlear portfolio of eco-friendly polymer technologies addresses a wide variety of pollutants and contaminant types including total suspended solids, algae, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, oils and organic compounds.  The strategic partnership is targeting a significant share of the $1.9 billion domestic market[1] for flocculent chemicals, focused in construction, environmental, simple mining and industrial applications. Strategies to win more of that business include digital marketing targeting new and existing Rain for Rent customers, lead sharing and co-branding proposals and marketing materials.

Rain for Rent’s specialty is delivering complete water management systems including pumps, pipe, tanks and filtration backed by engineering and sales expertise. By providing liquid handling solutions for the past 80 years, Rain for Rent is one of the largest players in the equipment rental and engineering services space, with more than 1,500 employees who serve all 50 states and Canada from over 60 locations. Read More…


PNNL Director Mike Kluse announces retirement

Mike-KluseMike Kluse, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and senior vice president at Battelle, today announced his plans to retire, effective March 31, 2015. Battelle operates PNNL for DOE’s Office of Science.

Kluse was named interim laboratory director at PNNL in January 2007 and permanent director in May 2008. Under his leadership the Laboratory strengthened its science portfolio as well as the value of its applied research and development programs to sponsors across government, academia and industry.

“Mike has had a tremendous impact on the success and growth of the laboratory, and we are grateful for the strong leadership and vision that he provided to both PNNL and Battelle,” said Battelle President and CEO Jeff Wadsworth. “Under Mike’s leadership, Battelle regularly received high marks from DOE for its stewardship of PNNL, while the laboratory saw an expansion in its physical campus, budget and staff.” Read More…


Premier Tech Aqua Achieves Breakthrough in Innovative & Sustainable Septic Solutions

PremierTechAqua_1Premier Tech Aqua achieves a breakthrough in innovative and sustainable septic solutions with the newly NSF-certified Ecoflo® Coco Filter

Québec, Canada, July 15, 2014 – After 30 years of R&D efforts and the continuous improvement of its compact biofiltration technologies for the onsite wastewater treatment industry, Premier Tech Aqua (PTA), a Business Unit of the Environmental Technologies Group of Premier Tech, announces today that it has achieved a breakthrough and proudly launches its recently NSF International certified Ecoflo Coco Filter.

In addition to its existing line of award-winning and eco-friendly Ecoflo Biofilter septic solutions, the new Ecoflo Coco Filter is a model of sustainable development – a permanent septic installation that fully protects ecosystems using a filtering media mindful of its impact on the environment and the prosperity of future generations. Read More…


Avista Forms Salix Natural Gas Subsidiary

Avista, Spokane-based utility and WCTA gold member

June 24, 2014 (Spokane, WA) - Salix, Inc., a non-utility subsidiary of Avista Corp., has been formed to explore domestic markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas, primarily in the West and Pacific Northwest. Robert J. Lafferty, a 30-year employee of Avista, has been named president of Salix.

“The increase in natural gas production and sustained lower costs make it possible to serve new markets, especially those markets where environmental issues and long-term economics are key drivers,” Lafferty said. “Salix will explore ways to extend the significant benefits of natural gas beyond traditional pipeline-supplied markets.”

“Avista Corp.’s growth strategy has long-been to deliver innovative, cost-effective energy solutions. Salix will be the platform for our ongoing work exploring the growth potential of LNG with customers in search of better solutions,” said Scott Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Avista Corp.

Salix was formed to plan, coordinate and provide custom liquefied natural gas solutions for wholesale and business-to-business markets in the United States. It is a subsidiary of Avista Capital, Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit the company’s website at

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 366,000 customers and natural gas to 326,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista’s primary, non-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing more than 700,000 sites. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit

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