Wildfire Energy: Australian Cleantech Startup Turns Waste Into Renewables

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Wildfire Energy, an Australian cleantech startup whose gasification technology enables waste to turn into renewable energy, has been chosen as the first startup of its kind to join Brinc, a Hong Kong-headquartered venture capital and accelerator. Accepted into the Australia CleanTech Accelerator program, Wildfire Energy is part of Brinc’s bold new plan to invest in more than 1,000 climate-conscious startups within the next five years. 

Announced on Monday (January 4), Wildfire Energy is the latest company to join the Brinc cohort of climate-conscious startups. Based in Brisbane, the startup’s solution helps to eliminate landfill waste by converting it into renewable energy and hydrogen. Its proprietary gasification process, called MIHG, is also one that produces negative carbon emissions and is cost-effective. 

With over 2 billion tonnes of solid waste generated every single year globally – contributing more than 5% of greenhouse gas emissions – the startup’s technology, which is currently being tested in its pilot plant, presents one of the many much-needed solutions to the global waste and climate crisis. 

The funding from Brinc and Artesian will allow Wildfire Energy to upgrade our pilot plant and finalise commercial designs, taking our company to a whole new level.

Greg Perkins, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Wildfire Energy

Gaining the backing of Sydney-based alternative investment management company Artesian, who Brinc has partnered with in April last year to bring the new Australian Cleantech Accelerator to life, will help Wildfire Energy continue scaling up and commercialise its technology. In addition to AU$150,000 (US$116,600) in funding, Wildfire Energy will gain access to Brinc and Artesian’s network of industry experts, guidance on raising further capital and securing business partnerships over the course of the three-month online program. 

“The Brinc CleanTech accelerator has proven to be an advantage with the support from dedicated global experts and advisors, which has strengthened our business plan and deployment strategy. The funding from Brinc and Artesian will allow Wildfire Energy to upgrade our pilot plant and finalise commercial designs, taking our company to a whole new level,” said Greg Perkins, co-founder and managing director of Wildfire Energy. 

“The MIHG technology is the global leader in the distributed energy from waste industry, enabling the production of cleaner energy and the full benefits of a circular economy to be realised,” added Perkins.

The news comes shortly after Brinc announced its new sustainability commitment to invest in over 1,000 climate-conscious startups in the next five years, a strategy that will be driven through expanding its accelerator programs. Startups who qualify will have to meet the firm’s set of criteria, which includes putting planet-friendly practices at the centre of their operations, whether they are in the field of food tech or clean energy. 

This is a very unique opportunity to…drive true change for the long term — this is a commitment that will take us at least 10–20 years, and we need to set regular 2 to 3 year milestones to ensure we stay on track.

Manav Gupta, CEO, Brinc

At the time of the announcement, Brinc CEO Manav Gupta explained that their new pledge is aligned with the global reckoning of the link between humanity’s continued destruction of the natural environment and the economic, social and human cost that will result from continued climate inaction. 

“Covid has highlighted the fragility and interconnectedness of our global ecosystems…In the same light, it has also shown how if we work together we can rapidly develop groundbreaking solutions,” Gupta said. 

“This is a very unique opportunity to highlight the importance of keeping this global spirit and developing the tools, technologies and processes to drive true change for the long term — this is a commitment that will take us at least 10–20 years, and we need to set regular 2 to 3 year milestones to ensure we stay on track.”

Other impact VCs have taken on a similar approach in recent months, such as AgFunder, who are focused on agri-food tech startups based in Silicon Valley and Singapore. In August, the firm launched a new fund entirely dedicated to technologies that will perform on ESG metrics across the food system.


All images courtesy of Wildfire Energy.


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