Batterade began in 2012, when Joe and Santiago met in a Management of Technology class at University of New Mexico (UNM). The two shared an interest in starting a high-technology company and decided to enter the UNM Technology Business Plan Competition together.
Santiago's Ph.D. Adviser, Dr. Plamen Atanassov, recommended that the two consider one of his co-inventions: the paper based biofuel cell. After learning about the technology and identifying a need for cellphone charging in developing markets, the team decided to option the technology from UNM.STC, UNM's technology transfer office.
Joe and Santiago worked on Batterade's business plan throughout the Spring 2013 semester with the help of one of the team's mentors: Ms. Katie Szczepaniak Rice, a Senior Associate at a national venture capital firm, Epic Ventures, with an office in Albuquerque.
With Katie's and many others' help, the team placed 2nd in the competition, winning $10,000, and used the funds to start Batterade in earnest.
While the paper based biofuel cell has been demonstrated in a laboratory environment, powering a clock for more than two weeks using Gatorade (Get it... Gatorade. Cellphone Batteries. Batterade... We thought it was clever), some work needs to be done to build a system that will reliably charge a cellphone in sub-Saharan African.
Since the business plan win, Santiago's been focusing his efforts on this front. Using the business plan winnings, as well as a $20,000 grant from the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, which will be used by biofuel cell expert Gautam Gupta at Los Alamos National Laboratories, the company is making great progress. Batterade is also evaluating other strategic partnerships that would help the company further improve the technology.
Joe has been working to arrange further funding. The company is actively seeking early stage investors, so please contact us if your an interested angel investor or early stage venture capitalist. The company will launch a Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2013, so stay tuned!
Once a minimum viable product has been finalized, the team will look to hire an expert in East African markets and travel to Kenya to conduct customer validation. Kenya was selected as a test market as it has a stable but developing economy with high cellphone use and limited grid access. The country is also home to several key port cities, serving as a gateway to other countries in East Africa.
Upon successful market validation, the team will seek further funding to begin manufacturing and marketing our product.
Copyright 2013. Batterade, LLC. All rights reserved.