Enerpoly: re-energising the battery market

Charging the world and innovating the future is the ethos that drives Eloisa De Castro, CEO and Co-Founder of Enerpoly, and her colleagues who are pushing for their zinc-ion sustainable approach to battery cells and packs. Whether it be for energy storage, decarbonisation, or energy access, Enerpoly is committed to delivering a sustainable solution with long-term viability.

Trinity for the future

Enerpoly is a great example of individuals with ideas and specialisations coming together to make something impactful. “Our origins came from a convergence of ideas. Mylad Chamoun, our CTO, brought his expertise in batteries and energy storage, with a vision focused on scalability. Samer Nameer, our CSO, brought his background in materials and manufacturing, as well as his vision of sustainability and accountability within the industrial landscape. Based upon my own experience in the energy sector, I aspired to bring a mindset to build technology for good that is accessible to all,” explains De Castro

These ideas would be backed up with extensive research which culminated in a clear need for alternative energy storage solutions that would solve key supply challenge concerns and boost the transition into clean energy. De Castro continued: “This led us to explore new frontiers in battery technology and envision a future where batteries are not only sustainably scalable but also affordable and safe.”

From here, this is where Enerpoly and its zinc-ion battery emerged, “a tangible merger of our visions and collective research,” comments De Castro.

Powering the next generation

Enerpoly works on the B2B front, developing its own zinc-ion battery technology and manufacturing battery cells and packs for use in large-scale stationary applications such as renewable energy and backup power. “We aim to provide the world with batteries that not only meet today’s renewable energy needs but also contribute significantly to a cleaner and more sustainable future,” adds De Castro.

The minds behind tomorrow’s energy

The team at Enerpoly started with three minds but has swiftly grown with no stop in sight. De Castro elaborates: “We currently have 15 employees and are hiring for a few new roles at the moment.

“We knew the company’s goal would be a tough challenge that required a team that meets the highest standards of excellence and grit, so that’s precisely how we have approached recruitment.”

Through this process, Enerpoly now has a team of brilliant like-minded forward-thinking people working towards its objectives. “Our journey so far proves that the right team can turn big ideas into reality, and we look forward to this team growing alongside us,” enthuses De Castro.

The trials, tribulations, and triumphs

“An early challenge was taking our product from a laboratory scale to a commercial prototype during the pandemic. Communication can happen virtually, but the building of the product needs to be done in person,” explained De Castro. For Enerpoly, which actively manufactures its product in-house on top of research and development, this is a critical part of the company structure that was put under a lot of strain at a critical time.

“This is an area where our team demonstrated that same excellence and grit I talked about before, with plenty of patience and adaptability.

“Now the big challenge is setting the company up for rapid scalability. We've done the pre-work for this with the product in the design phase, making our batteries with scalable materials and manufacturing processes. Now, we're gearing up to demonstrate rapid scalability implemented in our production as well,” continued De Castro.

Despite these early challenges, Enerpoly emerged stronger than ever and has seen some great triumphs on its journey. De Castro was thrilled to indulge: “One of the biggest highlights has been successfully developing a new battery technology that has the potential to shake up the battery energy space, redefining the future of green energy. Our batteries will not only produce 80% less carbon emissions but also cost 35% less over their lifetime than typical energy storage solutions. It has been particularly rewarding to develop technologies that have a clear impact in the renewable energy space.

“We’re also proud that global leaders in the industry have recognised the potential of our innovations and partnered with us.” Recognition in the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme, funding from the Swedish Energy Agency and EU’s Eurostars project, as well as partnerships with companies such as Polarium, are great examples of these achievements.

Female founder in focus

Being a female founder, De Castro was happy to talk about her own experiences, and journey, as well as offer comments on how women can feel more encouraged within the space.

De Castro has always had an interest in science and technology, especially how it can drive innovation and push for positive change. “As a previous mechanical engineer, I worked on advancing technology for NASA, the Missile Defence Agency and wind energy projects for the National Science Foundation, which was a fantastic experience that exposed me to batteries for renewable energy such as photovoltaics.

“As I learned more about the battery industry, I realised the immense potential for development and transformation in this field and ultimately felt compelled to bring my technical skills to help with the global energy crisis. I firmly believe that creating affordable clean energy is one of the keys to creating a sustainable future. As CEO, I’m able to help in the process of creating a team of scientists, engineers and business leaders who share a similar vision and are all just as dedicated to empowering the renewable energy transition,” explained De Castro.

On how the industry can better encourage women into the entrepreneurial and tech sectors, De Castro firmly believes in an approach with intent. Doing so will allow women to flourish and tap into the full potential they have to drive innovation.

“Actively recruiting and hiring more women at all levels helps create a culture of inclusion, along with setting diversity goals and mitigating bias in hiring processes. These are all important steps to ensure we are creating environments where women feel represented and that their ideas are valued.

“Increased visibility of female founders and women holding C-suite positions will help empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs.”

For De Castro, there is nothing more important than being able to see leaders who share your identity or perspective – “being able to witness this demonstrates that there is a place for you at the table.”

This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct issue of Startups Magazine. Click here to subscribe.