CleanTechies Podcast
#157 Onshoring Battery Production, Getting to Bankability, Waterless Cathode Materials, & More w/ Virginia Klausmeier (Sylvatex)

#157 Onshoring Battery Production, Getting to Bankability, Waterless Cathode Materials, & More w/ Virginia Klausmeier (Sylvatex)


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🌎 Welcome back to the CleanTechies PodLetter, founder edition.

Today, we are talking to Virginia Klausmeier from Sylvatex

Today, we had the chance to learn about a pretty technical innovation with someone who helped us understand tech in a manageable way.

Some of the core discussion points are…

  • The landscape of battery manufacturing, along with the supply chain issues pushing onshoring and nearshoring

  • How Sylvatex is creating a more sustainable precursor material for use in battery manufacturing by using a waterless innovation

  • Her journey to becoming a founder and the mission behind what she’s doing

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The Guest: Virginia Klausmeier

  • Having graduated from University of Oregon with a Masters in Biomechanical Engineering, Virginia would start her career working in consulting.

  • She would end up starting Sylvatex in the wake of her Father’s death to continue on his research. Perhaps out of a desire to carry on his legancy but as we discussed on the pod, out of a responsibiliyt to the planet.

  • Today, Virginia is on a number of boards, speaks at industry events including for the World Economic Forum, and is pushing Sylvatex forward to the point where they can start producing Cathode Active Materials at scale (CAM).

The Startup: Sylvatex

Battery Materials, Manufacturing, Green Chemicals

One-liner: Making Cathode Active Materials (chemicals used in the production of batteries) without water.

Born out of Virginia’s late father’s research, Sylvatex is her way of taking the opportunity presented to her to help solve climate change.

The technoligy uses a dry manufacturing process to produce Cathode Active Materials without using water and in a highly energy efficient way. This helps reduce the environmental impacts of these materials which are in high demand.

In addition to all of this, their technology will help onshore battery production in the US, reducing the supply chain concerns, as well as removing a lot of emissions caused by shipping these materials.

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📝 Show Notes:


  • 01:23 Intro

  • 07:11 Battery Mfg in the US

  • 09:11 Onshoring Battery Mfg

  • 09:42 The Opportunity

  • 15:54 Motivation

  • 17:12 The Story of Sylvatex

  • 19:16 Starting a Company

  • 21:03 Taking the Leap

  • 24:13 Waterless Cathode Production

  • 30:51 State of Sylvatex

  • 42:11 Pilot Funding

  • 42:41Milestones for Commercialization

  • 45:05 Getting to Bankability

  • 47:29 Debt Financing for Modular Manufacturing

  • 48:25 Navigating the Unknown


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CleanTechies Podcast
CleanTechies is a Podcast and Newsletter where Somil & Silas interview the leading ClimateTech Founders and Investors to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and Investors to help others succeed.