OneTen Capital Announces Second Investment Fund In Support of 2016 43North Prize Winner Formarum
2016 43North prize winner, Formarum, has been chosen as Buffalo based OneTen Capital’s second investment fund.
Founded by Seyed Nourbakhsh, Formarum has developed the most efficient micro-turbine in the world. The blades measure as small as 1.5 inches in diameter and are 68% efficient. This is less than half the size of the nearest existing technology, while capturing more than twice the energy. The company was the recipient of $500,000 from 43North and in exchange, had to move the company from the Toronto area to Buffalo.
After working out of the 43North Incubator for the past year, the company is in the final stages of securing a permanent manufacturing space in Cheektowaga from Benderson Development. “Winning a 43North prize dramatically changed our company’s future and Buffalo has given me and our company a place that we are now proud to call home,” said the founder. Given Buffalo-Niagara’s deep history in Hydro-Electric power, it seems fitting that a baby brother version of this technology is now growing roots here.
The initial turbine application has been branded as Dive Pool Systems, and is a revolutionary device that utilizes micro-turbine technology to capture energy from flowing pool water and deliver salt chlorination without electricity. “The vast majority of North American pools still utilize traditional chlorine, which is time consuming to manage and leaves swimmers with burning eyes and itchy skin. We have developed an easy to self-install device that solves this problem and makes pools virtually maintenance free,” said Nourbakhsh. Dive Pool Systems has successfully completed beta testing around the Buffalo area, and has secured a purchase order for the 2018 season from one of Canada’s largest distributors, Pioneer Distribution Inc. They will be also be offering an additional 100 units around the Buffalo area beginning in the Spring of 2018, as an advanced local beta-test for $1,500 each.
OneTen Capital is Buffalo’s first locally focused venture capital firm and deploys an active partner to work alongside founders in each investment – a process they have trademarked, “Coalition Investing.” Managed and Co-Founded by Jenae Pitts, OneTen exclusively invests into hardware and advanced manufacturing companies with engineering founders. “We see a number of very exciting technologies in this area and are committed to building upon the manufacturing backbone of Buffalo and Western New York,” said Pitts.
OneTen’s initial fund is in support of Vader Systems – a Getzville father and son team that has developed the world’s first molten metal 3D printer. The company announced its first two commercial sales to Becker – a leading global precision automotive castings manufacturer – two weeks ago. By aggregating local investments from accredited investors with a $50,000 commitment minimum, OneTen has already raised $1.1 million out of the $1.5 million fund. Vader now employs 11 – most of which are UB educated engineers.
“To see local investment coming together like this in support of local startups is something none of us would have imagined a decade ago,” said Jonathan Amoia, OneTen Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder. “When you think of the Buffalo 20 or 30 years from now, it possible that one of OneTen’s chosen investments could be the next major employer and defining company for our region. That is exciting and will not be possible without Jenae’s hard work and the community’s financial support.”