This article is part of a series looking at all the competitors of UT Dallas’ 2020 Big Idea Pitch Competition.
Founder Arun Gupta says his life’s mission is to “do whatever it takes to move the needle on climate change.” And that’s the same approach his startup Skyven Technologies takes.
The company focuses on decarbonizing the process heat emitted from industrial plants. First, Skyven analyzes a site for potential areas where sustainable technologies can create savings. Then, it deploys a range of sustainable solutions customized for the site. And with an average savings to the facility between $200,000 and $5 million, Skyven bets on the efficiency of its solutions, billing customers for the amount of heat that was decarbonized.
“I have always been interested in building new things. I consider myself a creator. The creation of new value both from a social and economic standpoint I find incredibly motivating,” Gupta told NTX Inno via email. “If I can help move the needle on climate change while at the same time provide jobs and add financial stability to our institutions, that would be the most fulfilling impact I believe my work could make.”
Since its launch in 2013, Skyven has garnered attention at a number of pitch competitions across the country. It has also found grant backing via MassChallenge and has deployed solutions at multiple sites.
What inspired you to start your business?
Gupta: I have expertise in engineering and entrepreneurship, and with these strengths I decided to take on the huge challenge that humanity is facing when it comes to our changing climate. I am an optimist and I believe that I, along with my team at Skyven, can mitigate climate change and be resilient against its effects.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced so far? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge to face is people’s underlying assumptions on sustainable practices. Often we come across the idea that sustainability has to cost money, and a lot of it. There seems to be a perception that an introduction of sustainable practices has downsides either to product quality or to the price of manufacturing.
In order to help manufacturers thrive, we have set out to prove that through clean process heat factories can achieve a competitive advantage and do good for their communities, without breaking the bank.
How has COVID-19 affected your business and industry?
One of the hardest-hit segments from COVID-19 is the manufacturing sector. The quarantine in the beginning of 2020 brought manufacturing facilities to a standstill. More specifically, our customers in food and beverage manufacturing have faced significantly reduced demand as well as supply chain issues. While at-home consumption has shown an increase, the out-of-home consumption, which often generates a higher margin, has plummeted and is forecasted to slow recovery. All of this disruption has translated to delays in non-critical process and energy improvements.
At Skyven, we believe that focusing on clean energy can help drive a post COVID-19 recovery. We are now at a pivotal moment as companies and governments alike are planning to “build back better.” Skyven is working hard to direct investments toward a green and healthy recovery, which is the best insurance against future disasters.
Check out Skyven Technologies for more information!