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From the classroom to national business competitions

July 2013 | by sustainNU

sinode Northwestern University’s SiNode Systems is an early stage company that has developed commercially advanced lithium-ion battery anodes that significantly increase energy capacity and charging speed through a solution-based chemistry process that is scalable and easily integrated into existing manufacturing processes. Through SiNode’s innovative anodes, batteries could last for days and charge in just minutes, which would revolutionize industries from electric vehicles to consumer electronics.

The project came to fruition during the NUvention: Energy focused course taught by Professor Michael Marasco. Students formed groups and selected an energy technology to commercialize into a product or service.  The battery anode technology was developed in the laboratories of Professor Harold H. Kung, professor of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School and inventor of the SiNode technology. After the class ended, mentors, potential investors and industry experts encouraged the team of McCormick and Kellogg graduate students to incorporate as a business and compete in national business plan competitions.

SiNode did just that, winning the 2012 Cleantech Open Global Forum as the national category winner in the area of energy efficiency, and the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition as well as the second annual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

SiNode Systems is made up of Samir Mayekar (chief executive officer), Nishit Mehta (vice president of business development), Guy Peterson (vice president of commercialization and manufacturing), Joshua Lau (research engineer), Thomas Yu (research engineer), and PhD student Cary Hayner (chief technology officer).

Moving forward, SiNode plans to grow its team and advance its core technology with strategic partners.