26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Accelerating Development of Sustainable Products and Processes through Start-Ups and SMEs

Session Organizers: Paul Thornton, Technology Development Manager, GreenCentre Canada; Laura Reyes, Career Development Leader, Chemical Institute of Canada

Entrepreneurship in chemistry offers the opportunity to bring new sustainable products and processes to the marketplace. Start-up companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have some advantages over larger corporations when it comes to creating and marketing a product or technology (e.g. greater agility in a rapidly changing market, narrower focus on a single product or market, etc.). However, entrepreneurship also presents many diverse challenges and risks to stakeholders.

This symposium, through a mix of invited and contributed talks as well as an interactive component, aims to discuss the various stages of commercialization for green chemistry technologies. Entrepreneurial leaders and stakeholders of chemistry-based start-ups and SMEs will provide their perspectives on the challenges, opportunities, and rewards that arise in advancing sustainable chemistry products and processes. Speakers will come from diverse backgrounds contributing to entrepreneurship and commercialization, such as company founders, intellectual property lawyers and patent specialists, and venture capitalists and funding experts.

Abstract submissions are encouraged from anyone involved in the commercialization of chemistry, academics and business professionals alike. Topics covered by talks may include but are not limited to:

  • Technical challenges and solutions (performance validation, product testing, process scale-up, manufacturing)
  • Funding (securing investment, leveraging grants)
  • Team and leadership (business leadership and advisors, non-technical skills required, collaborations and partnerships)
  • Intellectual property (protecting technologies with patents or trade secrets)
  • Value proposition, marketing, and pivoting (market validation, disruptive vs incremental technologies, risk mitigation, changes in company vision, marketing of “green” products)
  • Path to market and exit strategies (preparing a commercial launch, company vision and potential growth)

The interactive component of this symposium will build on the invited and submitted talks, leveraging expertise of speakers and conference participants, leading to an exchange of ideas and approaches that will highlight what resources and solutions are available to the entrepreneur with a sustainable technology who aims to succeed in the rapidly changing chemical enterprise.

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