Susan MacKay, founder and CEO of Cerahelix, the high-tech nanofiltration company based in Orono, is in Paris this week pitching at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit.
The company was named one of 75 finalists in the Hello Tomorrow Challenge, a global competition that highlights innovative, high-tech companies working on solutions to real-world problems.
Cerahelix, which uses DNA to create DNA-sized holes in ceramic material that can then be used to make high-tech filters, is one of just seven companies chosen for the New Materials category.
At stake is a 100,000 Euro grand prize (about $116,005), as well as a 15,000 Euro prize (roughly $17,400) for each track. Besides New Materials there are nine other tracks. The winners were not announced at the time I’m publishing this.
Cerahelix’s nanofiltration devices can remove impurities from water that are 100 times smaller than a virus, according to the company. The new filtration technology is not only more efficient, it’s also more cost effective and environmentally sustainable. According to Cerahelix’s research, a company that replaced commercial evaporators with Cerahelix’s filtration device in a process needed to remove 6,000 gallons of water a day in an industrial setting could save enough energy to remove 1,200 tons of carbon from the environment per year, equivalent of the amount of carbon remove by 400 acres of forest. Learn more about Cerahelix’s technology in MacKay’s TEDxDirigo talk from a few years ago.
The company raised roughly $500,000 about a year ago to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts.