MGA Thermal have created sustainable, low carbon energy bricks. They are a great example of an exciting, Australian company tackling big climate problems with innovation and hustle.
Co-founded by Erich Kisi and Alexander Post in 2019, the team spun the business out of research at the University of Newcastle. Since then, they have made excellent progress with a lot of interest globally from large potential customers.
Recently they closed a sizeable capital round of $8m from some of Australia's best investors including Main Sequence, Alberts, The Melt and CP Ventures (the seed round investors).
I had a chat to Alex from MGA Thermal. He didn't have a camera, so it's just audio, but you can use that opportunity to go for a walk and get some exercise.
Highlights from the video:
- The great progress they've made as a spin out from a university that has strong momentum towards scale and commercial success. Australia could do with more of these.
- The approach of thinking about the energy from a different angle. We need more of this too.
- The chocolate muffin analogy. Don't listen to this one when hungry. Alex's salad answer clearly showed the muffin analogy is more than just talk.
From The Founders
Company: MGA Thermal
Themes: Powering, Energy, Reduce emissions
Summary: Modular, low carbon energy bricks
Founders: Erich Kisi, Alexander Post
Product stage: Prototype
- 2020 seed: $500k AUD
- 2021 Series A: $8m AUD
MGA Thermal's mission is to revolutionise the world’s renewable energy systems by developing novel materials, designing innovative technologies and delivering thermal energy storage solutions.
Why the team wants to solve this problem:
We’re all passionate about passing on a well cared for planet to future generations, and energy supply is a key part of that. We want to see renewables supply the world’s power, and at the moment large scale storage is the biggest technical hurdle standing in the way.
What are other climate tech companies you admire:
Diffuse Energy are a local company doing some really cool stuff with small wind turbines that double as distributed wind resource monitors. I’ve also just heard of a NZ startup called Mint, doing exciting work in extracting rare metals from e-waste using microbe. [Our post on Diffuse]
Quotes from Investors
Glenn Bartlett - Head of Strategy at Alberts Impact Ventures
“MGA is a compelling innovation, solving perhaps the most significant issue in the transition to a renewable energy future - the decoupling of energy production and consumption. The transition to clean energy is a $20trillion opportunity over the next 30 years and we are delighted to be supporting a pioneering Australian team leading the charge.
Martin Duursma - Main Sequence
"Great Australian research now turned into a company that will be a key enabler of the global energy transition."
Trent Bagnall, The Melt
"Besides the MGA product being cheaper, more scalable and has massive storage capacity compared to the alternatives. What I really like about it is that it can be made from 100% recycled materials, therefore, is more environmentally friendly compared to alternate battery technologies, it requires nothing to be mined and when it reaches its end of life is completely nontoxic and can again be recycled."
Emlyn Scott, CP Ventures
"MGA Thermal is a perfect example of a growing trend whereby University owned IP is being brought to life in the commercial world. Skilled academics increasingly realise their inventions can be world impacting and they decide to leave the safety of the University and launch a company. We're proud to play our part and back them."