Today, we have the pleasure of announcing a 1st close on our limited seed financing round. We welcome 3 new investors to our shareholder base, among those a UK based multi-million-pound family office. We are keeping a tail open, and we hope to be able to make an additional announcement on our fundraising efforts soon.
The ALGIECEL story to date is a story of opportunity, high-paced development, setting goals and pursuing them vigorously, while taking a firm belief in our tech and ability to apply real change.
From a macro perspective it seems like we, as a global community, keep on playing a game of chess where we continuously are ending up in a check position, when it comes to our problem-solving methods, and we never seem to manage to reach checkmate. We believe bio-solutions, whether through newly developed novel technologies like ALGIECELs or already developed and deployed technologies coupled with win-win business models hold the potential of getting us to a checkmate position when it comes to solving the most pressing challenges of our time.
We need to produce more with less, while protecting our planet, vital ecosystems, and our communities at the same time. And why not use natures own solutions like for instance photosynthesis to remove CO2?
Since I left the CEO position in Unibio in May 2021 a lot has happened.
ALGIECEL was nominated as one of five companies for the 2022 Danish Company of the Year Award by the Danish Business Chamber (Dansk Erhverv). It seemed to be the culmination of the high-paced work of setting up the company, designing the pilot and getting it operational.
Among others were Vestas and DSV. I must admit we were proud to be selected among such well-renowned companies. We presented our recent progress in technology and business development to H.R.H the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. It was a pleasure to experience real and honest interest.
The Danish Company of the Year award winner was Vestas! We congratulate Vestas achievement in driving forward access to green wind-based energy! A development that is key to the success of ALGIECEL, as we need an abundance of cheap green power in the future to truly convert our societies. We so to speak live in synergy with a company such as Vestas and other green energy providers.
Another important development has been the preparation for the next stage full-scale demonstration project. We have managed to identity and partner up with several key Tier 1 partners and a wide range of sub-suppliers. Thus, we are getting ready for the next development phase, and we expect kick-off in early 2023 pending further funding. Funding will naturally be needed, and we will be working towards extending the shareholder base even further.
The rest of the year 2022 will be spend on extrapolating data from the pilot operation at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) in Taastrup. Data from the pilot is naturally vital for the future success of the company. We are honestly speaking surprised to see such positive results so early on from our pilot. However, no successes without failures, we are sometimes failing, but we learn quickly and move on! Thanks to a very dedicated and efficient team.
For the purpose of moving to the next level ALGIECEL was able to secure a DKK 3 million grant as part of the project “Power to X Cluster Zealand” led by Erhvervshus Sjælland. The experience of operating the pilot plant at DTI will thus fall naturally into the upcoming full-scale design process.
ALGIECEL´s collaboration with the DTI, the venue of the pilot photobioreactor (PBR) and laboratory facilities, has proven very valuable. Together, we are creating the foundation for not only an extended collaboration between our organizations, but also future relationships between other start-ups and an important GTS institute like DTI. Start-up companies can greatly benefit from using DTI’s unique skills and facilities in the area of development and scaling of innovative process technologies to quickly make progress in new product development. We are grateful for this collaboration.
Building upon the successful collaboration with DTI, the opening of the ALGIECEL pilot plant in June 2022 was celebrated with dedication to the green transition and in the name of sustainability. We had key-note speeches from DTI’s CEO Juan Farré, DTI Innovation Director Anne Maria Hansen and Jens Nielsen, the CEO of the BioInnovation Institute.
We cannot write the initial story about ALGIECEL without mentioning The BioInnovation Institute (BII), BII is an excellent accelerator to develop a company. ALGIECEL is participating in BII´s Venture Lab program which comes with a DKK 4 million investment on a convertible loan note. The program is supporting us in monthly crunch-workshops to refine our business plan, including a commercialization strategy and a clear plan for product development and scale-up processes. We can only recommend other biotech or life science start-ups to look at the BII opportunity.
On the technical side the story is not only one of blue skies and sunshine, as mentioned, it is also about failures and learning from those failures. During this entire period since incorporation focus has naturally been on the technology.
We wanted to take photobioreactors to the next level and at the same time we were facing supply chain challenges and long lead time on some of those parts we had on our wish list. This initial sourcing challenge has led to some important learnings regarding future sourcing when scaling. It meant that we in some instances did have to choose between saving time or getting optimal parts. What do you do when time to market is of major importance?
A company with the size of ALGIECEL cannot do it alone! We need partners with expertise within each or their separate areas. One of the things that keep on surprising me is the dedication one meets out there among our sub-suppliers. This goes beyond a normal trade-based business relationship. We did not just buy LEDs! We got brainstorming, dedication, motivation, ideas, and a willingness to get the job done no matter what it took! Good vibes are important. Want to save time, then spend time finding the right partners.
Finally, and it may be an overused statement, however it still holds true. Find good people. It is all about the people. In my view small organizations can’t afford to have people that continuously needs a lot of coaching and management. It costs time!
We are building a hybrid organization. We don’t all sit at the same office, we live in different places, we have different needs in our private sphere and some key employees are also working for other organizations. I find this highly beneficial as those other organizations operating in the same space as us all bring some level of synergy to the company and our business model.
Short term, while we gather data from the pilot, we are going to invest more in employee satisfaction and motivation. We will be designing our future warrant program, as all employees shall be sharing the future value creation. This team has more than delivered compared to what could be expected in such a short time frame. Well done Team Algiecel!
In the end it is a matter of bringing a lot of different parts together to create one big functioning whole.
Thank you for reading and for following our journey
All the best
Henrik Busch-Larsen, CEO and Founder