Published Dec 8, 2021
Wellington UniVentures has supported Shalini over the past four years as she has developed skills as an entrepreneur through the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme and Creative HQ’s Climate Response Accelerator Programme. Through these programmes, Shalini has been able to identify market opportunities for TasmanIon and better understand industry pain points. Shalini has had interest from the commercial drone sector and has been working to secure funding to create a prototype. Shalini has excitingly secured $750k in pre-seed funding from Pacific Channel, AngelHQ as well as an additional $200k grant from the National Science Challenges SfTI, which will be used to establish a development facility to make prototypes.
Hamish Findlay, General Manager Commercialisation at Wellington UniVentures says: “It’s been inspiring to watch Shalini over the last few years. Pacific Channel’s investment will advance the growth of the product and allow Shalini to implement her development plan. The SfTI seed funding is highly competitive, and 121 proposals were received. Having Shalini’s project selected is a testament to the science behind her work and the business opportunity ahead.”
Working towards the next stage of the technical development plan, Shalini is looking forward to maturing her work. “With an R&D facility, we will be able to improve the quality and performance of our batteries, test and mitigate technical risks and develop prototypes for industry – this is the first step to taking our battery to market,” Shalini explained. “It’s an incredibly exciting time and we’re looking forward to playing with the recipe based on the industry and application.”
Ashwath Sundaresan knows Shalini and her work well, having previously been the Senior Commercialisation Manager at Wellington UniVentures and focused on the commercialisation of Shalini’s invention. Moving to Pacific Channel earlier this year as an Investment Manager, Ashwath saw the value in continuing to develop aluminium-ion batteries for global impact. “The world is increasingly needing battery storage and we need to start looking at alternatives to using lithium-ion batteries, which are not only costly to create but put a huge strain on the environment. Shalini has been living and breathing aluminium-ion batteries since she started her PhD four years ago, and her passion for her work really shines through.”