by Eleanor Greene
In 2012 Sandra Sassow participated in LAUNCH’s Beyond Waste cycle on behalf of her company, SEaB Energy. SEaB is the designer and manufacturer of "micro power plants" that turn organic waste into heat, hot water or electricity. With these products, waste can turn to energy using micro anaerobic digestion without having to ship the waste elsewhere, meaning the energy can be used continuously, and no fuel needs to be wasted on shipping and disposing waste.
Right now, SEaB is in the middle of a push to be noticed by Virgin Media Business in VOOM 2016, a contest for UK and Irish innovators to win a chance to pitch to Virgin's Richard Branson for funding. Check out Sassow's pitch, and give SEaB your vote by May 23, 2016.
Sassow says what inspired her is when she sees waste being tipped into a SEaB unit and she can look to see how much energy that waste is creating being pumped back into the grid. She says “the potential to be involved in a cutting-edge technology that turns a problem into a universal solution is what does it for me.”
1. You were involved in Beyond Waste Cycle in 2012. What progress have you made on your innovation since LAUNCH?
SS: We have created a second product, in addition to Muckbuster™ which we brought to LAUNCH, which is called Flexibuster™, and is focused on converting catering waste to energy onsite in the future cities of the world. We have re-engineered our products to fit into 20 ft standard shipping containers for easier deployment to a variety of sites. We have representatives in eight countries and have deployed units onto large corporate sites in two countries so far. The company has grown to 22 staff, opened a prototyping and production facility and we operate our own testing laboratory to support our deployments. We have won numerous awards and seen 500 percent growth in the last year.
2. How has SEaB Energy made an impact on the world, or what impact are you excited about it having?
SS: We believe the future for energy generation is de-centralized and de-carbonized. Our technology allows waste to be converted to energy exactly at the point where the waste is generated and the energy is required. The carbon saving is monumental.
3. LAUNCH is all about connecting unexpected partners. Have you connected with any partners to get your innovation to where it is today?
SS: SEaB Energy’s successful market entry has been through partners and with the help of production partners. Established entities have worked with us to bring waste processing to sites where it would not normally be found – such as National Health Service Hospital sites in the UK. By outsourcing our production for some of the larger components and working with supply chain partners, we have succeeded in creating an affordable alternative to waste collection.
4. What are you looking forward to the most in SEaB's future?
SEaB Energy is reshaping the way waste will be treated in the urban environments of the future and at the same time bringing reliable, affordable energy to sites which need power, such as African villages. I am looking forward to seeing our units deployed around the world, reducing the carbon footprint of waste and providing power, water and fertilizer to the users.