Viridis Research lands $300K from Mitacs

The cleantech company seeks to accelerate the development and commercialization of its first unit thanks to this funding.

Viridis co-founders Ricardo Rivera-Acevedo and Macarena Cataldo-Hernandez. Photo credit: Kai Jacobson Photography

Viridis Research, a cleantech company focused on providing solutions for the toughest water treatment challenges, secured $300,000 from Mitacs. With the funding body’s support, Viridis says it can accelerate the development and commercialization of its first unit.

You know the phrase “it all comes out in the wash?” For Viridis, this refers to microplastics. The company’s VEOX unit offers a unique regenerative platform allowing for residential and industrial partners to target contaminants. Once attached to a washing machine, VEOX will seek out and remove the microplastics that inevitably end up in the wash cycle.

The company’s inception has a winding backstory. Yet, its Chile-born, Italy-taught, and now Vancouver-based co-founder, Macarena Cataldo-Hernandez, describes its mission effortlessly. “Honestly, if you think about it, all the water is connected. It's not like you have river water and that's never going to be ocean water. Water is a cycle. If you clean one bit of water, you’re basically cleaning all of it,” she told me last year.

Viridis’ interconnectivity doesn’t stop at the water level. The company has a throughline between UBC and SFU. Cataldo-Hernandez and her co-founder, Ricardo Rivera-Acevedo, met at UBC, where she was a postdoctoral student. Rivera-Acevedo has a PhD in pharmacology, one of the most difficult degrees attainable according to Cataldo-Hernandez, and was also teaching the discipline there.

The Mitacs funding supports a project Viridis is executing alongside SFU’s Neil Branda, who also sits on the company’s board. The project aims to solve different scientific questions related to microfiber quantification, electrochemical degradation, and fluid-dynamism. These solutions will allow Viridis to accelerate its prototype design and future commercialization of the VEOX unit.

The company is also no stranger to hundred-thousand dollar cheques. The team previously won $100,000 in the Fall Impact Investor Challenge run by Spring Activator in December 2021. At the time, we cheekily told you that the company would be popping up in the Vancouver Tech JournalFunding and Deals section soon. And, voila.In addition to Spring and Mitacs, Viridis was part of an April seed round courtesy of Sustainable Technology Development Canada. Further accolades for the company include the Social Impact Award from SFU Coast Capital Venture Connection and a spot on Cleantech Group’s 50 to Watch list.

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