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climate tech

6 mins read

Tynt Technologies: Redefining the Role of Windows in a Sustainable Home

Tynt Technologies is a company on a mission to optimize human health and comfort within the home. Their innovative approach involves dynamic windows that intuitively control daylight and privacy, challenging the traditional notion of windows as mere openings to the outdoors.

Tynt Technologies has raised $16 million to date. This funding is being used to develop and commercialize the company’s smart window technology.

In this interview with founder and CEO Ameen Saafir, we explore Tynt’s journey and vision within the context of evolving climate technology trends.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Tynt Technologies?

Tynt Technologies’ journey began with a passion for innovation and a commitment to addressing climate change. In 2003, after completing my degrees at Stanford, I delved into the world of flat panel display technology, specifically OLEDs, with industry giants Samsung and DuPont. As I successfully scaled up a unique method for producing these displays, which involved coating active materials from a solution, I began pondering how I could utilize my expertise to combat climate change.

While many in my field were focusing on solar and energy storage, I saw a largely untapped market in smart windows. In 2012, I joined a smart window company with a similar approach to material coating. As Chief Engineer, I led the scaling of this technology, even overseeing the company’s inaugural manufacturing facility. However, this technology was costly and lacked key features for mass-market appeal.

Fast forward to 2020, I received a call from my former graduate school advisor, Professor Mike McGehee, who had developed a groundbreaking smart window technology at CU Boulder. I initially agreed to help craft a business plan and advise his students, but after witnessing the technology’s potential firsthand, Tynt Technologies was born just four weeks later.

What sets Tynt’s smart windows apart from other products in the market?

In recognizing the importance of providing mass-market appeal, Tynt Technologies focuses on offering a cost-effective solution with neutral color, privacy in the dark state, and wireless installation and operation capabilities.

We stand out as the only technology that delivers all these features, making us a game-changer in a market where existing products cater primarily to high-end commercial applications, such as office buildings, airports, and hospitals. Our vision extends to thriving in single and multi-family homes and commercial spaces like shopping malls and restaurants.

With the growing interest in smart homes and buildings, how do you see Tynt’s technology fitting into the broader trend of IoT (Internet of Things) and smart building systems?

Smart building systems aim to optimize energy consumption, comfort, and privacy. Tynt’s technology plays a pivotal role in achieving these objectives. Windows have a substantial impact on these aspects, and our smart windows can reduce a home’s total energy consumption by up to 30% by controlling thermal energy from the sun.

They keep homes cool in the summer by blocking excess heat and allowing natural heating during the winter. Moreover, our smart windows maximize natural light, creating a comfortable and adaptable environment. The ability to completely darken windows also enhances security and privacy, making them a cornerstone of the smart homes of the future.

What kind of partnerships or collaborations do you foresee as critical for your success?

As a startup company with a focus on longevity and customer support, we believe that establishing partnerships with established window companies is critical for our success. Homeowners expect their windows to last over 30 years, and they want assurance that their chosen company will support them, even in the unlikely event of warranty issues. Recognizing this, we have already signed agreements with three renowned window companies (to be announced soon) through which we will introduce our product.

tynt technologies

What’s your vision for the future of Tynt Technologies?

Looking ahead, we envision Tynt Technologies as a company that will provide homeowners with a comprehensive smart window system, integrating intelligence to manage energy, comfort, and security. Our windows will communicate with other devices in the home to deliver a premium smart home experience.

Additionally, by combining Tynt with advanced insulating window technologies like vacuum-insulated glass, we aim to revolutionize home design. This will enable more windows in homes while adhering to stringent energy performance standards, eliminating the need for homeowners to choose between abundant natural light and energy efficiency.

Our goal is not only to challenge the perception of windows but also to redefine what’s possible in a modern, energy-efficient home.

by Tony O. Lawson

➡️Interested in investing in Black founders? Please complete this brief form.

4 mins read

Black-Owned Climate Tech Startup, BlocPower Raises $150 Million to Decarbonize America’s Buildings

BlocPower is a Black-owned climate tech startup that is making American cities smarter, greener and healthier. BlocPower partners with utilities, government agencies, and building owners to identify unhealthy, energy-wasting buildings to retrofit.

The New York based startup then works with these building owners to develop, install and finance upgrades that reduce fossil fuel consumption—like replacing an oil burning boiler with an electric heat pump. BlocPower earns revenue via installation profits, financing fees, and enterprise contracts.

Today, BlocPower announced a successful fundraising round of $150 million, which includes over $24 million of Series B corporate equity led by VoLo Earth Ventures and $130 million of debt financing led by Goldman Sachs. Other investors who joined the equity round include Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, Builders Vision, New York State Ventures, Unreasonable Collective, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Gaingels, Van Jones, Kapor Capital, My Climate Journey, Tale Venture Partners, and NBA superstar and entrepreneur Russell Westbrook.

To date, BlocPower has raised over $250 million of capital to finance building decarbonization in low-income communities.

The investment round will enable BlocPower to expand its heat pump and building electrification programs across the U.S. The company will further develop its proprietary BlocMaps SaaS analytics platform, grow its financing and administrative capabilities, and broaden its Civilian Climate Corps green workforce initiative, which focuses on training and hiring at-risk individuals in vulnerable communities.

“Since 2014, BlocPower has focused on decarbonizing America’s urban core, developing the green economy’s workforce, and bringing climate justice to underserved and vulnerable communities. We are fighting the climate crisis while improving quality of life for city residents. Series B equity and working capital financing from Goldman Sachs will allow us to accelerate building decarbonization across America. We will help low-to-moderate income communities to access the benefits of President Biden’s once in a lifetime green economy investments,” said Donnel Baird, CEO and founder of BlocPower.

The company has shown significant growth since its 2020 Series A, with 4,000% revenue growth and signing city-scale decarbonization projects in Ithaca, NY and Menlo Park, CA, as well as large-scale projects in Denver, CO; San Jose, CA; Buffalo, NY; Atlanta, GA; and San Luis Obispo, CA. The company has completed hundreds of green energy upgrades across the country, bringing the total number of completed projects to more than 5,000 apartments, homes, houses of worship, and commercial buildings.

BlocPower’s Civilian Climate Corps was awarded a two-year, $108 million contract from New York City Mayor Eric Adams to train 3,000 city residents for clean energy jobs and to help reduce gun violence as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ Precision Employment Initiative. The new contract expanded upon a $37 million contract from 2021, which launched the NYC Civilian Climate Corps. To support that growth, BlocPower opened two new training facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

BlocPower’s work has been recognized by Vice President Kamala Harris, who is honoring the company as an Emerging Leader in Washington, D.C. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that 40% of climate infrastructure investments impact “Justice 40” communities, which are communities that have a history of excess pollution, disenfranchisement, and underinvestment.

by Tony O. Lawson

Interested in investing in Black founders? If so, please complete this brief form.