A Q&A with BioLite
Jonathan Cedar, BioLite CEO
What is the mission of your company?
Providing unique climate, health and energy solutions through biomass-powered technology
Explain your business model—how do you make money?
We practice what we call Paired Innovation. We believe that we can benefit both industrialized and developing markets simultaneously by using our intellectual and financial capital in a synergistic way.
In our first phase of development, revenue generated by our recreational/outdoor CampStove sales will be directed into investments to activate the successful launch of our HomeStove (product development, pilot testing, market studies, etc). We believe in a market-based solution to addressing urgent health and energy poverty needs, and over time, we aim to introduce the HomeStove at an affordable price to families in India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Who do you compete with in this space and how are you different?
With a multi-dimensional company like ours, we have no direct competitor, but rather several industry-specific competitors: the solar industry, solar-based NGOs, traditional gas canister camp stoves, and other cookstove companies (like EnviroTec).
We are different from our competitors because of our unique business model, our proprietary core technology (which allows us to create a self-powered system of clean combustion), our non-reliance on fossil fuels, and our ability to be an on-demand resource (you can't use solar on a cloudy day, at night, in a wooded area, etc), and our commitment to in-house development and innovation. We're ready to look at some of the world's biggest energy challenges in a very different way.
Where are your headquarters?
Number of full-time employees?
2009, officially incorporated as an LLC in 2010 (Formerly a passionate side project of our co-founders since 2006)
$1.8 Million in Series A funding, closed in December 2011
The Disruptive Innovation Fund (Clay Christensen's fund, Harvard Business School Professor and author of Disruptive Innovation)
Toniic (Toniic is an international impact investor network promoting a sustainable global economy through investment opportunity curation and critical expertise.)
Cedar is an entrepreneur and product developer. Before starting BioLite in 2009, he spent 5 years working as a Senior Design Engineer for Smart Design in New York City.
He has developed products ranging from housewares to biomedical devices, more than 90 percent of which have gone on to be successful in the market. His past clients include OXO, Staples, Pepsi, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Columbia University and various startups.