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Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program Demo Day 2024

Join West Gate and NREL at LEEP Demo Day, where the U.S. Department of Energy's Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) will showcase promising cleantech entrepreneurs who are developing transformative energy technologies.

The event will feature business pitches from startups across LEEP, including innovators from Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory; Cyclotron Road at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and West Gate at NREL.


Wednesday, May 1, 12:30–5:30 p.m. Mountain time


What To Expect

Exhibits and pitches from 21 participating startups, plus a keynote speaker

Keynote Speaker

Justin Whiteley

Justin Whiteley

Co-Founder and Senior Technical Advisor, Meati Foods

Justin Whiteley is an alumnus of Argonne National Laboratory's inaugural Chain Reaction Innovations LEEP cohort. During the program, he focused on mushroom root growth to produce various high-value products, such as a porous carbon material for batteries, water filters, and alternative meat.

He co-founded Meati, which sells a full suite of whole cuts made almost entirely from MushroomRoot, available at U.S. retailers such as Sprouts and Whole Foods Market.

Participating Startups

The following LEEP innovators will each present a 5-minute company pitch.

Chain Reaction Innovations

Aeternal Upcycling: Ryan Hackler and Robert Kennedy convert single-use plastics into chemical feedstocks for consumer goods.

Hyfé Foods: Michelle Ruiz transforms food processing wastewater into alternative feedstocks for several industries, including food, fuels, and materials.

Låkril Technologies: Christopher Nicholas has a game-changing technology for the production of a drop-in sustainable acrylic acid.

MemQ: Sean Sullivan and Manish Kumar Singh are building hardware to connect quantum computers together over long distances.

Mycocycle: Joanne Rodriguez's patent-pending process improves the natural functions of fungi to transform construction waste into low-carbon raw materials for the built environment.

Cyclotron Road

Aepnus Technology: Bilen Akuzum is electrifying and decarbonizing the chemical manufacturing industry.

Ludwig Computing: Behtash Behin-Aein is building a next-generation probabilistic computer.

Root Applied Sciences: Sarah Placella created an automated monitoring system that alerts farmers to airborne pathogen risk.

Sunchem: Daniel Sun is developing nanofilters for the precision separation of critical metals.

Tyfast: Gj Ia O' developed a battery with extended life and ultrafast charging to electrify heavy-duty construction equipment.

VERDE Nanomaterials: Danielle Uchiumura Pascoli created a simple and scalable process for nanocellulose production from residues and waste.

Innovation Crossroads

Agriwater Corp.: Bianca Bailey is innovating a mobile wastewater treatment system to purify livestock manure into clean water.

Ateios Systems: Rajan Kumar is developing innovative coating and processing technologies necessary to scale solid-state batteries.

Captis Aire LLC: Kim Tutin captures air pollutants from wood product manufacturing sites.

Holcene Climate Corp.: Keeton Ross designs chemical plants that efficiently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Vitriform3D Inc.: Alex Stiles utilizes recycled glass as a feedstock in powder bed 3D printing.

New Mexico LEEP

       Filtravete: Yun Li developed ultrafiltration membranes to improve the throughput of critical separations in bioproductions.

West Gate

BrightSpot Automation: Andrew Gabor is pioneering ultraviolet fluorescence technology for enhanced solar panel defect imaging.

Tereform: Mike Konev enables textile circularity by using oxygen to break down plastics into their basic components.

Renewell: Stefan Streckfus converts inactive oil and gas wells into gravity energy-storage systems.

Zero Homes: Grant Gunnison offers homeowners an app-driven platform that significantly reduces home electrification project times and costs.

Lodging and Transportation

For lodging, West Gate has secured a special group rate in collaboration with the Industry Growth Forum of $269/night at Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. To reserve a room at this rate, call 303-436-1234, or register online by April 10, 2024, using the group code: G-05NR.

The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is 27 miles from Denver International Airport. Check out sustainable transportation options to get to LEEP Demo Day.


This event is limited to 100 attendees. The deadline to register is April 26, 2024.

Register for LEEP Demo Day 2024.

Sponsors and Partners

Thanks to the following sponsors and partners for making this event possible:

  • Activate – A nonprofit empowering scientists by bringing their research to market
  • Colorado Cleantech Industries Association – A nonprofit fostering growth and innovation in Colorado's clean technology sector
  • Colorado School of Mines Beck Venture Center – A hub of entrepreneurial activity and technological advancement within Colorado School of Mines
  • Tennessee Valley Authority – A federally owned entity providing electricity and economic development to the Tennessee Valley region, focusing on environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact West Gate Program Director Shelly Curtiss.


If you have any questions about LEEP Demo Day, please contact the West Gate team.