A Binghamton University based smart energy startup has received a boost from winning a Shark Tank style competition.
DomCat Technologies won $50,000 recently at the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition.
FuzeHub is a non-profit that assists small and medium sized manufacturers in New York.
DomCat was founded in 2018 by B-U chemistry graduate student Dominic Caracciolo.
It has developed alternatives to platinum-only catalysts used in fuel cell technology.
Fuel cells are an alternate to traditional petroleum-powered engines where vehicles run on hydrogen instead of gasoline.
Currently, platinum is used in the process of combining hydrogen and oxygen and that interaction creates electricity.
However, platinum is expensive and rare.
So, DomCat has developed alloys combining a small amount of platinum with other cheaper metals.
Caracciolo says that after a high-stress pitch to the judges, he nearly missed the announcement of his win.
“I was actually shocked because I was in the middle of talking to somebody about my technology and I hear over the loud speaker ‘DomCat Technologies’ and I was like, ‘What?’ And of course some of the people that I know they came up to me and said, ‘You won! Go get your award.’ And I was like, ‘Okay,’” says Caracciolo.
Caracciolo says he plans to use the funding to purchase equipment so that he can start producing the alloys on a larger scale.
He’s also seeking third party validation of his technology so that he can secure investors.
His goal ultimately is to be able to set up a manufacturing plant in Greater Binghamton to produce this important part of future clean energy vehicles.