We’re pleased to report that a new panelist has joined the Entrevestor Live lineup: Zen Electric CEO Ravindra Kempaiah.

On Sept. 17 at Volta, Kempaiah — whose company is developing battery systems for the very small two- and three-wheeled vehicles common in South Asia and Africa — will appear on our panel on the growth of the battery ecosystem in Atlantic Canada.

Halifax is fast becoming a hub for battery innovation, led by Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, a global leader in battery-testing equipment and R&D services. Startups play a key role in this cluster, both in the development of next-generation batteries and the software that will optimize their use. Kempaiah will join Novonix Battery Testing Founder and CEO Chris Burns and Andrew Boswell, Co-Founder and CEO of Bluegrid.

Kempaiah has said previously that his experiences growing up in India, where he saw that buyers were leery of electric vehicles, inspired Zen’s product. The single largest barrier to adoption in the region is customer fears of inadequate battery longevity, both in terms of how long a charge lasts and the lifespan of the battery itself. So, Zen is developing battery systems that hold more energy and have longer lifespans.

“The clean energy transition presents a significant opportunity in energy storage, and Nova Scotia stands out as a key leader in the battery ecosystem,” said Louise Anne Comeau, Vice President of New Energy Markets and Innovation at utility giant Emera, which is sponsoring the panel. “From groundbreaking research at Novonix, to the entrepreneurial spirit of startups like Rimot, I’m excited to bring this group together to discuss how these opportunities can redefine global energy landscapes.”

Halifax-based Rimot, which operates under the brand name Bluegrid, said earlier this month it had led a research consortium to build what the company believes is the first working vessel-to-grid energy transfer system in the world, making it possible for boat owners to sell power back to local utilities.

Entrevestor Live, meanwhile, is our annual gathering showcasing the best and the brightest in the Atlantic Canadian innovation community. This half-day event highlights the startups that have significant global sales and demonstrates how entrepreneurs can grow market-leading companies within the East Coast ecosystem. It presents the best of the best of the East Coast startup community and destroys the misimpression that Atlantic Canada has only early-stage startups. 

As well as spotlight sessions with Dash Hudson of Halifax and Eigen Innovations of Fredericton, we'll feature Halifax-based XPRIZE finalists and take a look at the city's battery technology ecosystem. We'll hear from the founder of Communitech, Iain Klugman, and have a chat with Rachael Criag, an Atlantic Canadian entrepreneur who launched, led and exited a San Francisco biotech company.

The event will be hosted by veteran startup investor Permjot Valia, who brings both an international perspective and intimate knowledge of Atlantic Canada to the role. As well as being a Co-Founder of Dartmouth-based Nava Develop and the Founder of MentorCamp, he is a Co-Founder of Flight & Partners, an FCA-authorized fund manager based in London.

You can learn more about Entrevestor Live and register to attend here. Early-bird prices are available until June 30.