Avatar Innovations, a Calgary-based innovator in the global energy transition, announced the launch of the Avatar Leadership Fund I with a $750,000 lead investment from Cenovus Energy late last year.  The Fund is targeting a $3 million total raise to provide early-stage risk capital to emerging energy transition technologies developed through the Avatar Program. The goal of the Fund is to help solve for the near absence of risk capital available to early-stage energy technologies in Canada.

Since 2021, Avatar has generated nearly 1600 applications from industry professionals to participate in its ground-breaking energy transition and technology entrepreneurship program. The Program has generated 30 technologies sponsored by industry and has supported two teams which are finalists in the Elon Musk Foundation’s $100M Carbon Removal XPRIZE. Avatar is also a founding partner of the Energy Transition Centre in downtown Calgary with partners at the University of Calgary.

Through the Avatar program, the very best projects are selected for admission to the pre-seed accelerator program called Avatar Studio. The teams will attempt to build a minimum viable product and have the chance to pitch for investment from North America’s leading industry and financial energy transition investors. One of the teams currently in Avatar Studio is called E-Rocket. With the corporate backing of Cenovus, and support from Suncor, Keyera, and Enbridge, E-Rocket is on a mission to accelerate the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel through its digital marketplace.

E-Rocket has advanced its work with the help of J.S. Held, a global consulting firm that combines technical, scientific, financial, and strategic expertise to advise clients seeking to realize value and mitigate risk. Its corporate sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) consulting services span operations and governance when evaluating existing programs for enhancements or helping companies implement new sustainability programs. E-Rocket is one such program that can help companies eliminate scope 3 emissions associated with business travel – with risk mitigation and reputation-enhancing benefits. Other sustainability services that J.S. Held advises on include digital transformation:

  • Roadmap Development – Stakeholder Interviews, Process & Program Analysis, Timeline Development, Resource Allocation, Implementation
  • System Selection – Process Analysis, User Requirements Identification, Optimization & Reengineering, Weighted Evaluation Framework, RFx Development, Vendor Evaluation & Selection, Contract Negotiation Support
  • Process Optimization – Stakeholder Interviews, Gap Analysis, Draft Process Creation, Recommendations Documentation, Implementation
  • Organizational Change Management (OCM) – Stakeholder Interviews & Analysis, OCM Plan Development, Internal Buy-In, Implementation
  • Information System Implementation – Align Project Objectives & Plans, Evaluate Current State & Discover Desired Future State, Develop & Document System Solutions, Test/Validate/Optimize Solutions, Deployment & Training/Support
  • Technology Integration – Gather Functional & Technical Requirements, Gather Non-Functional Requirements (i.e., System Performance & Security), Analyze Gaps & Opportunities, Design & Architect Systems & Tools, Build & Deploy