ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED) announced it has approved a $50,000 convertible-debt investment for Dimensional Energy, a company that extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and converts it to commercial products.
The investment was part of a $1.5 million bridge funding round led by Yellowdog, a South Korean venture fund that invests in startups that address environmental and social problems.
The investment was made through the Opportunity Fund, part of IAED’s revolving-loan fund program.
“IAED is fortunate to have the ability to assist potentially transformative companies like Dimensional Energy, which is addressing one of the planet’s most pressing needs: climate change,” Chuck Schwerin, managing director of business services at IAED, said.
Ithaca Area Economic Development is a private, nonprofit economic-development organization serving Ithaca and Tompkins County.
Dimensional Energy’s proprietary technique — developed at Cornell University — extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into different types of fuel. The company currently intends to use the technique to produce jet fuel, “resulting in a net reduction of carbon into the atmosphere,” per an IAED news release.
The company was one of two finalists in the $20 million CarbonXPrize competition this spring. The winner will be the business that converts the most CO2 into products with the highest value, IAED said.
The contest winner is supposed to be announced sometime this summer, Cornell said in February.
Dimensional Energy, which currently has eight employees, is “growing rapidly” as it works to scale the process to make the fuel marketable.
With the investment from IAED and others, Dimensional Energy projects it will create 57 new jobs over the next four years.
IAED’s Opportunity Fund takes an equity, or equity-like, position by investing in high-growth startup businesses that are typically too early-stage to attract traditional funding. The loan to Dimensional Energy is the third such loan made since the fund’s inception in 2020.
“We are grateful that a local economic-development organization like IAED can financially support early-stage technology companies like Dimensional Energy,” Jason Salfi, CEO of Dimensional Energy, said. “Their willingness to invest in high-growth ventures encourages innovation in our community and helps folks like us to grow and thrive at a critical stage of our maturation.”