Venture Leader Cleantech Creates Composite Materials to Facilitate Sustainable Distribution – Venturelab

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29.09.2022 10:00, Tracy Woodley






The Swiss National Startup Team welcomes new members: A jury has selected 10 startups for the Venture Leaders program dedicated to the cleantech sector. During their roadshow, Cleantech Venture Leaders will meet international investors and industry leaders and access industry-specific expertise and networks to grow their businesses. Allow us to introduce you to each of the 2022 Cleantech Venture Leaders before the October 2022 roadshow in Munich: Meet Cohades Amaël, CEO and co-founder of CompPair.

Last name: Cohades Amaël

Location: Lausanne

Nationality: Swiss

Graduated from: EPFL, PhD, 2018

Job title: CEO and co-founder

Number of employees: 9

The money raised: CHF 1.3 million

First point of contact with Venturelab: Venture Kick in 2019

Explain in one or two short sentences what your startup does and why:
CompPair brings healing and durable composite material solutions to the market to improve circularity.



How and where did you get the idea for your startup?
I have completed my doctorate. in self-healing composites from 2014 to 2018. This is after the completion of the doctorate. that we have made the breakthrough. And just thinking back to the years of hard work to build such technology, and the composites industrialists who told me “you’re sitting on a gold mine”, it was more than evidence to skip that step and launch CompPair to have a positive impact on the composites industry.

What do you expect from the Venture Leaders roadshow and how will it help you achieve your vision?
CompPair’s development will benefit from the Venture Leaders program in multiple ways. First, the timing of this specific process is in line with our international expansion goals. Secondly, we are opening a pre-Series A investment round, which will be closed in early 2023. Via the Venture Leaders investor roadshow, we will be in front of potential investors for this round and able to manage the corresponding networking. With this funding round, the CompPair team will be able to grow, both in the new product portfolio and in the business development departments. Finally, the location of the Venture Leaders program fits very well with our activities, thanks to a strong German ecosystem in our industry.

Who does your product or solution help, and how?
Composites are widely used in many industries such as aerospace, wind power and sports. However, a major limitation of composites is their susceptibility to damage; current repair solutions are expensive and time-consuming, and recycling is still largely non-existent. CompPair has developed a new composite material that can repair itself and be better recycled, bringing circularity to this industry. Our technology works throughout the life of products, helping manufacturers, consumers and the planet. For manufacturers, CompPair makes production more efficient and brings a sustainable, quality differentiator to market. For consumers, CompPair saves time and money through quick repair while preserving product integrity, performance and weight. For the planet, CompPair reduces waste during production and repair while extending the life of products and recycling them better.



What are you most excited about at work right now?
Unfortunately, this must remain secret! But we have some great applications coming up and seeing our products that 2 years ago were being manufactured at lab scale, now in large company warehouses in large quantities, is very exciting!

How did you put together your team?
I would say that the network is the key in the first place. We launched the project more officially in 2019 with Robin, my partner, but in parallel, I was following the business concept course of InnoSuisse and that’s where I met Nicolas, now our CBDO. Cecilia, our R&D manager was at the time in Master Thesis with us, and she stayed. Paul, our Application Operations and Support Manager, also joined our network and was actually an advisor to us before joining! Now that we are growing more and more, team building always comes from networking relationships and open applications, but also from the interns we have and hire later. This last element is very effective for us because they are trained at the end of the course and can then integrate the permanent team with great efficiency.



What market are you addressing and what is the potential of your startup?
We are entering a large and growing market: the global composites market is worth $100 billion and has grown by 40% since 2014. Despite rapid growth, the composites market is suffering from damage events (expected to cost $22 billion by 2026) and a lack of recycling. Efficiency. CompPair solves both problems. We can basically go anywhere composites are applied and that’s the beauty of what we’ve developed. However, we have a specific strategy for our market penetration which consists of focusing on three particular verticals: (i) leisure; (ii) wind; (iii) aerospace.

What are your main achievements to date?
In just two years, CompPair has metamorphosed from an EPFL spin-off producing small samples to an industrial-scale product, with strong public cases announced such as Decathlon, Salomon and ArianeGroup. Thanks to our funding round of 1.3 MCHF, the company has strongly strengthened towards a future phase of scaling up. Now with a total of 19 members, we have expanded the Application, Business and R&D teams, all of which have achieved significant milestones. CompPair has received numerous distinctions: Solar Impulse labeled solution, Top 100 Swiss Startups, ESA BIC CH, winner of the 2022 Strategis Prize, and JEC Startup Booster, as well as other business and innovation awards.

What is the thing that few people know about you?
What I do outside of work and activities to disconnect! A few sports of course, but a passion for concerts too.

What is your favorite podcast and why?
There isn’t one in particular, but I really like Founders Podcasts for Founders. I really find the inspiration I need to manage the daily activities of CompPair.



How did you come up with the name of your startup?
In fact, many people wonder why this name: it’s a mixture of Composite and Repair, CompPair! By searching for a name, URLs, brands, etc. weren’t taken and that’s where CompPair was born, as proof.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Founder?
Every day I see a reward! But two things are particularly gratifying to me: (i) seeing the products developed now arrive by truckload and grow into amazing products on the manufacturing lines; (ii) seeing the team grow, it’s so wonderful to see that we started with a few and now we’re growing, growing and growing!

What is the most important lesson you learned as a founder?
There are still lots ! But one thing that I remember quite often is the following quote: you have to quickly agree to disagree. This applies to many situations where the answer is not straightforward.

Venture Leaders Cleantech is organized by Venturelab and supported by alpine, AMAG, ETH Lausanne, ETH Zürich, EY, Helbling technique, Romande Energy, Canton of Vaudand VISCHER and Venture Leaders alum Patrick Maillard.

 

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Inspired by nature, CompPair brings the healing ability of our flesh to composites: composites are now able to fully heal matrix damage within 1 minute. We help our customers create better products, which… Read more









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