TEAGUE EGAN, CEO OF ENERGYX - INTERVIEW WITH WBM TOP 100 INNOVATION CEO
TEAGUE EGAN - CEO OF THE USA'S ENERGYX HAS BEEN SELECTED BY THE JUDGES OF WORLD BIZ MAGAZINE'S ANNUAL AWARDS TO BE A RECIPIENT OF THE TOP 100 CEOS IN INNOVATION AWARD 2021. THIS SELECTION FOLLOWS A STRINGENT PROCESS THAT EVALUATED OVER 40,000 NOMINEES TO SELECT THE EXCLUSIVE LIST OF 100 WINNERS.
Teague Egan is the Founder and CEO of EnergyX, responsible for all aspects of building the company into the world leader in renewable energy technologies. Teague’s background is one of serial entrepreneurship, investing, inventing, and philanthropy and he has been investing in public sector energy assets and sustainable technologies since 2013.
Lithium demand is already high and is growing year on year. Over the next 10-20 years, lithium will be the most important natural resource in the world. As our society transitions to a fully sustainable future, EnergyX will tackle the hardest problems for the production of lithium and many aspects of energy storage.
Teague Egan’s business background is one of serial entrepreneurship, investing, inventing, and philanthropy. He has been investing in public sector energy assets and sustainable technologies since 2013. Prior to EnergyX, he previously started businesses in entertainment, music, and sports, and is also the inventor of energyDNA – a patented multi-component graphene textile fiber technology. Teague founded Innovation Factory VC, a VC fund focused on tech, life sciences, real estate, and consumer products in 2012.
Most of his philanthropic efforts are associated with the Thomas E. Smith Foundation. He is the co-founder of Dance For Paralysis, The Reality Ride Challenge, and The Kindness Project.
As the world is steadfast in transitioning to sustainable energy, Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. (EnergyX) has a mission to power the future. Founded by serial entrepreneur, Teague Egan, and a team of the world’s leading scientists and sustainable energy veterans, EnergyX is creating revolutionary technology to support the shift to clean energy.
Lithium is sometimes referred to as “white petroleum” because it has the potential to replace fossil fuels. Batteries are the driving force in the revolution of electric vehicles, and are critical for supporting the storage of growing demand for clean energies like wind and solar. EnergyX is developing solid state electrolyte battery solutions to increase energy density in battery chemistries.
Key Fact: Teague invested in Tesla in 2013, beginning his passion for the transition to renewable energy.
EnergyX was conceived when Teague Egan was on a sabbatical exploring South America. As he ventured across the Salar de Uyuni, in the mountains of Bolivia, he came to learn this area was not only the world’s largest salt flat at 4000 square miles, but also the world’s single largest lithium reserve held in the salt brines below. Part of a larger area known as the “Lithium Triangle”, up to 75% of the entire world’s lithium is captured in this small area between Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Primarily untapped, and with the biggest opportunity Teague had ever set his eyes on, EnergyX was born. EnergyX drives innovation by partnering with the world’s leading research facilities, laboratories, universities, and commercial manufacturers to bring disruptive technologies to the market at scale.
Please give us some insight into EnergyX's plans.
Innovation is core to our business and we’ve partnered with the world’s leading research facilities, laboratories, universities, and commercial manufacturers to bring disruptive technologies to the market at scale. EnergyX recently announced a successful $20 million Series A round and a portion of this funding will be going into further development of our technology. We are placing pilot plants into the field this year with several of the largest lithium producers in the world and should these field pilots prove successful for 6-12 months of run time, we will move to full commercial facilities by the end of 2022 or early 2023. This will significantly drop the price of lithium for battery cell manufacturers.
Ultimately, we are aiming to take the company public through a SPAC in the near future around the time of commercialization.
Why is EnergyX's approach unique in the energy industry?
Our approach and company culture is quite unique. We use high-level marketing campaigns including crowd-investment and influencer marketing, which I think also makes us stand out as nobody has really been using these tools in this typically “old school” industry before.
Our direct customers are the Lithium producers, and our ultimate goal is to work with the mining sector to replace existing technology by making it more efficient and sustainable.
More broadly speaking, our customers are those who care about climate change, environment, and sustainability. So the end-user is actually anyone who uses a cell phone, laptop, drives an electric vehicle etc. Essentially, anything that is powered by a lithium-ion battery is our customer! By making lithium more available and at lower cost, we can drive the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles - this is ultimately about saving the planet.
This is a phase of tremendous growth for EnergyX, please spotlight some of the company's biggest achievements.
We’ve had a lot of successes over the last very busy 12 months! I’ve highlighted some key achievements below:
Crowdinvesting: We launched a crowdinvesting campaign on Netcapital. This is open to anyone wanting to invest in a high-growth company. We are currently in our second round and our previous offering was one of the most successful in Netcapital's history!
Series A: We recently announced a successful $20 million Series A raise, which we will use to develop our sustainable lithium extraction technology to advance renewable energy storage, electric vehicles and help avert the climate crisis.
Partnerships: We announced a partnership with Nobel Prize winner and inventor of the lithium-ion battery, Dr. John Goodenough and his team at the University of Texas to develop our revolutionary energy storage technology.
We partnered with ProfMOF to promote the use of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a relatively new class of nanotechnology materials suitable in the development of projects involving renewable energy and large-scale lithium-ion production and battery storage. ProfMOF is the world leader in the research and development of MOF applications.
We partnered with Orocobre to work together on implementation of sustainable direct lithium extraction technology. Orocobre is a world-leading lithium producer who recently announced their merger with Galaxy Resources.
How do you approach leadership in your unique position?
Most importantly, a leader must lead by example. Creating a company culture of hard work, with an innovative mindset, and an enjoyable atmosphere ultimately comes from the top.
At the very beginning, EnergyX was just me, by myself, with an idea and a vision. I worked a year before I hired our first employee. Now every week I work 100+ hours to build the company, and motivate my team members who have joined me in this journey. An incredibly strong work ethic is an imperative attribute for a great leader. Few people realize how extremely hard it is to be a great CEO and leader. It takes tremendous sacrifices to get the results you desire.
"Lithium is a critical metal required to help mitigate the climate change crisis. If we want a chance to save our planet, we need a lot of lithium."
Current lithium extraction methods are environmentally damaging, how will EnergyX's technology avert this?
Sustainability is absolutely core to EnergyX so it is obviously a top priority for us. As a corporate citizen, we are deeply concerned about the consequences of negative climate change and it is our mission at EnergyX to play a significant part in helping to accelerate us to a clean energy future and to avert the climate crisis we are facing.
Lithium is a critical metal required to help mitigate the climate change crisis. If we want a chance to save our planet, we need a lot of lithium. However we recognize that current lithium extraction methods are labor-intensive and environmentally damaging. The technology we’ve developed at EnergyX will make lithium extraction more sustainable and efficient by extracting lithium more quickly (days instead of months) and recovering 3 x as much at over 90% (current methods recover around 30%). Further, our technology uses little to no water or chemicals. Essentially we want to transform the energy industry, and we have the technology to do so which is very exciting.