A breakthrough in fuel cell technology, which seems to be perpetually “just a few years away,” means there’s still a lot of room for startups to help bring this complex technology to market. We recently read in Israel’s Globes, via a blog post from Israel Cleantech Ventures intern Jonathan Shapira, that Israel Cleantech Ventures has invested in Israeli fuel cell startup CellEra. CellEra’s CEO Ziv Gottesfeld has both confirmed the Series A round with us and told us that the investment was $2 million.
CellEra’s objective, Gottesfeld explained, is to bridge the fuel cell commercialization gap by developing “truly affordable and reliable” fuel cell-based power solutions. The startup, which is still in stealth mode as it works to register its IP, is a family business; it was founded in 2007 by Gottesfeld, VP R&D Dario Dekel, and CTO Shimshon Gottesfeld (father of Ziv Gottesfeld).
Ziv Gottesfeld sent us over the bios for the company’s founder, which offers some clues as to what CellEra is focusing on. Shimshon Gottesfeld is the technology guru for the group, and his bio says he has 20 years of experience in fuel cell technology projects, and has worked on the latest polymer electrolyte (PEMFC) and direct methanol (DMFC) fuel cell technology.
Shimshon Gottsefeld was also most recently (until May 2006) the VP of R&D and CTO of MTI Fuel Cells, which is developing portable methanol fuel cells for consumer electronics that it aims to bring to market in 2009 (we interviewed MTI’s CEO Peng Lim last September). If CellEra’s CTO, co-founder and “visionary” has decades of experience in methanol fuel cell technology, then we can guesstimate that CellEra’s new IP will benefit from that research. We look forward to learning more about it.