Opus 12 Team

Opus 12, a sustainable fuel company in Larta Institute’s current NSF-Commercialization Accelerator Program (NSF CAP) cohort, completed a triumphant October.

The company developed a device that recycles CO2 emissions into cost-competitive chemicals and fuels, using only water and electricity as inputs. Opus 12’s petrochemical technology has the potential to offset 1.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually. Larta Institute took notice of the promising startup in our commercialization program—and so did others, namely Breakout Labs and Forbes.

“For a very young startup, they are moving very quickly toward the marketplace,” says John Tao, one of Larta’s Principal Advisors advising our portfolio companies in sustainable energy. “This award will help accelerate Opus 12’s commercialization timeline in Larta’s NSF CAP.” Tao has over 30 years of experience leading and growing large organizations, including crafting an $8 billion bio-based products portfolio for Forest Products Company.

Etosha Cave, an Opus 12 co-founder remarked on her experience with Larta’s accelerator program, “Larta paired us with a mentor who had specific knowledge and experience in specialty gas manufacturing. He knew what we needed to do to become successful.”

Finding a seed-stage fund

Breakout Labs, a seed-stage fund for the natural sciences, selected Opus 12 to receive funding. Breakout Labs supports companies through the completion of specific R&D milestones, enabling their portfolio companies to attract other investors and/or partnerships.

Opus 12 also won the Global Change the World competition for for-profit entrepreneurs as part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit. Opus 12 was one of two companies that received prizes totaling up to $850,000.

Opus 12 began at Stanford University in 2015, launched by founders Nicholas Flanders, Kendra Kuhl, and Etosha Cave. The startup is currently scaling up their petrochemical technology at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab through the Cyclotron Road program.

We are keeping our eye on Opus 12’s continued success into the new year.