News Release from MaRS Discovery District – Big brain gain for Toronto, and huge step forward for Morgan Solar.
Founder and ex-CEO of eSolar Asif Ansari takes the helm of Canadian startup Morgan Solar
TORONTO, Oct. 13 /CNW/ – MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce that Asif Ansari, former CEO of Los Angeles based eSolar, Inc., has taken the position of Chief Executive Officer at Toronto startup Morgan Solar. Ansari, considered one of the most successful start-up CEOs in the solar energy world, has founded several successful companies and led the development and commercialization of over 20 technical products in the cleantech and aerospace markets. Under Ansari’s leadership, eSolar attracted financial backing from Google and emerged as a global leader in solar thermal technologies. Ansari has now relocated to Toronto and will apply his experience and expertise to commercializing Morgan Solar’s breakthrough technology, the Sun Simba concentrating solar panel. “Morgan Solar has done something I wasn’t sure was possible – they have cracked the code for CPV (concentrated solar PV) optics, substantially lowering its costs to where it can now deliver a value proposition significantly better than PV (photovoltaics),” said Ansari. “Morgan was able to see the problem in a whole new way, starting with inventing a new optical concentrator to replace conventional Fresnel lens architectures. The potential of this technology is massive.”
MaRS Discovery District has been working closely with Morgan Solar, helping it evolve into a Canadian cleantech success story. “Ansari coming to Toronto represents the biggest brain gain for Ontario in the cleantech sector I’ve seen,” says Tom Rand, Cleantech Practice Lead Advisor at MaRS. “Ansari has enjoyed a string of successes, including eSolar, and he didn’t come to Morgan to fail. The quality of Morgan’s management team, with these sorts of additions, demonstrates their ability to go global on a major scale.”
Toronto’s Morgan Solar, founded by brothers John Paul and Nicolas Morgan in 2007 and poised to become a global leader in solar energy, raised USD $8.2 million in Series A funding in 2009 and has attracted more than $5M in public funding, including the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation’s Innovation Demonstration Fund (MRI-IDF), the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The company has also secured investments from Iberdrola, the world’s largest new renewable energy provider, and Nypro Inc., a global leader in injection molding and contract manufacturing. Their product—the Sun Simba—will be entering large-scale production in 2011. Currently, Ansari is working to raise a significant Series-B funding round for the company. Check out https://www.renewenergy.com.au for more.
MaRS Discovery District, located in downtown Toronto, offers a comprehensive range of business services to help nurture innovation in key science and technology sectors, including clean technology. “MaRS has been engaged with us for some time and they have contributed an invaluable amount to our success to date,” said Nic Morgan, VP of Business Development and co-founder of Morgan Solar. “Closing an investment for a start-up in 2009 was tough and MaRS was instrumental in assisting us with what turned out to be an excellent deal.”
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and entertainment technologies, clean tech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose businesses.
About Morgan Solar
Morgan Solar Inc. (www.morgansolar.com) was founded in 2007 to develop next generation solar power technologies that will make solar energy significantly less expensive. They have developed a number of solar energy technologies, of which the first to market will be the Sun Simba concentrating solar PV panel. The Sun Simba uses total internal reflection (TIR) to capture, bend, and transport sunlight within an acrylic structure less than 10 mm thick – achieving the solar industry’s highest reported optical concentration, in the most compact form to date. The Sun Simba is the first solar panel to leverage the huge potential of high efficiency, multi-junction PV cells by providing the first cost effective concentrating optic.
Morgan Solar is now focused on certifying the Sun Simba and deploying systems at test and demonstration sites in Ontario and in California. The Sun Simba will be available for ground-mounted projects in late 2011.