Get to know Molly Hoying of Vale Technologies from our Summer 2022 LAUNCH Cohort!
What exactly is your business?
Vale Technologies is an environmental technology company with a goal to reduce global emissions while upkeeping ethical sourcing. We engineer and design electrolizers, which intact carbon dioxide and water, and output ethylene and oxygen. Overall, we focus on how to make industries more sustainable and socially empowering, and proceed with the correct governance regarding carbon dioxide emissions.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I got into this business while I was in graduate school and was working with NASA on a similar technology. After graduating, I decided to pursue this technology and start a business around it. After reaching back out to the University of Cincinnati where I had studied, I met my co-founder, Dr. Jingjie Wu, a research and engineering professor who has been working on this technology in his lab for the past 15+ years. After joining forces in late 2021, we have continued to build support and drive the execution of the technology.
How did you find out about Aviatra?
I found out about Aviatra through SCORE, a fantastic mentoring and business development program with a chapter here in Cincinnati. My mentor had mentioned the positive networking opportunities and business development classes that Aviatra offered and I knew my business would be elevated through participating in their LAUNCH® cohort.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is centered around my love for the environment and the people who live in it. I wish to dedicate my work and time into shaping the world into one with a more sustainable future as technology helps aid the transition to an eco-conscious world. I also find inspiration in a lot of my work regarding helping my family pave a way for a better future through reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
One of our biggest accomplishments for Vale Technologies so far was being accepted into I-corps for their cohort. I-corps is a NSF, (national science foundation) funded program designed to help accelerate technologies from universities to the commercial world. Through this program, we were able to receive mentoring and lectures catered directly to the development of our mission, and attend conferences across the United States to learn and network.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
The biggest challenge we faced is also one of our current strongest development areas, but it is our ability to gain credibility. Similar to any new technology, there are many uncertainties we need to test and develop to ensure safety and good design. But every business starts from the same questions of how to build and gain credibility and acceptance, but as we continue to grow this problem has been fading away.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In 5 years, our goal is to have designed and executed a pilot project with a commercial partner. As we are currently past the proof of concept demonstration and prototype stages in our lab, we wish to take the next step and focus on an out of lab pilot to further demonstrate our prototyped results. Additionally, in 5 years, I love to see the expansion of our team as gaining other motivated individuals to our mission would be an exciting development.
What is something valuable you have gained from Aviatra thus far?
One of the many pieces of grains of knowledge I have gained from Aviatra is the importance of branding. As I personally come from an engineering background, branding was never a large part of the picture as much as I had initially allotted, but I now see the many benefits of the conjunction of an exciting brand alongside a technology-heavy product. Through our current rebranding process, we hope to amplify our company’s mission and resonate our goal with end users.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
One piece of advice I would like to share with future Aviatras is never to box yourself in a mental corner due to imposter syndrome. I previously used to revert to thoughts of unimportance, but once I realized the positive impact my company can have on global emission reductions, I hope to continue to create a brighter future for the world and future generations. Ignoring imposter syndrome is something I have learned to grow beyond as the journey of entrepreneurship is a steep climb but is wonderful for just the same reasons as it promotes a high level of self-growth.