Antaco has developed a renewable energy solution to make our world cleaner. But how did the idea of turning waste into carbon-neutral energy become a business with a global strategy? Antaco Founder & CEO Dominik Peus shares his story.



A personal discovery of HTC

More than ten years ago, Dominik Peus came across an article in the news. It talked about the rediscovery of the process of converting organic waste into artificial coal. He was immediately intrigued. Using waste, something considered worthless, to create value, carbon-neutral energy? It sounded like a great idea! Reading about this process, hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC), Dominik remembered his time as a volunteer for a local charity in the Peruvian Amazon. Power cuts and the lack of clean water were a daily occurrence. Could the process of transforming waste into energy also be a solution for “developing” countries?

Developing a clean vision

HTC sounded too good to be true, so Dominik tested this magic process in his garage at home. After a period of experimenting, he was able to verify the chemistry and found it worth pursuing. However, considering Dominik was planning to venture into a field he had little career experience in, he sought advice from different entrepreneurs on how to realise his idea. He then started to develop a vision. “Antaco should provide the world with clean energy – while also tackling the waste epidemic and reducing the carbon emissions. It should be a solution provider to the issues we currently face on this planet.”

Building a Business

Having developed a vision, he started a business. That’s when he met Martin Bolton who had already founded, grown and sold a business in the environmental services sector and was helping organisations to transition to more sustainable business models. Martin was a great fit.

Raising funds

Now it was time to raise the funds to grow Antaco. Getting people to notice a business and trust an idea can be tough, but both Dominik and Martin were confident. One of Antaco’s first grants was part of the Climate KIC UK Venture competition, which Antaco won in 2012. A non-repayable grant of €1million by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change and an Award from Shell’s Regional Springboard followed shortly after.

Setting up offices

The successful raising of funds allowed Antaco to quickly move from Dominik’s living room to a small office in the centre of Guildford. However, with a growing number of employees and important business partners, the company quickly outgrew its previous office space and set up its operations close to the University of Surrey in Guildford.

Too good to be true?

Ironically, one of the problems Antaco has encountered is that people think it’s too good to be true! There seems to be a disbelief in the potential the technology has – which, of course is inherent to disruptive technologies.

A vision for the future

The vision for the future is bold. Considering the demand for innovative renewable energy solution, Antaco wants to expand general operational capacity to capitalise on the growing number of market opportunities. Once established in the “developed” world, Antaco will also look into making our technology more efficient and economically viable for “developing” countries. The business has had several enquiries from Southern Asia and various African countries, wanting to get rid of their organic waste and invest into renewable energy. This is an exciting opportunity and something Antaco may look at in the future.

Opportunity to invest

For Antaco, the future looks prosperous. To date, we have raised more than £6 million (€7 million) (including an £857,000 (€1 million) grant from the former Department of Energy & Climate Change), won multiple awards, and already have more than 50 shareholders. We are now fundraising for £400,000 (€470,000 – £1 million (€1.16 million) on Crowdcube to give you the chance to invest and we invite you to become part of our journey.

To invest, simply visit here.