UH Startup Spotlight: AltiSora

altisora startup poster

AltiSora launched in 2019, just before the outbreak of COVID-19.

“AltiSora was born out of the desire and personal challenges to innovate with increased impact and contribution to society. Our vision statement is ‘Radical innovation for the betterment of life’,” said Jan Beetge, CEO of AltiSora.

Beetge said that the unforeseen circumstances of the pandemic brought on some challenges, but it did not change the company’s vision.

“Our business model is to identify problems of significance, establish teams around the challenges to develop technical solutions and then build businesses around those solutions,” Beetge said. He sees AltiSora as a “business factory.”

The company’s goal is to generate new products in newer markets, by taking on high risk projects and assuming a high reward. But they also take on low risk projects to support their work long term.

One problem that AltiSora chose to target was ocean plastic waste. According to Beetge, more than 8 million metric tons of plastic is added to the world’s oceans every year. That rate is expected to triple by 2040.

The problem is being attributed to abandoned fishing gear and fishing nets that are also trapping and killing endangered species.

“We identified asphalt paving as a potential match to absorb the large volumes of plastic. It is very important to state that it is our objective to convert the waste material into a high-performance additive for asphalt paving, where a small addition has a large positive effect,” Beetge said.

The company has customers inquiring about their asphalt additives, but AltiSora also wants to continue to improve their product performance and expand to cover more asphalt grades. They are exploring mixed and contaminated plastic as a raw material to offer customers more options.

AltiSora is housed at the UH Technology Bridge where they are able to work with university researchers and staff. They are hoping to expand their collaborations with UH even further.

Moving forward, AltiSora is looking for “options in the commercialization of our wood treatment product and other technology licensing opportunities as a shorter-term return for additional support of our work.”

“We are also planning the addition of sales functions as our developments mature. It is our intent to bring our current projects and products to market and continue our pursuit of breakthrough projects of significant impact and contribution to society,” Beetge said.