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A conversation with Evelyn Allen

February 1, 2019 By: Barry Chong

Photo credit: Will Knapp Photography

What is your company trying to do?

Evercloak is commercializing a manufacturing platform to dramatically drive down the cost of making large area, ultra-thin, two-dimensional nanomaterial (graphene, graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes) films. These films have applications in energy storage, desalination, food preservation and corrosion prevention.

Now that you’re a finalist, you have about two years ahead of you to develop your tech. How would you describe the first few months of this challenge?

Amazing. I’ve been blown away by the amount of support available through this challenge, including access to mentors, market intelligence, programing and federal labs. I have a new appreciation of how hard it is to be a full-time entrepreneur and grow a startup. I’m so excited to have the chance to wake up every day and give 100 per cent of my focus to Evercloak.

What has surprised you most so far?

The ability to access MaRS courses and meet mentors remotely. I was expecting that I’d need to be in downtown Toronto several days a week. I live in Waterloo and commuting would have been a sacrifice for my family — not to mention time taken away from Evercloak. I’m happy that the Women in Cleantech Challenge is accommodating our pan-Canadian finalists.

What are you hoping to achieve over the next few months?

Growing Evercloak has been a lot like gardening. I spent the end of 2018 getting the soil ready by incorporating and securing services, organizing our corporate governance, accessing space, learning about potential customers and seeking funding. The next few months are about planting the seeds: hiring our first dedicated staff scientist to complete application proof of concepts, as well as accessing resources and facilities at CanmetMATERIALS for growing additional strategic partnerships.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?

I have a tradition of identifying my goals at the beginning of the school year. This past September I told myself I would be a Women in Cleantech finalist. And now I’m here, working to win the whole thing.

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