UMass Amherst alumni and cleantech startup CEOs Jose LaSalle and Kaitlyn Suarez have received entrepreneurial fellowships from Activate Global Inc., a nonprofit founded by entrepreneurs, scientists and investors to support science in addressing climate change.
The first UMass Amherst recipients of the fellowships are florrent co-founder and CEO Jose LaSalle, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and Kaitlyn Suarez, co-founder and CEO of Terra Watts who earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in geosciences as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellow at the university. LaSalle and Suarez are among 45 fellows named by Activate for 2023.
florrent, a startup that emerged from UMass Amherst research, received extensive support from the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS). florrent aims to design and build the next generation of high-energy-density ultracapacitors that will stabilize electrical grids and address critical bottlenecks for the adoption of renewable energies, electric vehicles and net-zero buildings. Its ultracapacitors are manufactured in western Massachusetts from regenerative hemp biomass grown domestically in the U.S. by Black and indigenous farmers.