SoCal Startup Narrows in on Batteries that Charge in Minutes

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

SoCal Startup Narrows in on Batteries that Charge in Minutes
Battery Streak

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Battery Streak is one of the more interesting startups in the Southern California clean tech space. The company, like so many others, is trying to decrease the length of time it takes to charge a battery. Its technology, however, is somewhat unique.

Based on research born out of UCLA, the company is leveraging an exotic element known as niobium that can replace or supplement graphite in a lithium-ion battery anode. If you really want to nerd out, I explained more of the details of the chemistry when I covered the company last summer. But so far Battery Streak’s testing shows that their niobium-laden cells have much faster charging speeds, longer life, and cooler temperatures than traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Though such claims are a-dime-a-dozen in the battery industry, the Camarillo-based startup has a couple of things going for it that sets it apart from much of its competition. For starters, its batteries last for many thousands of cycles without significant degradation. In addition, the company is producing batteries at full-size and sending them out to potential buyers for validation. The tech is out of the lab, so to speak.

According to Dan Alpern, Battery Streak’s VP of Marketing, the company just signed its first contract with a large defense contracting company. Apern declined to give details about what the deal was worth or name the contractor but he views it as proof that there’s demand for their technology and that the company can generate revenue.

There are tons of other irons in the fire as well: Battery Streak’s niobium chemistry is being tested by various branches of the military and government, medical devices, consumer electronics companies, and EV manufacturers. Alpern says so far, the feedback has been excellent.

Back in August, when I toured Battery Streak’s facility, both Alpern and CEO David Grant were on the fence about whether or not they wanted to eventually become a battery manufacturer.. Since then, Alpern says, it's become apparent that the best path forward is to stay out of manufacturing at scale. Instead, Battery Streak’s business will focus on creating the niobium component of the batteries and licensing the technology to large-scale manufacturers.

With the path ahead in sharper focus, Battery Streak has also made advances in its engineering process. Alpern says the company has figured out how to assemble their niobium nanostructures at much lower pressures and temperatures, which has translated to a cost reduction of 66% since last summer. That kind of improvement means that instead of costing 5 to 10 times as much as a traditional lithium-ion battery, the niobium formulations would only cost twice as much. While that kind of price tag would be still brutal to endure for something like an EV, where the battery is often 40% of the total cost of the vehicle, it opens the door for a ton of other applications. A smartphone battery, for instance, only costs a few dollars. Imagine being able to charge your laptop from 0%-80% in 6 minutes.

There’s no doubt fast charging is the key to unlocking the potential of batteries. While there’s an enormous amount of competition in the sector, Battery Streak’s niobium-based approach sets it apart from most of the competition–and it seems to be working so far. Alpern is hoping to have more concrete details about some of Battery Streak’s business in the pipeline very soon. When those deals are public, dot.LA will have the details for you.

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LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

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LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis ( Please send job changes and personnel moves to


LeaseLock, a lease insurance and financial technology provider for the rental housing industry named Janine Steiner Jovanovic as chief executive officer. Prior to this role, Steiner Jovanovic served as the former EVP of Asset Optimization at RealPage.

Esports platform PlayVS hired EverFi co-founder and seasoned business leader Jon Chapman as the company’s chief executive officer.

Biotechnology company Visgenx appointed William Pedranti, J.D. as chief executive officer. Before joining, Mr. Pedranti was a partner with PENG Life Science Ventures.

Pressed Juicery, the leading cold-pressed juice and functional wellness brand welcomed Justin Nedelman as chief executive officer. His prior roles include chief real estate officer of FAT Brands Inc. and co-founder of Eureka! Restaurant Group.

Michael G. Vicari joined liquid biopsy company Nucleix as chief commercial officer. Vicari served as senior vice president of Sales at GRAIL, Inc.

Full-service performance marketing agency Allied Global Marketing promoted Erin Corbett to executive vice president of global partnership and marketing. Prior to joining Allied, Corbett's experience included senior marketing roles at Disney, Warner Bros. Studios, Harrah's Entertainment and Imagi Animation Studios.

Nuvve, a vehicle-to-grid technology company tapped student transportation and automotive sales and marketing executive David Bercik to lead the K-12 student transportation division.