It was a tangled weave of wires that sparked the idea for Solace Power in founder Kris McNeil’s mind.
“Part of his job involved meeting with customers and carrying around lots of mobile phone power adapters for demonstrations. Having all of these different connectors was a big irritation,” says Neil Chaulk, Vice-President of Business Development at Solace Power. “He thought there should be a better way.”
McNeil knew there was a need in the market for a wireless-power solutions company. After working on the early research, Solace received funding from angel investors in 2013 and started developing its technology and products. The company’s patented RC2 technology, which uses electric fields to provide wireless charging or powering, is used in multiple industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, medical, and industrial automation.
“Using a wire is always cheaper, more efficient and more reliable, so we focus on applications where using a wire or a connector is somehow limiting or creating problems, such as with maintenance,” says Chaulk.
And that’s where Solace’s first product, Equus, came into play. Latin for workhorse, Equus leverages Solace’s RC2 to deliver wireless power, complemented with data and capacitive sense, for demanding applications. Equus delivers the high-performance characteristics of higher power (more than 200 watts) over large distances (up to approximately 250mm) and has none of the heating problems caused by eddy currents, commonly experienced with other technologies.
The unique technology offered by Solace Power was something the world needed and this made the company the perfect candidate for EDC’s Connections Program.
How EDC helped
After attending trade shows and other industry networking events, Solace Power met EDC and became part of the Connections Program. Through that program, the company was introduced to BMW and has since secured a contract with them.
“It was fantastic,” says Chaulk. “We completed the project very successfully, meeting the customer’s objectives, and everyone was delighted.”
Solace Power valued the credibility it gained from EDC’s confidence in the company. “What was evident from the beginning of the relationship was how credible EDC was to its partners,” says Rane Brennan, Business Development Lead at Solace Power. “It was obvious to me that BMW took that recommendation seriously. We’ve found that it’s much more effective to meet a company when you have a warm introduction, and EDC was able to do that for us.”
What was evident from the beginning of the relationship was how credible EDC was to its partners. It was obvious to me that BMW took that recommendation seriously. We’ve found that it’s much more effective to meet a company when you have a warm introduction, and EDC was able to do that for us.
Solace Power plans to continue working with BMW on other projects and is also working with other major international companies. Solace is focusing on industries where existing applications have issues with cables and connectors, and could benefit from the combination of power, sense and data delivered by Solace. “This is where we’re going because it’s what the market is asking for,” says Chaulk.
Chaulk wouldn’t hesitate to work with EDC again. “Definitely, EDC is a well-known and respected organization that really helps to open doors with businesses that are high-value targets for Solace.”
EDC service used
EDC customers can take advantage of our deep understanding of Canadian capabilities and specific needs of major international buyers through EDC’s Connections Program. Through this program, Canadian companies are “connected” with international buyers through formal matchmaking events and other introductions.