Founded: 2009 Employees: 7 Revenue 2010: $24,000 Revenue 2011 (projected): $250,000 From left to right: Matt Nowicki, Alec Drummond, Clay Burns, Whitney Goodwin, and Jonathan Cedar
Half the planet cooks on wood fires that give off smoke responsible for about 2 million deaths a year from respiratory disease, says Jonathan Cedar, 30, founder of fuel-efficient cook stove maker BioLite. Its $40 stoves use cogeneration technology to capture waste heat to generate electricity. The electricity powers fans that cut toxic smoke emissions by 95 percent, Cedar says. It can also charge cell phones and LED lights. He says production at BioLite's contract manufacturer in China is scheduled for April 2012 (the stoves are being tested in India now). Cedar plans to introduce two higher-margin camping versions for around $100 and $120 targeted at outdoor enthusiasts in the U.S. around the same time and use profits to offset research and development costs for the developing markets’ stove. The business was conceived with Alec Drummond while working together at New York product development firm Smart Design. "While indoor air pollution reduction is obviously why we're doing what we're doing … we also want a product that delivers what users really want: fast, easy-to-use cooking," says Cedar. He says BioLite raised $1.1 million in venture capital in April and expects $1.5 million in revenue in 2012.