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Sparkz Resource

Battery supply startup looks to bring energy to West Virginia workforce, U.S. supply chain

The following article was published by the Charleston Gazette-Mail on March 25, 2022.

Sanjiv Malhotra says the batteries his startup makes can power more than just electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

The Biden administration says the same.

Malhotra said he expects his lithium-ion batteries to support a more independent U.S. economy. Department of Energy officials and West Virginia leaders said the power sources will support a path for the state through the energy transition instead of away from it.

Economically and environmentally sustainable futures for West Virginia and the rest of the country might depend on them being right.

“Clearly, time is of the essence,” Malhotra said.

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Founder & CEO

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra is the founder and CEO of Sparkz—the battery start-up reinventing the energy supply chain.

 

Malhotra has been a leader in the energy sector for nearly three decades as a founder, investor and executive. Most recently, he served as the inaugural director for the Energy Investor Center at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

 

At DOE, Malhotra led the Obama Administration’s initiative to boost public-private partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed in national research centers like Oak Ridge National Labs.

 

Malhotra was recruited to the Department of Energy after a successful exit of Oorja Protonics—the world leader in methanol fuel cells—which he founded and led as CEO for 10 years. Oorja raised $50 Million in equity financing from leading VCs such as Sequoia, DAG Ventures, Artis Capital and others during his tenure. He boosted Oorja’s revenue and profitability growth, while expanding operations globally in Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico, and India.

 

Oorja was acquired in 2014 by the Private Equity firm MinXing Growth Fund.

 

As an investor and consultant, Malhotra has worked at leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as an advisor on clean energy and advanced materials.

 

Earlier in his career, Malhotra led the engineering and product development team at H Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cells. As part of the management team, he managed the successful IPO, which raised more than $100 million in August 2000.

 

He began his career as a post-doctoral fellow at the renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on electrochemical storage systems. Dr. Malhotra has authored seven patents and more than 40 publications in various fields of energy storage technology and materials. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering and an M.B.A from University of Iowa.