Since establishing in 2018, Mississauga-based erthos has attracted over $7 million in funding, grown to a team of 20, and plans to launch its first line of plant-powered plastics in 2022. We spoke to Co-Founder and CEO Nuha Siddiqui to learn more about how the company plans to achieve a balance between saving the planet and strengthening their economics.
Describe your core technology(ies). What makes your solution different than anything else on the market? How is your company contributing to a cleaner, greener future?
Every year, more than 18 billion tons of plastic pollutes our oceans. Half of this volume was traced to single or limited-use plastics, such as cutlery, or bottle caps. Plastic adds value to our lives, but not all of it needs to last forever. At erthos, we create plant-powered alternatives for traditional plastic inputs. Taking this approach can help us eliminate some of the impacts that plastics are having on the environment.
Other than coffee, what gets you out of bed in the morning? How does this work connect with your core beliefs and values?
My background is in business and environmental economics. As a student, I spent a lot of time trying to understand the impact that businesses make on our planet. In many ways, I’m a bleeding-heart environmentalist, but I’m also passionate about scaling businesses. Our team believes we don’t need to choose between saving the planet and strengthening our economics. I’m inspired and motivated by this idea every day.
Tell us about a recent win (or wins) or your company.
Since establishing in 2018, we’ve raised $7.3 million in seed funding. We’re very fortunate to have great partners, including Sustainable Technology Development Canada, whose support helped us build and manufacture in-house. We’ve grown to a team of 20, and we have eight different industry partners who have helped us validate and scale our product line. This year, erthos was the National Champion for the Entrepreneurship World Cup.
What’s next for your company?
Next year we’re going to be launching our first line of products, which is very exciting for us. We’re going to be scaling production and plan to grow to a team of 35.
Finally, what’s on your team’s wish list for Ontario’s cleantech sector?
I think the bigger players in Ontario need to be open to collaborating with smaller companies. There’s so much we can do together to create more value in this sector and leverage each other’s innovative technologies and skills. We also need to come together to address the challenges around talent, scaling up, and policies. That’s why we’re excited to be part of OCTIA.
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