By @SimonCocking

Interesting conversation with Matthew McNey @MattMcNey  CEO of Singularity, Inc.

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

To keep us mobile we need batteries. Singularity, Inc.’s B-Volt battery, lasting 56 years and is eco-friendly, will replace lithium-ion batteries and our cheaper-than-silicon diamond semiconductors will replace silicon semiconductors.

How are you different?

Driving through Colorado, Nevada and California I saw there are massive wind farms, which stand idle without wind, and solar farms, which cannot gather any energy when the clouds cover them in shade. To overcome intermittency problems we use gigantic battery banks of dangerous lithium-ion (they last 5 years tops and need to be disposed of), natural gas and coal. California gets only 20% of its energy from  renewable energy and is forced to import roughly 32% of its energy. Wow! After billions of dollars of investment? This is insane inefficiency.

Since the 1970s there has been no major innovations in the battery or nuclear industry. Yet nuclear energy is 19% of U.S. energy. We’re not just revolutionizing the battery, energy or nuclear industry but the semiconductor industry a $340 billion industry with annual growth of 7.9%. Our focus is to make the Basic B-Volt™ more than just a battery. That makes us different.

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Why will the company / product do well?

Our products are guaranteed to be insanely great. We are bringing together brilliant people, with diverse backgrounds from the Air Force, Micron and HP, from all over the world. We test the limits in everything we do. I insist on us boot strapping everything. I drove from where I live in Maryland all the way to Mizzou in Missouri to do research with a leader in our field and to see their nuclear reactor. Wow, what an experience. I just drove from Maryland to Silicon Valley, California to meet with VCs. Keeping costs as low as possible is really important to bring to market the cheapest and best possible products.

Where are you based? How long will you stay there?

Headquarters my basement, and my bedroom you can count as a production studio, did I mention we’re bootstrapping? The broadband is terrible. And important meetings are handled at a shared office space in Columbia, MD. We’ll stay until we make our official move to real lab facilities where that is depends largely on who invests in us and where the tax laws are best we also have to be close to a nuclear power station. Wylfa power station is a pretty good candidate maybe we’ll move to Dublin? 😉

When was the company launched?

We’ve been an unofficial company since January of this year when we started researching products. Our official incorporation date was May 15, 2015.

Tell us about your team?

The team is amazing, tireless and under appreciated. We’re not revenue producing yet and we’re still looking for funding. If I give them a deadline they surpass it and go beyond what’s necessary. It’s incredible to work among people like that could not ask for better. I’m truly humbled and honored to work with them.

We’re all in different places right now. Paul (CSO) is moving to Manassas (where we are planning our main lab facility) and our coders/engineers, Gunjan and Emmanuel, work remotely for now from New Jersey. Me, Brian (CTO), Victor (VPofPD), Mike (CFO) and Joe (COO) live either in Maryland or Virginia. We’re making it work though; realities of bootstrapping a start-up!

What are your long term plans for your product / company?

The long-term plan is to put a dent in the universe. To change the world and to make it a better place. We have the Basic B-Volt™, which I can’t go into about technical specifications, and some other applications I have to be quiet about right now but I can tell you what we’re working on is going to be totally awesome. Keep watching and we’ll keep you amazed.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

So many come to mind. Favorite of all time was the Tesla coil. I tried to build in High School and never got it to work. The idea of free energy for everyone through alternating current is cool. I think the iPhone 4s was perfectly constructed outside and in. I have seen enough of them all the way down to the circuit boards were made to perfection. Truly inspiring engineering. I’m restoring the original 2G. Hardware to me is fun and interesting; software has always been tough probably why I stayed away from an engineering degree for obvious reasons preferring to just do things on my own. I just hire engineers to handle the software for me now.

I think Tim Cook is the least innovative CEO of all time. Everything Apple has made since Steve Jobs’ died has been absolute garbage. I would make the 6 Plus a better phone that got better reception, had a more stable LCD screen and less latency not to mention Google integration. Apple needs to realize it is a hardware company and not a software company let Google handle the operating system.

I’d love an electric supersonic jet I never needed to pay maintenance on. I would like a nuclear-based shuttle to go to the Moon. When McDonald’s started shifting over to tablets to help people buy their meals I had a thought about a fully automated restaurant I think it would be a really cool idea to franchise, maybe an automated kitchen too? Our batteries could make a lot of things possible with the amount of energy they will make cheaply available to everyone.

Finally, how did the trip to Silicon Valley go? Did you get to chat with Elon?
The trip went smashing! I met a VP from Huawei and Fujitsu both who were very interested. And I got the pleasure to meet the CEO and Chairman of Blackberry, John Chen, who immediately put me in touch with his people.

No, unfortunately I did not get to meet Elon but I know where he frequents now (I can’t tell you that though 😉 )


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