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Canadian Energy Innovation on the Global Stage – CRUX OCM, Interface Fluidics, and Techstars Energy

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Two Canadian companies selected for Techstars’ first energy technology cohort – CRUX OCM and Interface Fluidics

(CALGARY AUGUST 23, 2018) Techstars LLC., a world-leading technology accelerator and investment fund, announced today that two Calgarian start-ups are selected for the highly competitive Techstars Energy Program in partnership with Equinor (formerly Statoil).  

CRUX OCM and Interface Fluidics are both Calgary-based start-ups with disruptive technologies that will be joining the first energy cohort of ten start-ups in Oslo, Norway.  Techstars Energy Program accelerates companies’ success, compressing two years of company growth into three months. The program enables start-ups to access fast-track industry partnership opportunities, mentoring, and its powerful network of over 1.5 million mentors, founders, investors, and corporate partners across 150 countries.

“The unique partnership between a leading energy company like Equinor and Techstars, together with partners KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company, provides a great opportunity for companies that aspire to shape the future of energy. These ten start-ups now get the opportunity to gain traction through deep mentor engagement, rapid iteration cycles and fundraising preparation,” says Audun Abelsnes, Managing Director for Techstars Energy.

“It is very exciting to have two companies from Calgary selected for this program that had hundreds of applicants from 38 countries -a clear indication of the talent pool in Canada,” says Abelsnes. “We are excited to get started and help more entrepreneurs succeed.”

Alberta is a global leader in the development of innovative technologies and has a track record of making a positive impact in the energy industry.  “The opportunity to be a part of Techstars Energy Program, gaining access to the highest quality of mentors and customers in the world, speaks to the strength of the Alberta technology ecosystem,” says Stuart Kinnear, Co-Founder and CEO Interface Fluidics.  Vicki Knott, Founder and CEO CRUX OCM continues, “the Techstars Energy Program is a world leading accelerator program and we [Crux OCM] are excited to leverage these new international contacts to launch our products into commercialization.”

“Calgary’s business community continues inspire and commercialize technologies. We are extremely proud of Interface Fluidics and CRUX OCM innovative technologies that are being developed in our business community. It’s refreshing to see companies like recognized on this global stage. Congratulations to them both” said Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Sandip Lalli.

To arrange an interview with members of CRUX OCM, Interface Fluidics, and/or Techstars contact:

Vicki Knott
Founder and CEO |  CRUX OCM  |   403.923.2322

Stuart Kinnear
Co-Founder and CEO  | Interface Fluidics |  403.816.4315

Audun Abselsnes
Managing Director  | Techstars Energy   | +4790090259

Techstars Energy Program Details

Techstars Energy Accelerator in partnership with Equinor is a three-month intensive start-up accelerator for those who work on disruptive solutions within oil and gas, new business models, digitalization and renewables.  Only ten innovative companies from around the world were selected out of hundreds of applicants to work out of Equinors’ office in Oslo, Norway, meeting with industry leading energy companies and program partners.

The program commences September 10th and concludes on December 5th, 2018 with an industry Demo Day.

For more information: and

About Techstars

Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.  Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 and has expanded rapidly to become one of the top accelerators in the world, working with some of the most powerful brands.  Quick facts:

  • Operate 38 accelerator programs across 5 continents
  • Run startup weekends and programs across 150 countries in 1,000 cities every year
  • Network includes over 1.5 million people including mentors, founders, investors, and corporate partners
  • Worked with over 1,250 companies to-date who have raised over USD$4.4 billion and have a combined valuation of USD$12 billion
  • Techstars alumni have an incredible track record of success with over 90% of companies being either acquired or are still active
  • Has a USD$300 million Techstars Venture Fund


CRUX OCM utilizes AI and real-time optimization to enable semi-autonomous operation of pipelines, reducing the risk of operation by 10X and increasing volumetric throughput up to 4%.

The pipeline specific AI driven advanced control application functions as “auto-pilot” to the customer’s existing SCADA and control system. Working alongside the operator, our solution assists in the management of set-point execution while still allowing Operators to maintain full control over the pipeline. To achieve this, proprietary models and control algorithms with predictive capabilities are used to deploy optimal set-points and manage constraints. Quick facts:

  • Founded in 2017 by Vicki Knott, P. Eng (CEO), Roger Shirt, P. Eng PhD (CTO), Fernando Otero, CAP (Technical Specialist), and Matt Bosworth (Business Development)
  • Roger Shirt and Fernando Otero have multiple publications with North America’s largest pipeline company in the space of pipeline process control. Their expertise, combined with Vicki Knott’s operational experience in pipeline control rooms and Matt Bosworth’s track record in business development, set the stage for CRUX OCM to enhance pipeline volumetric throughput for Canada and Alberta prior to building additional pipeline assets
  • Headquartered in Calgary in the Zone Start-ups Accelerator program space (powered by Ryerson Futures and GE)
  • Energy New Ventures 2018 Concept Stream 1st place winners

About Interface Fluidics

Interface Fluidics is an oilfield laboratory company with a step-change nanotechnology platform.  This platform enables energy companies to produce more oil, more efficiently, and sustainably. For the first time, high quality fluid data is truly accessible. With access to more decision-critical fluid data ten times faster than traditional methods, unlocking billions of dollars in value.   This breakthrough platform utilizes microfluidic technology adapted from the biomedical sector to reach the extreme temperatures and pressures of oil and gas reservoirs. Quick facts:

  • Founded in 2015 by Stuart Kinnear (CEO), Tom de Haas (COO), and Dr. David Sinton (CTO)
  • Stuart and Tom quit their stable jobs with Canada’s largest oil companies March 2016 when oil was at a record low to bring this game changing technology to market
  • Headquartered in Calgary with a laboratory in Edmonton in the National Institute for Nanotechnology
  • Technology was developed at the University of Toronto under Dr. David Sinton and commercialized in Alberta with support from all levels of government
  • Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Rockies Alumni
  • Raised over CAD$1.35 million in funds from Alberta angel and seed investors
  • Grown from 2 to 12 employees in the last year and a half

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