Locoal was founded in 2015 by Matt “Petey" Peterson, MSTC ‘19, after identifying the massive amounts of organic waste dumped into our landfills annually. Using handmade equipment to process the organic waste, Petey partnered with sawmills, landscape companies, and carpenters to provide a commercial zero waste solution that captured solid carbon. After diverting more than 1M pounds of waste, selling more than 40K pounds of charcoal grossing more than $40K and being cash positive, the solution was feasible but for the business to succeed, it needed to be scaled.
Petey believed he could offer a larger zero waste impact so he took the business idea through the McCombs Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization program. Forming a team to continue a commercialization strategy, Petey also competed in startup pitch competitions, winning several awards and participated in the semi-finals at the MIT Clean Energy Global Energy Competition. The Locoal model has three revenue streams, and the first two have been vetted and proven sustainable. The third revenue stream is from captured carbon known as biochar, and the focus of Petey's unique commercialization strategy. Over the past 18 months, Petey has identified and partnered with all the required parties to divert millions of pounds annually, generate multiple megawatts of electricity, and capture millions of pounds of carbon in value-added products. The first stage of growth was accomplished through bootstrapping, and the efforts enabled Locoal to scale without taking on any debt or giving up equity. The Locoal gasifier provides a zero waste solution for commercial landscape businesses, utilizing the estimated 200M pounds of green waste as a feedstock to generate renewable clean energy while capturing carbon in a value-added co-product.