Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Startup Spotlight: Rivalia Chemical

The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is in its third year with 10 startups from Alabama, other states and even other countries. The Alabama NewsCenter spotlights all Class 2022 companies.

In this startup spotlight, we look at Rivalia Chemical.

Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator 2022: Rivalia Chemical Co. from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Company: Rivalia Chemical Co.

Headquarters: New-York, New-York

Guide: dr Laura Stoy, CEO and Founder

Alabama NewsCenter: What is your company’s overall focus and mission?

Laura Stoy: Rivalia Chemical Co. is a new champion in resource reclamation. We produce valuable rare earth elements from waste for use in green technologies such as electric cars and wind turbines. We are currently primarily focused on coal fly ash, a waste produced by burning coal to generate electricity, but we are also expanding into other waste materials.

ANC: What inspired you to start this company? How would you like to contribute to the future of energy and technology?

Stoy: As a graduate student at Georgia Tech, I began studying the extraction of rare earth elements from coal ash. I’ve always been interested in large-scale recycling – just looking at ash ponds on a map and you can see their huge footprint. I was intrigued by the idea that we could treat this waste as a resource – after all, one man’s waste is another man’s treasure. Extracting rare earth elements seemed like a perfect way to recycle the ashes – we need rare earths for all kinds of technology and the US currently imports about 100% of the rare earths we need. It also asks an intriguing chemistry question that I loved. As I neared the end of my time at Georgia Tech, I realized I wanted to take the solution I was developing out of the lab and out into the world. I am grateful to Techstars for their support in starting this company!

dr Laura Stoy is the CEO and founder of Rivalia Chemical Co. (Michael Tomberlin/Alabama NewsCenter)

ANC: What drew you to the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator?

Stoy: Given my focus on coal fly ash, I was very excited to work with Alabama Power. Developing our technology with the largest utility company in the south is a great opportunity. This partnership is very special among techstars, even among accelerators in general.

ANC: What is the most important thing potential investors should know about your company?

Stoy: The green energy transition is here and we need rare earth elements to make it happen. We have a lot of rare earths here at home, but it will take investment to get them. We also have a unique opportunity to remediate landfills and develop them into something new – there are more than 700 ash ponds in the United States alone.

ANC: What insights do you hope your company will learn from participating in the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator?

Stoy: It takes a lot for a hard-tech startup to thrive. The wealth of knowledge that comes from Techstars is immense and I am absolutely delighted with the mentors I have been connected with to date. I’m most looking forward to building our hiring roadmap and fundraising strategy.

ANC: What do you think of Birmingham so far?

Stoy: Birmingham has been wonderful so far – the entrepreneurial community is really something special and I’m really impressed by how generous people are with their time and knowledge. Birmingham also has some amazing sunsets which is my personal favourite!

You can find Rivalia Chemical online at and on LinkedIn.

The Alabama NewsCenter Highlights the Class of 2022 Startups Participating in the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator. Learn more about TechStars here.