fusion energy reactor type one

Early-stage companies in the fusion energy business have pulled $2.7 billion from investors this year as the sector has managed to solve one of its biggest riddles – producing more energy than it needs.

Even though a lot of work still needs to be done, this is a major breakthrough that investors should not ignore and TechCrunch has compiled a list of promising startups in this up-and-coming space that you may want to take a look at.

What is fusion energy and how does it work?

Fusion energy consists of combining two light atomic nuclei to generate a heavier nucleus. The heat coming out of these fusion reactions is used to generate power and the process is considered safer and relatively less toxic than fission.

Light elements such as hydrogen and helium, which are abundant on earth, are typically used to generate these chemical reactions. In 2022, the National Ignition Facility successfully completed an experiment in which it managed to produce more energy out of nuclear fusion than it needed to generate the reaction.

Top startups in the fusion energy space


Based in Seattle, CTFusion is a startup that uses a patented technology called Imposed-Dynamo Current Drive (IDCD) to generate compact and magnetically-confined fusion plasmas.

The firm has perfected a methodology developed by a research group from the University of Washington. It is led by Derek Sutherland, a plasma physicist from UoW. According to Crunchbase, CTFusion has received $3.2 million in seed capital since 2018.

Also read: What is Green Energy? A Quick Guide for Beginners

Kyoto Fusioneering

Kyoto is inspired by the need for a new leading renewable source of energy that can quickly substitute fossil fuels to protect the world from the consequences of climate change.

The company was founded in 2019 by four scientists and it came out of a research project at Kyoto University. It is considered the first fusion energy startup in Japan and it counts on the expertise of one of the leading characters behind a global programme that experimented with fusion energy called ITER.

In February this year, Kyoto Fusioneering pulled $18.6 million from top Japanese VC firms. Since its foundation, the company has received $14.7 million in equity funding and another $7 million in unsecured loans from investors and financial institutions.

Avalanche Energy Designs

Avalanche is a startup that was flying relatively under the radar until it managed to pull in nearly $24 million in equity capital from investors, mainly due to its innovative approach to fusion.

The company is reportedly working on a suitcase-sized fusion reactor that can generate enough energy to power aircraft. This has attracted the interest of government agencies that see an ample enough world of possibilities if the technology ends up being both feasible and safe.

Also read: Top Green Investment Funds to Watch in 2023

Robin Langtry, the firm’s CEO, is a former Blue Origin employee – the space company backed by Jeff Bezos – who also worked as a Senior Engineer for Boeing in the Flight Sciences Technology department for nearly 10 years.

Type One Energy

Type One is based in Madison, Wisconsin. The company uses an enhanced version of a 1957 experimental device invented by US scientist Lyman Spitzer called the “stellarator” to generate nuclear fusion reactions.

Type One has reportedly solved one of the obstacles that prevented the stellarator from becoming a working apparatus – plasma loss – by reducing turbulence. By 2030, the firm aims to generate a net power gain factor of 1X via its Starblazer I stellarator.

Stellarators use deuterium, a natural isotope found in common water, to produce nuclear fusion reactions. In 2020, Type One received a $630,000 grant from the Department of Energy to run its experiments.

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