Chemovator invests in Detroit-based startup Heartland rethinking plastics using natural fiber reinforcements

Heartland helps manufacturers to reduce the product carbon footprint of plastic and rubber products

Chemovator GmbH

The founding team of Heartland, consisting of Chairman Tim Almond and CEO Jesse Henry.

Chemovator, the business incubator and early-stage investor of BASF, has successfully finalized an investment in Heartland Industries. The Detroit-based startup is a frontrunner in the production of natural fiber plastic additives, and the latest addition to Chemovator's external-facing Elevate program.

Heartland helps manufacturers to reduce the product carbon footprint of plastic and rubber products

Supported by a team of scientists, engineers, and technologists, Heartland has developed hemp-based materials that can be used as additives within plastic compounds. This breakthrough advancement in the world of sustainable material innovation improves properties with regard to flammability, bonding, dispersion, and bulk density, which are historically associated with processing natural fibers. As a result, natural fibers are now a viable market opportunity to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions* in numerous industries.

“By working with global brands and their suppliers, Heartland is able to reduce the carbon footprint of plastics on an industrial scale,”
comments Jesse Henry, CEO of Heartland.

Heartland secures early-stage investment that builds on an existing strategic alliance

With this funding, Heartland becomes Chemovator’s first portfolio company in North America and the latest addition to the Chemovator Elevate program. The program aims to support early-stage startups in the chemical industry through monetary investment, access to BASF and its experts, as well as support from a network of experienced entrepreneurs.

“Heartland’s dedication to developing natural fiber additives aligns perfectly with our purpose of shaping the future of the chemical industry. This investment not only expands our portfolio to a new geography, but also underscores our commitment to innovation and sustainability. We look forward to supporting the Heartland team on its journey,” adds Gati Kalim, Head of Portfolio Management at Chemovator.

The Investment builds on an existing partnership between Heartland and BASF’s North America Open Research Alliance (NORA).

“We are not only continuing our collaboration with Heartland; we are strengthening this collaboration. Supported by the tireless efforts of our colleagues in the Performance Materials division, we work together to deliver sustainable solutions for our customers,” says Thomas Holcombe, Head of NORA at BASF Corporation. “BASF's partnership with Heartland will enable us to advance on our commitment to reduce scope 3 emissions* and create chemistry for a sustainable future."

The monetary and strategic support provided by Chemovator enables Heartland to deepen valuable collaborations within BASF.

* Upstream and Downstream Scope 3 reductions based on biogenic uptake of natural fibers.

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