From insight to action: Kansas City startup’s software guides cities’ climate responses

We’ve made it to Friday, readers! You might say Kansas City, Missouri, cleantech startup Dynamhex has “made it” too. The business developed a climate change mitigation software platform and is expanding its new field office in Baltimore and hiring more employees. It will do so partially with funding received from being one of the recently announced winners in Chicago-based Exelon’s Climate Change Investment Initiative, which boosts the development of new technologies to mitigate climate change and build resiliency against its impacts.

Dynamhex CEO and founder Sunny Sanwar told me the partnership helps his business not just financially, but also through access to industry resources that will accelerate growth.

“Having a partnership with Exelon allows us to be near subject matter experts — the people who really know the policy landscape and what clean energy can and cannot do,” he said. “Having that access to decision makers as a startup shapes our development time by about tenfold. We’re not going out there trying to find information on our own — we’re asking people who have been keenly involved in those processes for years.”

Read more about what Dynamhex does and where Sanwar says the business is headed, after today’s tech headlines.

Today’s headlines:

🌞 SOLAR: The U.S. Department of Energy is offering $20 million in funding for research to advance perovskite solar photovoltaic technologies. Projects will fall into three categories: device R&D (efficiency and stability), manufacturing R&D, and validation and bankability center. The agency will hold an informational webinar on August 21 and concept papers are due September 23.

⚡ SMART GRID: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $371 million into rural communities to improve electrical infrastructure with smart grid technologies. Communities in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will receive loans for the upgrades.

***SPONSORED LINK: Join CELI for emPOWER20 August 26-28. emPOWER is a virtual experience with 30 unique sessions and 40+ hours of content designed to foster a new kind of energy leadership and drive toward a resilient, equitable, and decarbonized energy ecosystem.***


  • Researchers at the Danforth Plant Science Center in Nebraska are using the world’s largest agricultural robot scanner to better understand sorghum, a bioenergy crop. The insights will help the development of technologies to increase the potential of bioenergy grasses to replace fossil fuels.
  • Danforth Center scientists also are collaborating on a $13 million project, funded by the Department of Energy, to genetically strengthen pennycress plants for use as bioenergy.

💰 FUNDING: Peoria, Illinois-based Natural Fiber Welding raised $13 million in new investments, led by Ralph Laurenreports Peoria Public Radio. The business has a patented clean technology for developing plant-based alternatives to leather and plastic textiles.

🚌 TRANSPORTATION: The U.S. Department of Transportation granted $464 million for projects to revamp bus systemsProjects across the Midwest will receive portions of the funds for technology upgrades, including for zero-emission transit vehicles and solar-powered bus shelters in Iowa.

***SPONSORED LINK: The Rise Up! podcast brings real-time, relevant energy and policy information to Midwest stakeholders through an engaging and entertaining medium. Episode 4: “Credit Where Credit is Due” with special guest Andy Johnson is out now! #RiseUpMidwest***

***SPONSORED LINK: The Rise Up! podcast brings real-time, relevant energy and policy information to Midwest stakeholders through an engaging and entertaining medium. Episode 4: “Credit Where Credit is Due” with special guest Andy Johnson is out now! #RiseUpMidwest***

Now, more on Dynamhex, which developed artificial intelligence-driven software that helps cities and companies measure their emissions footprint and quickly visualize reduction strategies.

CEO and founder Sunny Sanwar told me the business officially launched in 2018 after a pilot program with the Mayor’s Office in Kansas City.

The problem: Cities (and corporations) have ambitious climate and emissions reduction goals for their own operations as well as for community members. But the pathway to achieve the goals is fragmented because so many different entities with different focus areas and data sets are involved.

The impact: Dynamhex’s platform brings it all together by ingesting and analyzing both national and local data. It offers customers roadmaps for emissions reduction actions and measures impact. “The product helps cities to not just understand risks and understand opportunities, but to be able to transact on those opportunities,” Sanwar said. “We created a solution so there’s not a bottleneck of data or barriers to reaching their full climate potential.”

The software makes it easier and faster for customers to make data-driven decisions about energy consumption and other climate factors from day one, rather than the typical process of taking months or years to collect, crunch, and understand data, then take action. It customizes the roadmaps for every company or local government client while still adhering to national or global standards.

“We need standardization so we’re comparing apples to apples. … But at the same time we should know that a smaller city in the Midwest isn’t necessarily the same as New York City or Orlando. They’re going to have very different ways of engaging the community,” he said. “Having that nuance and doing it all through data is helpful.”

What’s next: Dynamhex is in the seed stage and continues product development and market expansion, part of which is funded by its Exelon winnings. Sanwar also credits assistance from foundations, advocacy groups, and nonprofits including the Natural Resources Defense Council, with getting Dynamhex to its current state. He intends to hire additional employees over the next year, with a keen focus on diversity and inclusivity. “We want to walk the walk with social equity by having members of the team come from communities that have traditionally been overlooked in the tech space,” Sanwar said.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s