The global battle for renewable energy resources is here, especially battery metals and materials. American startup EnergyX is at the forefront of revolutionizing the energy storage market with the development of sustainable lithium refining and battery technology.
Behind this clean energy powerhouse is an unlikely figure, 34-year-old founder and CEO Teague Egan. The serial entrepreneur-turned-energy mogul has often been compared to Elon Musk. After a life changing trip to South America in 2018, he was inspired to build the lithium company. On the advice of a friend, Egan decided to backpack the scenic Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat at over 4,000 square miles.
While touring the salt pan, Egan learned that this area, which is part of the “Lithium Triangle,” is also the world’s largest lithium deposit. As an early investor in Tesla, he was adamant that the world would transition to electric vehicles, which meant massive amounts of lithium. What he didn’t know was that the technology to dramatically increase supply of this important battery metal wasn’t commercially available yet.
Who is Teague Egan?
A South Florida native, Teague Egan found his first success in the entertainment industry while attending the University of Southern California. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business entrepreneurship, he started a record label in his dorm room, and his first album release quickly went to #1 on iTunes.
The son of early internet investor and entrepreneur Michael Egan, Teague attributes his entrepreneurial spirit to early childhood conversations with his father. “By the time I was 12, table talk was about balance sheets, EBITDA and complex problem solving,” explains Egan, “as well as the twists and turns of entrepreneurship.”
By the age of 28, Michael told Teague to write down his 5 passions and the 5 industries that he thought would be the biggest in the next 20-40 years. The energy transition, now known as the 5&5 exercise, overlapped Egan’s list. With a lot of passion, precise timing and a bit of luck, Egan stood in the Saudi Arabia of lithium.
A moment of inspiration
Ultimately, he decided that Egan wanted to focus his time and energy on the climate crisis, and this trip to Bolivia was the hub of vision and inspiration that led Egan to leave the conversation and focus on solving lithium supply chain issues do. Within 4 years, EnergyX has become one of the leaders in direct lithium extraction (DLE) and lithium refining, and has partnerships with some of the largest lithium producers in the world.
The company won an international tender to deploy its pilot project in Bolivia and successfully operated the first-ever pilot plant using DLE technology in the Lithium Triangle with a recovery rate of 94%, only to be disqualified for submitting its final report 10 minutes late . There were rumors of external geopolitical factors involving Russia and China, the other competing entities.
With over $450 million in funding commitments and already an all-star team of graduate students, chemical engineers and clean energy veterans, EnergyX recently announced an interesting addition to its advisory board, A-list super-firm Endeavour, whose fearlessness is its leader none other than Ari Emanuel.
Full circle with Ari Emanuel
During Egan’s early career in Hollywood, his record label represented breakout musician Sammy Adams, who performed at shows around the country to sell out crowds. Coincidentally, Egan’s artists were represented by Endeavor’s William Morris Agency (WME), whose talent roster also includes musicians like Usher, Bruno Mars and Foo Fighters, actors Denzel Washington and Jessica Alba, sports stars like Tom Brady, and many other talents.
Endeavor Group is also committed to Endeavor Impact, a company-wide commitment to equity, democracy, inclusion and sustainability, which is a core element of this advisory. “It was literally 10 years after the record label, and I got a call with WME on my caller ID,” says Egan. “When I picked up, it was Ari Emanuel himself asking about EnergyX and our featured cover story on the front page of The New York Times.”
With a sustainability-focused mission, the Endeavor team will help drive awareness and strategic conversations about the future of energy. There is no doubt that the company’s cultural footprints in the worlds of entertainment, sports and media could be key to bridging EnergyX’s vision and technology to combat the climate crisis and accelerate the global transition to renewable energy accelerate.
A new approach
Although lithium is the critical component in electric vehicle batteries, the extraction of this metal has raised serious environmental and social concerns over the years. Egan hopes to break that narrative by putting sustainability at the heart of technological innovations in lithium extraction. Elon Musk recently commented in Tesla’s Q2 results that “lithium refining is like a license to print money.”
Over the past year, the metal’s price has skyrocketed, rising from $10,000 to $80,000 a tonne, impacted by demand from major automakers like GM, Ford and Tesla, in addition to new government regulations targeting net-zero and Push low-carbon initiatives.
From entertainment breakthrough to energy titan, Egan and his team are now revolutionizing the renewable energy industry. Through an unlikely partnership between Egan and Emanuel, they hope Endeavor Impact’s mission, A-list celebrities and Endeavor’s clever marketing and influence can help spread the important message of fighting climate change.
Whether this duo can crack the code for sustainable lithium extraction is at the center of crucial questions about climate, energy and the future of technology. Learn more about Teague Egan and the future of lithium at EnergyX.
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