G2V Optics: From local startup to global cleantech leader
How we helped our client grow at the speed of light
By Angelique Rodrigues 23 September 2021 2 min read
It takes passion to launch a new business, and perseverance to ensure its successful growth. And sometimes, it requires a little strategic support to help connect the dots.
That’s exactly what we did for one local startup turned global cleantech leader — G2V Optics.
The Edmonton-based, tech company produces some of the world’s most precise, intelligent lights used to develop solar renewable energy and space technologies by some of the most prestigious universities, research institutes and Fortune 500 companies in the world—including NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
On the agri-tech side, G2V’s horticulture lighting solutions are used to bolster crops in a number of Canadian indoor farming operations. Their unique technology has earned them a spot as a global leader in markets around the world.
But they weren’t always on top.
And it was ATB who was willing to bank on the young entrepreneurs with the impressive tech, early on.
"We were literally two people in a basement," recalls G2V Optics’ CEO Ryan Tucker. "I had quit my job and we were seeing some growth and looking to get some additional access to capital and there were no options out there for us."
Being turned away by bank after bank was disheartening, says Tucker, but in 2017 a friend suggested he reach out to ATB.
"G2V came to us [and we] absolutely wanted to do everything we could to support their growth to global markets," recalls Anani Klutse, director of trade finance at ATB Financial. "So, we brought Export Development Canada (EDC) on board and suggested they work together using their Export Guarantee Program."
By connecting G2V with longtime partner EDC, ATB was able to extend G2V’s line of credit, without tying up additional collateral. Without those financial barriers, it was easier for G2V to bring in more inventory, grow the business and ultimately capitalize on their international potential.
"The support from ATB, and the partnership with EDC, were critical to our growth," Tucker recalls. "ATB has been very supportive of us and together with EDC, they opened some doors for us along the way so that we could expand."
Once they’d acquired a larger operating loan, partially backstopped by EDC, the sky was the limit for G2V.
The company’s second sale had gone to the United States, and was soon followed by their fourth sale to Pakistan. Fast forward to today and you’ll find G2V’s solar simulators installed in 25 countries worldwide.
"Our goal is to ensure that every single entrepreneur in Alberta understands that their market is, in fact, global," says Klutse. "Here we’ve got a company that is now in 25 countries and we’ve grown with them—they haven’t had to go anywhere else. We’ve been there to advise them, to recommend partners and demonstrate our local expertise, with global reach."
And as G2V Optics continues to grow and face the challenges associated with expanding into new export markets, ATB is committed to bridging gaps and finding solutions for them through every stage of their growth.
"We’re happy to go out and help make the right connection for our clients to meet their needs—whether that’s financing, contacts in foreign markets or something else," says Klutse. "And in that way, ATB is really serving our clients—not just as a financial guide but as an advisor and partner."