When President Biden announced in February 2022 a plan to boost the “Made in America” initiative, it was with dependence in mind.
Well, severing dependence, to be precise.
“We’ve seen what happens when we become dependent on other countries for essential goods like computer chips,” Biden said.
He’d go on to say, “‘Made in America’ means using products, parts, and materials, as well as minerals, right here that are in the United States of America… It means betting on American workers. And it takes a federal government that doesn’t just give up lip service to buying America but actually takes action.”
In the year that followed those statements, we’ve seen actions taken to bolster the production capacity of technology.
As it currently stands, China is the leading provider of more than 40 different minerals used for various technologies. There are actions being taken domestically to flip that script.
General Electric made waves when it announced a $650 million investment into a lithium mine, but it is far from just established companies putting their stamp on this pursuit.
The world of startups is front and center as the country aims to assert itself as not just a potent consumer, but producer.
One of the most hotly demanded uses of minerals has to do with the production of batteries, particularly those that help power electric vehicles (EVs).
As the country continues in its pursuit of becoming environmentally friendly, expectations are high for EVs to shoulder a large amount of weight in curbing emissions.
As a result, the government is investing large sums of money to help make that reality.
Redwood Materials, a Nevada-based startup run by former Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, was recently awarded a $2 billion loan to help construct the nation’s first plant to process anode copper foil and cathode active materials, which are required to produce EV batteries.
“Once we realized how systemically important this technology had become to our entire transportation system and our grid, all eyes started sharpening on how to build independence,” Redwood Materials senior associate Nathan Iyer told Gizmodo.
However, that glazes over the identification of an opportunity that could take a company from startup to sterling success.
These are precisely the types of opportunities that mint unicorns, and the world of lithium and the domestic battery production is starting to look like California in 1849.
That’s why we’re keeping a close eye on this sector for crowdfunding startups. With the amount of money being poured into this mission, there are going to be some big, big winners.