Baltimore wood stove maker raises $1.2 million with help from University System of Maryland

Published 11/9/17 in the Baltimore Sun

MF Fire, a Baltimore-based startup developing a high-tech stove designed to burn wood more efficiently, has secured $1.2 million in an initial funding round.

Investors include the University System of Maryland’s Maryland Momentum Fund and Bill Clarke, an investor focused on clean technology.

The Maryland Momentum Fund’s $192,500 investment is the first for the $25 million fund created by the system’s board of regents in 2016 to invest in and support promising commercial opportunities arising from its campuses.

MF Fire was created by two University of Maryland, College Park-educated fire protection engineers, Ryan Fisher and Taylor Myers, who developed a wood stove that would burn more efficiently, reducing carbon emissions and saving users money.

The duo licensed the technology from the school and teamed with Paul LaPorte, now the firm’s CEO, to set about commercializing their “smart stove” known as Catalyst. The stove uses an intelligent control system to optimize the burn and can be controlled remotely with an app.

“With our Catalyst smart wood stove, MF Fire is pushing the bounds of what is possible in wood heat. For the first time, consumers can expect a clean, safe, efficient and effortless wood stove experience — something totally familiar, yet completely modern,” LaPorte said in a statement. “We have reimagined wood fire as a clean energy source, and used state-of-the-art fire science and technology to bring that vision to life — one that deserves a prominent place, whether in a modern smart home or a rural cabin.”