Connect: Women Innovators Winner, CITRUS Brings Green Solutions to Manufacturing

StartupBeat Team
By StartupBeat Team August 12, 2022

Latin America (LatAm) is one of the few regions in the world where men don’t have the lion’s share of business. In fact, women represent 50% of entrepreneurs in LatAm and the Caribbean, which is significant in comparison to many other regions that see a paltry percentage of women entrepreneurs in comparison to male entrepreneurs.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the latest winner of the Publicize event, Connect: Women Innovators was a leading lady from Latin America.

Connect is a pitch competition that brings together leading media members and entrepreneurs from the world’s most innovative startups. Their latest event was one for the books because both startups and judges were represented by all women—showcasing trailblazing females that are making their mark on the business landscape in 2022. 

Let’s take a closer look at the fearless female who took home the gold from this week’s competition, and the company that she leads in Latin America. 

Repurposing Energy For a Better World

Industrial heat makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand and almost one-fifth of global energy consumption in total. This is where company CITRUS, led by Katie Bernal, comes in to provide its innovative solutions.

The company combines solar thermal technologies that utilize the conversion of solar radiation (a constant and consistent resource) to generate hot water and steam for industries that require large amounts of heat in their production processes and auxiliary services. 

Based out of Mexico, with experience of more than 15 years, CITRUS is a company of experts in process and energy engineering, determining the best eco-technology for different industries’ applications of energy.

Their end goal is to obtain real and measurable savings for companies, both environmentally and economically. CITRUS will first lease out its technology for a period of time so that a business can enjoy its tailor-designed system’s benefits, and then if a company so chooses, they can buy the system at the end of the trial period.

This is a technology that can be applied to a multitude of industries including but not limited to food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, dairy, mining, brewing, and much more. 

There is also monetary security through what CITRUS has termed a “Heat Purchase Agreement (HPA)”—which means a company only pays for the amount of heat they need at an attractive price, without capital outlay. If/When a company buys the system, they recover their investment with the savings on their fuel bill within only a few months’ time—showing that CITRUS is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

Leading Lady and CEO

Katia Bernal, the CEO of CITRUS, has over 20 years of experience in various positions across international sales and strategic product marketing in industries such as medical devices, process equipment, and energy. As an entrepreneurial executive, some of her primary responsibilities have included new business development, market expansion, and product launches all over the world. 

Looking to “Engineer to a Better World”, Katia and her company are on a mission to ensure that businesses across industries stay on course in their growth while minimizing their environmental impact. 

By synchronizing disruptive and proven solar thermal technologies with the manufacturing sector, CITRUS is committed to building a better world, improving the overall standard of living for both manufacturing employees and society as a whole.

In this way, CITRUS provides a holistic way for society to continue to grow its economy without the guilt of emissions.

Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.