When Glen Clarke won a motorsport race in 2006 using an experimental ignition system designed by combustion technology expert Dr. Alex Plotnikov, he suspected the technology could have huge global appeal.
“The engine was very crisp and there was a little more power—it made a big difference,” says Clarke, remembering his win at the five-day 2006 Targa Newfoundland International tarmac rally.
The following year, Clarke and his engineering students at Carleton University installed the plasma-based ignition system in a racecar they built and they beat out 150 other universities for the fuel efficiency of their vehicle.
A clean-energy combustion technology, the SPDI Spark system has reduced fuel usage in automobiles by between five and 10 percent.
Six years after the Newfoundland motorcar rally, Clarke and Plotnikov have fully tested their SPDI Spark ignition system and are selling their first products out of their Kemptville, Ontario facility under their company name Sphenic Technologies. They’ve also hired six people and they’re beginning to implement their sales strategy.
Sphenic Technologies began selling the SPDI Spark systems in January 2012 through the company’s website http://spdispark.com and has developed a very creative and unique marketing video for their online sales. A salesperson has since been hired to develop a distribution network.
Initially, Sphenic Technologies is targeting North America’s $100-million aftermarket parts market, the subset of automobile enthusiasts who enjoy tinkering with, and adding onto, their own cars.
The company’s long-term goal is to target the original equipment maker market in hopes of getting SPDI Spark systems installed in new automobiles when they are assembled at the factory.
Teri Devine, Economic Development Coordinator for the Municipality of North Grenville, says Sphenic Technologies impressed the folks at the Grenville Community Futures Development Corporation so much that the organization provided funding to help the company hire two new sales and marketing employees.
“Sphenic Technologies is an exciting new startup in North Grenville that has the potential to really go global,” Devine says. “This is one company we all have our eyes on.”