Jan 12 • 42M

Hot Takes on the Cold Chain

MCJ Startup Series with Therma

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Episode details

Today's guest is Manik Suri, CEO and Founder of Therma.

The cold chain is a massive part of modern society that doesn't get much attention. It stores a huge amount of goods, allowing us to keep food fresh, medicines effective, and current internet infrastructure. Yes, even data centers are part of the cold chain.

Therma is turning commercial and industrial refrigeration systems into virtual power plants and helping to reduce emissions across three vectors: food waste, energy, and refrigerant gases. Manik took a lean startup approach to Therma with a thesis that he could monitor refrigeration to help companies avoid spoilage. That idea led him to uncover related customer problems such as controlling temperature, optimizing power consumption, and detecting potential equipment failures that could lead to leaks. Collectively these problems add up to nearly 10% of global emissions. As refrigeration and cooling spread across a warming world, this footprint is expected to grow. The story of unchecked cooling is one of the self-reinforcing negative feedback loops where warmer weather requires more cooling, which uses more power and leaks more refrigerant, causing warmer weather… on repeat.

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In this episode, Cody Simms chatted with Manik to hear the details of our collective refrigeration and cold chain problem, how his solution at Therma came to be, and what's next for this side of the cooling world. 

In this episode, we cover: 

  • [2:19] An overview of the cold chain 

  • [5:10] Regulations and rules from a temperature management standpoint 

  • [8:09] Major sources of waste and inefficiency in the cooling sector and cold chain 

  • [10:02] Role of refrigerant leaks during a machine's lifespan and end-of-life 

  • [14:49] An overview of the cold chain emissions footprint 

  • [18:07] Origins of Therma and the company's solution

  • [23:12] Manik's journey and how he landed in refrigeration 

  • [27:36] Therma's hardware, software, and analytical platform 

  • [31:00] The company's subscription model and how it came to be during the pandemic 

  • [33:16] How Therma predicts manufacturing timeframes and balances risk 

  • [35:06] The company's early adopters at a national level and plans to scale 

  • [38:13] Job opportunities

Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.

Get connected: 
Cody Simms Twitter / LinkedIn
Manik Suri Twitter / LinkedIn
MCJ Podcast / Collective

*You can also reach us via email at info@mcjcollective.com, where we encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Episode recorded on November 21, 2022.