Barton-based Green State Biochar wins DRM startup company prize

Vermont Business Magazine Business owners Roger and Donna Pion and their startup company Green State Biochar are the winners of $10,000 in legal services from the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. The winner was chosen from an impressive list of applicants from across New England.

“This is an environmentally oriented business that shows great promise in the areas of agriculture, waste management and water quality,” explained Kevin McGrath, an attorney in the IP Group at DRM. “It is the type of home-grown company that the State of Vermont has sought to encourage. The owners are already in the final round of this year’s Fresh Tracks Road Pitch later this month and we’re very pleased to help the company get off the ground in northern New England.“

The Pions were Fresh Tracks Road Pitch winners in St Johnsbury last August, with Fresh Tracks' Cairn Cross, left. Fresh Tracks photo.

Green State Biochar will produce biochar for use in agriculture, and manufacture, install and monitor filtration systems that diminish runoff from identified sources and remove odors and algae from waterways. Biochar is manufactured in a process that converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancement that can hold carbon, increase soil diversity and discourage deforestation. Its production can also yield renewable energy byproducts and it has recently gained attention as a tool to fight climate change through sequestration of atmospheric carbon.

The new company is committed to the reduction of biomass waste and the production of biochar for use in agriculture. It plans to construct a biochar machine that will increase production from the current 360 pounds per day to one ton per hour and to begin large scale production of filtration systems on a 50 acre plot in Greensboro Bend.

The Pions will also be one of the competitors at the Fresh Tracks Road Pitch finals on Oct. 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Center for Communications and Media at Champlain College in Burlington.

With offices located in Vermont and New Hampshire, more than 55 DRM attorneys represent regional, national and international entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, technology businesses and Fortune 100 companies. The legal services provided by the firm include bankruptcy and business restructuring, general business, captive insurance, energy and telecommunications, intellectual property law, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and land use, environmental and tax law, and trust and estate planning, plus legislative and regulatory services through the firm’s Government and Public Affairs group. DRM is the exclusive member firm in Vermont for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in more than 100 countries worldwide. DRM expects to repeat the contest in 2018.

Source: DRM (Burlington, Vt.)