Cathal Canavan

Class of 2022-2023

Dublin City University, 2022
Economics Major

Why did you choose ESTEEM? 

If all decisions are bets, and our bets are only as good as our beliefs. I decided to bet on ESTEEM as it creates a unique environment where one's curiosity can be a guiding compass. I believe ESTEEM will increase my surface area for luck.

What is your Capstone Project and why are you excited about it? 

GOLeafe is at the frontier of graphene materials, solving the biggest problem the market has – price. GOLeafe’s team of materials scientists and chemical engineers do this through a revolutionary patented production method that uses organic input materials, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals and high-energy inputs, thus making the process both more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.

GOLeafe strives to minimize environmental impact and give new life to carbon byproducts by extracting value-added graphene oxide from various waste streams, creating a circular economy. GOLeafe’s patented mild chemical graphene oxide extraction process is not only environmentally friendly, it is also far less expensive than other graphene production methods such as chemical and mechanical exfoliation used today.

GOLeafe produces graphene oxide, a nanomaterial that is up to 1,000,000x thinner and 1000x lighter than paper, yet 200x stronger than structural steel and 1000x more conductive than copper. Due to the high versatility of this material, there are applications for it across industries, ranging from filtration to energy storage, printed electronics, composites, etc.

Throughout the course of the project, the student will assist GOleafe with investigating, identifying, and building out the business case for the commercialization of GOLeafe’s proprietary graphene production process.

What do you hope to do after ESTEEM? 

I want to be a world-class operator and investor in early-stage companies. What excites me most is working on interesting problems with kind and clever people. My goal is simple I want to find out what I'm really capable of.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I like to read, listen to podcasts and exercise. I've also been known to eat excessive amounts of ice cream from time to time.