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Paris Small

Founder & CEO, Eden
Startup Project



Increasing the permeability of rock to extract Earth’s natural resources with minimal environmental impact.




MIT-WHOI, University of South Carolina

“Eden is building technologies that increase rock permeability to extract Earth’s natural resources without the current negative environmental impacts. We’re starting by de-risking our technology in the legacy energy industries before expanding to geothermal power production and critical mineral recovery.”

From Lab to the Field, with a Mission

"After two years of studying for my Ph.D. in Yellowstone National Park, I started developing a new reservoir stimulation technology that utilizes high-voltage electricity as the main mechanism to increase rock permeability. This research is core to the technologies that Eden is currently commercializing. When I brought my developments into the labs at MIT, my intention was to take our experiments from the laboratory to the field scale.

Our first pilot will be conducted in depleted petroleum wells in Oman. We are testing the efficiency of our electric stimulation technology, which can increase fluid flow and permeability in relevant geological environments. The petroleum industry currently has the majority of the infrastructure and resources we need to test our technology in the field. The outcomes from this pilot will provide valuable information on how our technology will work in other relevant industries, including geothermal power production and in-situ critical mineral extraction.

Eden is not a petroleum company. In fact, Blueprint helped me figure out what exactly Eden brings to the greater energy industry. When I first joined the program, Eden was seen by the public as a geothermal company. Through Blueprint, it became very clear that we’re not just a geothermal company; we’re a platform technology that applies to many industries, and these are just the ones that we’re currently focused on."

De-Risking the Technology

"The way I used to approach technology development was to go out and try to do the most impactful thing I could. Now I know that we must tell a convincing story to grow the company and raise money. Understanding what parts of your technology you’re de-risking and planning how you’ll hit your next milestone will help formulate that story, even if you don’t have a commercially ready product. It’s not just about hitting one milestone, it’s about identifying the series of milestones that will prepare you for commercialization.

Eden just received a $4 million ARPA-E OPEN grant to utilize our electrical stimulation technology to increase geothermal power production. We wouldn’t have made that step if we didn’t first try to de-risk the technology in the legacy energy industry. We see the bigger picture, but we must first understand where we are right now to determine where we want to go."

From Track Start to Rock Star

"I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. Nobody in my family is an engineer or a scientist, and neither my parents nor my older siblings graduated college. I used to love math and physics when I was a kid, but I decided to focus on running track in high school because I had gotten pretty good. I attended the University of South Carolina to run track, and learned that they had a program encouraging students from border states to major in geophysics by cutting their tuition in half. Since I was good at math, my 18-year-old self took the opportunity to major in geophysics, without thinking that deeply about it. Looking back, I’m surprised that it wasn’t track, but geophysics that is actually taking me through my career.

I’m currently working on my Ph.D. thesis at MIT, but I’m also the principal investigator for the ARPA-E OPEN grant we were awarded. I even received praise from MIT who said they’d never seen a Ph.D. candidate receive this type of award before. People who win these highly competitive awards are typically not students, but tenured white male professors. I think it’s pretty cool that ARPA-E didn’t just see me as a twenty-something year old Ph.D. student; they recognized the technical merit in the concepts we want to develop without having bias in their decision making process. This gives me hope that from now on, as long as ideas solve a real-world problem with technical validity, anybody, regardless of their cultural or societal background, will have the opportunity to innovate."