So, you want an update? Hard to believe, but people have actually started asking us for updates. I’m trying not to be hurt, since I’ve been writing monthly updates for a year now and apparently no one has noticed. I realize that is on me and somewhat intentional. The website and earlier incarnation of the blog were really a placeholder to start developing content without any effort to develop an audience. Now that we are on Wix and starting to gain momentum, it is probably time for that to change. We are test driving the e-mail subscription feature this month with some of our supporters in the local incubator community.
The subscription popover appears to be working. So, please use it to subscribe if you see it. We will add a static subscription box on the page sometime soon.
September 2017 was pretty exciting. Kids are back in school and we are moving ahead. Both of us are so ready to be at this full-time, but without recurring revenue or some more substantial investment dollars, we continue to have to balance things with our day jobs.
I told you about joining Commercialization Academy’s Fall 2017 cohort. We qualified for $3K in milestone-based funding in August and another $1,500 in September. We actually received reimbursements for our website, test units, and preliminary engineering costs for our NY electrical supplier. Not a lot of money, but the impact is huge for establishing vendor relationships and moving us forward.
We had two more meetings with The Foundation. There was a great working session with their staff that lead to refinement of our pitch for a committee of their board interested in impact investment. But the board pitch didn’t go as we had hoped. There were issues with their board’s schedule and we ended up pitching a single board member who really put us on our heels with a focus on our financials rather than mission. We got some great feedback and the door is open for us to return, but it wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for.
We found some more engineering support from a Syracuse engineering firm and started the process for getting a student engineer from Syracuse University to join our team. The interviews were awesome and there were at least three I would hire straight away if we had the resources. We are probably going to have to content ourselves with one for now and hope that we can pick up another once resources are available. So, we hope the team will be back up to three in October.
We delivered our first five test units and had good meetings and calls with a couple of other prospects. Perhaps most exciting, we received payment on our first invoice and booked our first revenue.
If you have been following along, you know it has been a struggle to get a NY supplier going on our project. Well, as we speak (or as I write), GC Controls in Greene, NY is working through the preliminary engineering with a goal of producing test units for us within the next month or so. That’s right, we will have our first locally built units. That is also the critical step for getting ARC Herkimer setup to assemble for us. We need someone local for them to learn from and collaborate with on handing off the assembly process.
Good People Month 13
Bought some Good People logo stickers to dress up our test units
Developed a new marketing postcard in conjunction with Herkimer Industries
Delivered our first five test units
Received our first actual revenue for four of the test units
Received reimbursements from Commercialization Academy
Met another funding milestone for Commercialization Academy
Pitched a board member of The Foundation
Selected as a finalist for the 2017 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition
Attended an event on pre-seed investment that has us thinking hard about a Friends & Family raise as our best hope for near term funding
Interviewed engineering students from the Syracuse CASE program about joining our team
Got GC Controls started on preliminary engineering for our first NY build
Learned more about The Clean Tech Center’s milestone payments and methodology, as well as getting to grab a beer with The Tech Garden crew
Good People By the Numbers
We delivered 5 units for testing and we won’t book any energy savings until they go into real use
We made it easy for 2 new leads, customers, or partners to fix their STOOPID fans
Our team held steady at 2, but took steps toward growing the team
Kept it local with our designer, electrical supplier, Syracuse recruiting, and continued work with Herkimer Industries
Didn't really give anything to the community other than hope that we will get there
We brought in $1,200 revenue and $1,500 more in grant investment
We spent another $1,000 on settling up with our designer and other expenses, backed by our grant funding
We really need to find a way to buy more of Ethan’s and my time. We are all in and I think it is time to update our business plan and see if our personal networks can help us out with a friends and family raise. At the same time, we need to focus into a go-to-market strategy and try to move some more test units. October should be an adventure.