Good People December 2017 Progress Report
So, December was all about trying to leverage the momentum from our AFRL pitch competition win into sales, funding, and strategic relationships. But it was also December, the lost month. OK, probably only the lost two weeks, but still a challenging time to get people to call you back or take a meeting if you don’t meet one of their year end goals. On the plus side, we had good holidays with our families and the lack of responsiveness from other people was a fine reason to spend more time with our wives and kids. We even got to meet up one night for the 2017 Good People holiday party (which was actually just Ethan and I grabbing dinner at Upstate Bar & Grill in Cooperstown).
We went into the month with some great prospects and excitement to close some sales. But I’m sorry to say it didn’t happen (other than one sample unit to SUNY Oneonta). People were either unresponsive to follow-up or scheduled us for January. The good news is that we have a lot of opportunity going into January, so I’m optimistic we can make something happen.
One of my projects for the month was to put together a 2018 sales plan. It was actually fun to put it together and see on paper how many local opportunities we have in the works. We have more than a dozen leads we have talked to for state, municipal, and institutional buildings that could be pilot projects. But the bottom-line is that we need some purchases in January and at least one commitment to a larger pilot project to fuel our fundraising and growth.
Mentorship and Fundraising
One of the most exciting parts of December was finally getting engaged with The Clean Tech Center’s new EIR, Piper Stover. I’m a big believer in the power of mentorship and the need for a venture to surround itself with smart people who can help reality check, provide new perspectives, and give you tough love when you need it. Piper is a seasoned executive out of the HVAC space and her clarity and focus on getting things done is incredibly helpful.
And it wasn’t just Piper. It feels like the whole Clean Tech Center and Tech Garden team is really engaged with us now. We received our first grant reimbursement from them and started serious discussions about the funding vehicles they have access to. We hope that Katie, Caitlin, Rick, and everyone else at Tech Garden will be a big part of getting us from the essentially pre-revenue startup we are to a full-time company with a scalable sales model and prospects for additional development and investment. It feels like the Upstate NY venture ecosystem is finally coming alive for us and I’m feeling really good about putting together a substantial pre-seed investment in early 2018.
On the downside, we ran into some surprises with Adith’s worker status due to graduation. It sucks that just as he was getting ready to dig into our NY supply chain, we have to stop him while the extension to his student work visa is processed. But hopefully he will be back in the saddle in February.
Good People November 2017
Sold a sample unit to SUNY Oneonta
Met with Z-Axis, a fantastic contract manufacturer in Phelps, NY with much needed electrical engineering capability
Followed-up on state and municipal contacts with the help of Assemblyman Brindisi’s office
Submitted more documentation for several milestones through The Clean Tech Center
Paid our first NY sales tax
Met with Matt Wilson at MPW Marketing about go-to-market strategies for the HVAC industry
Great meetings with Piper and the CTC and TG team about near term goals and investment
Some calls, meetings, and (a lot of) emails with potential customers in different segments
Received grant reimbursements from CTC and Commercialization Academy
Talked with B Labs about our B Corp certification process and they want to schedule our official assessment for April 2018
Good People November 2017 Core Metrics
Transparency & Engagement: 160 Contacts (though I suspect Ethan hasn’t entered all of his), 49 subscribers, 94 unique visitors to the website, monthly update
Sales: 1 new sale, 3 new leads, 3 sales calls
Finance: $0 sales ($300 check on its way), $1,340 grants, $10,000 investment received, $8,594 expenses, Net -$7,253
Energy Savings: still a placeholder until we figure out how to track and calculate
Community: working on our first donation install
Human Potential: team at 3 (but with one on hold), partnerships in development
We are working on scheduling our next pitch with The Foundation at the end of the month and trying to line up both a pilot customer and matching investment to hopefully close the deal. So, customers will be the big push in January and hopefully we will have some exciting things to report in the next update. Happy 2018 everyone!