Hey everybody. Did you miss us? A funny thing happened on the way to the July-August update...I didn’t write one. I’m really sorry about being out of touch for so long and I hope that people didn’t imagine the worst. We are still here and still moving ahead. We are just doing it a heck of a lot more slowly than anyone would like. (Like my turtle?) But excitement abounds and there are some very cool opportunities on the horizon.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have a lot to report over the summer. We tried some stuff. Kept pushing on some key sales opportunities. Kept working with Herkimer Industries on our pilot build. Ethan made some forays to different events and has been working on a prospect list for New York colleges. I kept procrastinating the update because it always seemed like something amazing was going to happen...next week.
I don’t want to mislead you though. I still don’t have big news for this update. We haven’t closed a major sale. No new investment has arrived. We are still working on the pilot build and NYSID sales with Herkimer Industries. But stick with us. Good things come to those who wait.
Slow and Steady?
So, conventional startup wisdom in venture circles talks a lot about velocity. On the bleeding edge of high-growth companies, much is made of the need for amassing resources to go faster, bigger, and bolder than your competitors.
That’s not us.
It never has been. Yes, I would like things to move more quickly. And, I get frustrated that stuff I thought would take us six months seems closer to two years, maybe three. But we didn’t get into this for overnight success or a get-rich-quick scheme. We got into this because we saw an opportunity to take an amazing, energy-saving product, get it out into the world with a socially-conscious business model, and build an Upstate New York company with deep roots.
That’s still the vision, and with persistence and great partners I think we will get there.
Suzanne and Mike at Herkimer Industries are still our biggest focus and most critical partners. We can’t thank them enough for their patience and support. We’ve talked a lot about our pilot build and plans for preferred New York State sourcing through NYSID (New York State Industries for the Disabled). You may be wondering what the holdup is.
We were able to get most of the components for the build to Herkimer Industries pretty quickly, but were held up on the new covers being made for us in Western NY. They finally arrived...and they didn’t fit. The manufacturer has been quick to take responsibility and we are working through a possible fix to try to avoid them having to remake them. Frustrating, but that’s part of making things.
Meanwhile, our NYSID application is somewhere within the state bureaucracy. We are pretty sure it is going fine, but don’t have a firm date when we will get our number and officially be able to sell through NYSID.
The Clean Tech Center at Syracuse Tech Garden has also become a big supporter over the past couple of months. We’ve been in the program for a while, but there is new energy there with Royale taking the lead on the program. We’ve also been getting great support from our NYSERDA Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Kyle. We are working with Kyle and The Clean Tech Center on a very exciting NYSERDA grant opportunity.
We spent the last of our winnings from Commercialization Academy last month. Michele from Wasabi Ventures and Tim from MVEdge have been great to work with. And, they have a new program coming online this winter that we have applied to. It would offer another cohort and open up licensing opportunities from all of the Air Force labs, not just AFRL. And yes, there is another competition and potential for money involved too.
There is a bunch of other cool stuff in the hopper, but I hope to spring it on you when it is closer to fruition. I’ll try to post a PDF of our swanky new brochures soon. (Thanks Leah!)
Our biggest need continues to be some pilot sales, preferably with a New York State college or agency, but New York City, other municipalities or even private companies or non-profits interested in energy savings would help. We could do amazing things for a hotel, school, apartment building, or office building.
So, if you know anyone in building or facilities management interested in energy saving products, please send them our way.