First off, thank you all for supporting us in this venture. All startups are difficult, but social enterprise has an added layer of challenge and we knowingly went after an energy saving CleanTech product that had a history of being difficult to sell. The Phoenix is amazing technology, but HVAC retrofit has proven a difficult market to enter on limited resources.
I particularly want to thank the folks at Thincubator, Tech Garden, Commercialization Academy, The Foundation, and Herkimer Industries for everything they’ve done. We can attest that Upstate New York really is trying to support its entrepreneurs. There are a whole bunch of others who have supported us in word and deed throughout our journey, too many to list, but our friends who invested and put their hard-earned money into our hands stand out (they know who they are). And, of course, our wives and kids have born much of the crazy that comes with a startup in terms of time, money, and...well...crazy. Infinite love and thanks to them too.
Where do we stand? We are half a year after our pivot and we received our first licensing check, which is pretty exciting. Not a big check, but a start, and with hopes that more is to follow from that licensor, as well as still having a couple of other deals in the works. It isn’t clear yet whether there is a viable business model here or how it will connect back to our social mission, but it is allowing us to keep things going, even if part-time.
And part-time we are.
Evenings and Weekends
For better or worse, Ethan and I both have day jobs now. It’s been over a year for me, back in the patent game with a regular paycheck, and Ethan landed a great job in the Fall. The best part is that Ethan’s new gig continues to support our original mission, since he has gone to work for Herkimer Industries, helping them provide meaningful work for the disabled. To be honest, if that is the only thing that comes out of our Good People adventure, it is still a win. Ethan is a great fit for Herkimer Industries and I can see them doing amazing things together.
We still check-in with each other periodically and try to move things along in our free time. But there has never been a lot of that, so patience will be required. We aren't really positioned to set the pace on our deals in progress and one of the challenges of licensing is trusting other people to execute their plans. I do intend to update the blog every so often, hopefully with good news, but I’m not going to promise any particular schedule. So, I’ll write you all when I write you all.
In the meantime, if you know of anyone looking to integrate energy-saving technology into their HVAC or energy-efficiency offerings, please send them our way. (Variable speed control of cheap, fixed-speed motors is still pretty cool.) Enjoy the holidays and, if we don’t run into you before, have a happy new year.