As many of you know by now, I have stepped full time into founding a US-based green technology company, enistic. US businesses spend over $9b each year on energy for office equipment–$1b of which is for equipment that isn’t even in use. enistic reduces office equipment energy consumption 20+% with wirelessly monitored power strips that you control over the Web, and that affect not just the equipment itself, but also human behavior.
I am extremely excited about this venture for several reasons. First, it is exactly what I have been looking for: a company that marries economic value with green value. The better we do, the better it is for our shareholders and the environment! I can’t think of a better incentive to succeed. Second, the product already exists. It was invented in the UK and clients such as IBM are already experiencing energy savings of up to 27%. This is not a speculative technology development venture; it is a venture to commercialize an existing, excellent product in a new market. Third, this is a perfect fit for my background. My greatest successes have been in starting and leading US-based, information-driven technology companies that provide products and services to businesses–a profile that enistic, inc fits perfectly!
This week I have, for the first time, focused on enistic. I secured and moved into office space downtown. In the heart of the Theater District, my new office window looks out onto the Wortham Center, Jones Hall, the Alley Theater, and Bayou Place–the site of Katie’s and my first date! It feels great to work in an area I love so much!
There wasn’t any time to get settled, though, as Thursday was the Rice Alliance Energy & Clean Technology Forum. enistic was chosen to be one of 50 companies presenting its 90-second elevator pitch to judges comprising VCs, angels, and prominent executives. I really wanted to nail the enistic pitch because it would be our public debut. We’re raising $1m to fund electrical certification in the US and a pilot rollout in Houston, one of our largest markets, so the pitch could provide some good exposure for us to potential investors.
Antmachine, the first startup I worked with, was one of the first companies ever to present at a Rice Alliance event back in 2000. Back then the organization was just getting started. Thursday morning, when I arrived at registration, I was impressed by how far the Rice Alliance has come! There were 650 paying attendees, 50 company presentations from all over North America, and great keynote speakers–the President of Shell Wind and Vinod Khosla.
The elevator pitch competition was great. The business ideas were as varied as the day is long and they were generally very well delivered. At the end of the event, awards were handed out and I was elated when enistic’s name was called for the top honor of “Most Promising Company of 2009!” What an honor among such distinguished company! It has attracted some attention too as we have been contacted already by several investors.
Katie and I celebrated with some wine in the Village–what a great feeling! We can’t stop here, though, we need to capitalize on this momentum and keep rolling. Still, I will take a break this weekend, as my brother and nephew will be in town and the weather is looking fine!