Last week I was honored to be asked to give a brief talk on the future of energy at 1776, Washington DC’s startup incubator. I was in town for less than 24 hours but it felt invigorating to present my ideas back in my home town.
The event was called RebootEnergy, and its purpose was to bring together entrepreneurs, policy makers, and corporate leaders to discuss trends they see in the energy industry and what their organizations are doing to capitalize on them.
After a fireside chat between Evan Burfield (1776 founder), Aneesh Chopra (former CTO of the US government), and Blake Burris (head of the Cleanweb initiative), the evening centered on lightning talks – three-minute mini-presentations given by the rest of us presenters.
I chose to focus specifically on the trend of increasing energy consumer empowerment, which is an area in which my startup is constantly breaking new ground:
My lightning talk was well received (I was even quoted in the follow up press release!) and I met many new, interesting people afterward. Perhaps more interestingly, I was surprised and excited by just how many people I bumped into there whom I already knew:
Evan, the founder of 1776 and a friend from high school
Apoorv and Rob, friends from Rice
Heather, a classmate from IMD
Catherine, whom I met when I was interviewing with OPower (called Positive Energy at the time)
Blake, my collaborator on Rice’s Cleanweb Hackathon – the first in Texas
Joseph, a fellow cleanweb entrepreneur whom I met in Houston in August
David, a collaborator on GIVEWATTS
and several more
Even though I was presenting professionally in DC for the first time, it felt more like a homecoming. This was good validation for me that I have been running in the right circles!
It was a great event and I was really impressed with what Evan and the 1776 team have accomplished. In stark contrast to the lack of startup culture when I joined UUNET back in 1996, DC is now bursting with startup energy. And that’s a good thing because energy is exactly what my startup is trying to revolutionize!