The saying, "no such thing as a free lunch" in Americana lore was first attributed to a hotel in the French Quarter in 1835, offering a free lunch for local business people who could not make it home for lunch. By moocher's guilt or clever design, the proximity of the bar in the dining hall created a brisk business in patrons drinking away much more than the price of the lunch.
We caught a post on Linkedin today about the Navajo Nation installing our STX 7000 solar heaters within their community of 300,000 members. Imagine harnessing the free energy from the sun to take care of your heating needs. Our product looks so good on the building, it really is a free lunch. To read more about what the Navajo Nation is doing, click the source link below for the rest of the story.
At the AASHE conference in Baltimore last week (10- 9 thru 12) SolarThermiX was overwhelmed by the receptivity and quick grasp of the fossil reducing technologies we introduced at the show. Due to the quality of Sustainability and Facility managers in attendance, we learned much more than we educated. Most managers easily grasped the large contribution that thermal mass/fly wheeling could bring towards a dramatic (30%+) AND economical reduction (<4 year payback) in GHG on a per school basis.
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing case studies detailing phase change material (PCM) energy savings from schools including University of Washington, Northern Arizona University, decade old results from Arizona State University and, hopefully, some quick updates from schools making commitments to run pilot programs, imminently. Though great as a standalone technology, PCM explodes with the addition of our award winning solar thermal heater. A match made in fossil reduction heaven. We greatly appreciated the chance to meet AASHE members and look forward to participating in the 2017 San Antonio, Texas conference.
Invest Southwest hosts the Venture Madness competition for growing businesses to debut their stuff before a panel of judges and Venture Capital companies. In the spirit of the NCAA March Madness basketball competition, companies compete for a financial reward and an opportunity to rub shoulders with investors.
Out of 130+ businesses that applied SolarThermiX beat out each contender to make it to the sweet 16! Our cost effective solar air heater and go to market strategy was compelling enough to make it to the stage at Talking Stick Resort to present to VC's during a 3-day event. Once again, Arizona entrepreneurs have a great venue to participate in the local business community receiving help to grow our businesses. As a sustainability business we have a heart felt story to share and Invest Southwest helped us get our message out.
I urge other startups to join in on the numerous opportunities to get help with growing their businesses, to make valuable contacts and possibly walk away with a sizable grant or follow on funding. We look forward to meeting other company founders, mentors and funding sources in the next Venture Madness competition!
As a startup eco-friendly renewable energy company we're fortunate to reside in Arizona, a state with some of the most lucrative entrepreneurial grant opportunities. SolarThermiX entered the Fall 2015 Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) Innovation Challenge competition and we're proud to say we made to the finals. The golden opportunity for the 10 best businesses to live pitch VC's for one of six $250,000 grants being awarded! We had survived multiple elimination rounds to make it into the finals. The bad news, we weren't one of the six companies to win. So close but not close enough.
SolarThermiX was the only green, renewable energy business to make it to the finals and one of the few companies that actually manufactures a product, solar air heater - not an App or Bio-based business. Clearly demonstrated product performance with an outstanding ROI that was endorsed by Northern Arizona University (NAU).
However, there is a silver (not gold) lining to this story, in that we greatly refined our business strategy and updated our sustainability pitch. We walked away with valuable contacts and an accelerated boost to our business approach. Our departing gift was a suggestion to apply again once we can demonstrate market acceptance through multiple customers. ACA, we'll be back and ready for the pot of gold.
The idea that disruptive technologies enable new markets to emerge is not a new idea. What is new in our case, the technology we created was not as nearly as disruptive as the grand idea. "Let's make sustainable technologies that make economic sense." When we step back and look at our first creation at SolarThermiX, our solar heater the STX 7000, it was not a new idea, humans have used the sun for heat a lot longer than we can take credit for. However, something special happened today down at HQ. Like a Father giving their son that last post-training wheel boost, we saw our big idea take flight on the walls of a University building and cast a solar shadow on the Editor's keyboard! Our green tech made news!
Before we get too far over our skis, let's back up. The novel thing we are really inventing was not our first technology to eliminate the natural gas flow into a University building far cheaper than they could have imagined. No, the real disruptive invention that happened was our tagline we started the company with on a blank white board canvas became real art. No more creating sustainability tech based on how far the securitization teams can wind up the price. No more taking something as pure as the sun and running it through a solar sausage factory, making something that resembles a green product, but yields only 20% of the original energy, energy that could be passed through if you were not focused on the wrong side of the abacus. Economic sense. When you go to Northern Arizona University and see the 10,000SqFt+ storage surplus building 47A sitting on a hill, look at the south wall. What you will see is not our STX 7000 solar heater that raises the intake temperature 70 degrees using only 19 watts of energy, no what you are really seeing is economic sense. That is what we really invented today in the sustainability market and we look forward to what new markets will emerge from that invention.
Read how we slap our own back, courtesy of Cronkite News, PBS Arizona by clicking the "source" link below.