New Businesses in Florida
What were these small businesses thinking?
Amid one of the nation's worst recessions, these entrepreneurs forged ahead.
While billions are being invested on developing wind, solar, biofuel and other energy sources, many believe that reducing energy consumption is the key to solving the energy crunch, at least in the short term.
In 2010, Isaias Sudit, a serial entrepreneur, launched GridGlo, which offers software and services that help utilities gain insight into consumers' energy consumption patterns. Sudit says he came up with the idea after a smart meter was installed at his house. Wanting to learn more, he attended a conference where he learned that most utilities weren't taking advantage of the "enormous amounts of data" that the smart readers generate.
GridGlo's software combines real-time energy consumption data from smart meters with information from other commercially available sources, including demographic databases, financial records, real estate data, weather data and other resources. With GridGlo's analytics, utilities can more easily predict a consumer's energy consumption habits or measure the effectiveness of energy conservation programs.
GridGlo also provides the utilities with a scoring mechanism that evaluates the consumer's energy consumption patterns and willingness to conserve.
The 12-person Delray Beach startup raised $1.2 million earlier this year via an investment by Cubrc, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based non-profit research corporation with experience in data fusion and other fields, and plans to seek another round of capital. CFO Richard Viens says financial projections show that the company could break even by 2014 if it gets that next round of financing.
Viens says the slow economy has actually benefited the company. "It's having vendors more willing to work with you on prices and bringing people to our team that we'd might not get if it were a really strong economy."
Isaias Sudit's GridGlo helps utilities predict customers' energy consumption patterns.
[Photo: Matt Dean]