CLEANTECH COMPETITION

Impact Engine—Part 7

VERBATIM by Loop Lonagan – Investor and man about town,

as told to John Jonelis

Claire Tramm - Effortless Energy TLoop Lonagan here with a real simple story. I’m at the CHICAGO CLEANTECH COMPETITION watchin’ ten green companies go head-to-head for the chance to move on to the international GCCA contest.

Hey, dis old world needs a good scrubbin’, doncha think? I’m here, trying to use my natural greed on somethin’ constructive fer a change. I glance around and see a company I know has da potential. We’re gonna hear some good stuff.

.

Effortless Energy Logo

Claire Tramm CEO

Lemme ask you a question:

Elec MeterIf you could make your house energy efficient with no effort and get paid to do it, would you?

Effortless Energy is planning to make that happen. Here’s their offer:

  • Their experts figure out what your house needs. Then they find the contractors and do the work. You just sit back ‘n’ sip yer beer.
  • They pay for everything. They add insulation, plug air leaks—all the stuff that makes yer house comfortable and cheaper to live in. Effortless Energy 35 percent
  • Then they split the energy savings with you.
  • You get a nicer house, more money in your pocket every month, and you don’t plunk down any up-front money at all—nada.

With an offer like that, who wants to rob their bank account or take out a loan? Who Claire Tramm - Effortless Energy 2wants to wait years fer da payback? Who wants to go through the hassle o’ hiring alotta contractors? This makes me smile, ‘cause now I ain’t gotta do them things no more.

And yer helpin’ the environment by doin’ it! Inefficient houses is a big part o’ da carbon footprint and there’s 120 million in the USA. Hey, that’s a $230 Billion opportunity fer Effortless Energy! This one looks like a winner to me!

Effortless Energy Home GraphicI hear talk and read stuff—all kindsa complicated explanations about what they do, but it’s really a no-brainer. I got an old house. I want to work with these people. Don’t you?

Have a look-see at their video:

So’s I listen to nine other presentations. Some sound pretty terrific. Others don’t look like real companies. Now the distinguished judges is leavin’ to select the winners. Will they pick the best ones? Don’t make me laugh.

.

Strange Goings On

The judges is leavin’ to vote on the winners and the audience just moved to the feeding trough. So I’m just sittin’ there when one judge—this delicate oriental lady—hangs back and asks Rong Mayhem to give back her business card. To me that shows good judgement.

But Rong holds it outa reach and asks, “Why do you put PhD at the end of your name?” Sheesh! I mean, why do you suppose? After summore o’ that kinda behavior, she stamps her foot and insists.

His response? “I’m gonna have to put you in my doghouse. That’s for people who give me trouble.” Actually, he used a different word than doghouse, but I can’t say that here.

So I finally speak up: “Rong, she hasta go do the judging. You wanna keep us here all night?” So he hands it over and things get back to normal for a while. Sometimes strange things happen at these events. It don’t bother me none and it’s kinda fun to watch.

When da judges finally file back in, they pick some pretty good companies, but my favorite ain’t one of ‘em. But who can tell what’ll happen when these ventures hit the real world? Here’s all of ‘em and da skinny on what they do:

.

Da Competitors

Software to drive energy efficiency in industrial buildings with alerts.

Wind generator using a venturi to increase safety and efficiency.

Synthetic diesel and jet fuel from garbage.

More efficient hot water solar panel using a mirror.

  • Greenlight5th Place

Smart Meter for consumer electricity savings.

Make your house energy-efficient for free and get paid for it.

Pelletized torrefied wood to replace coal in power plants.

  • Kriisa Research

Reliable and stable portable energy fer developing countries.

  • Chicago Nat Gas Tanks

Custom low-pressure tanks to carry nat-gas using NuMat MOF technology.

  • Community Retrofits (participated via Skype)

Just like Effortless Energy, but for entire community associations.

.

Da Judges

From readin’ the stuff on these judges, I get the impression they ain’t the kinda tree-huggin’ folk I expected:

  • Ben BrownClean Energy TrustExpert on energy systems. Commercializes renewable energy with alotta hands-on experience.
  • K. Quentin Burchill Jr.—Angott Search GroupTrack record fer matching energy companies with the right investment firms. Another hands-on guy.
  • Barbara A Fatina, CPA, MBA—Argonne National LaboratoryDeputy CFO at Argonne and big business. Energy operations experience. She builds businesses and teams.
  • Jared Gonsky—LanzaTechGroups businesses on a global scale. Experience in ethanol, VC work, marketing and supply chain in big business.
  • Diana Y Hu, PhDMolecular physicist and Biophysicist. University of Chicago MBA. Education of foreign-born professionals and clean energy.
  • Philip M Martin—United AirlinesFinance, development, operations, process—especially in transportation. University of Chicago MBA, which counts fer a lot with me.
  • Mark Menarik—UltraCarbonSerial entrepreneur in tech, alternative energy and nano materials. Focuses on cleantech scale-ups.
  • Travis Narum—Acciona EnergyWind and solar energy expert. West Point grad, and that ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at.
  • Anthony F Toussaint PhD, MBA—DSM Functional MaterialsChemical industries expert. R&D in fiber optics. PhD Chemical Engineering, University of London. Kellogg MBA, which gets top marks from me.
  • Klaus Voss—BW IndiaLong-time entrepreneur in environmental energy and biotechnology. Commercialized bio-wastewater tech for Mexico, India, and the ASEAN community. Another hands-on guy.

.

Da Organizations

Dis thing is put on by some good folks:

One of over 50 global clusters responsible for nominating companies eachChicago Clean Energy Alliance logo year for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association’s Later Stage Awards competition.

They connect cleantech companies globally to create value chains. They seek GCCAcompanies that are scalable, equity investible, and willing to take risks. Their ten 2011 winners raised $462 Million.

Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management accelerator located Impact Enginewithin the 1871 incubator. Linda Darragh’s baby.  Focus on social entrepreneurship.

.

Photos and Video courtesy of Impact Engine, Effortless Energy, Chicago Clean Energy Alliance, and GCCA.

.

GO BACK TO PART 1

.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under 1871, angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, Chicago Clean Energy Alliance, Chicago Ventures, Cleantech, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Politics, Events, GCCA, Global Cleantech Cluster Association, Impact Engine, Impact Investing, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Invention, investor, Kellogg, loop lonagan, new companies, Northwestern, Social Entrepreneur, University of Chicago

2 responses to “CLEANTECH COMPETITION

  1. Loop Lonagan

    Hey John, This is my article. Usta be 3 times as long. What gives?

  2. Pingback: WHAT’S CLEAN | Chicago Venture Magazine

Please leave a reply:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s