Tell us about Enviro Power.
We are focused on creating energy solutions for the grid of the future. The power grid is undergoing a transformation, going from generation at a centralized power plant, to a distributed generation model where electricity is produced on site. In general, people take for granted that in your home or business, you turn on your light or charge a phone, and it works, without thinking where that electricity came from. We’ve created a product that is a hot water boiler and a generator in a single unit where customers can generate electricity right on site and save in their energy cost and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. After prototyping for the past several years, we’re on the verge of commercializing our first product.
How did you get started?
We were founded in 2013. It was just myself and another engineering partner for the first several years. In September 2015, we raised a small angel round of capital and had a couple part-time employees come on board. In January 2017, we organized and funded another small round of capital through Connecticut Innovations’ Pre-Seed Fund, and we now have seven total employees.
How did you become involved with CTNext?
When we founded the company back at the end of 2013, we knew we needed to find some experienced entrepreneurs to help us raise capital, file patents and do the things necessary to help bring this concept to market. I had an engineering background at the time, so I knew I needed help. I reached out to several entrepreneurs in Connecticut that ultimately pointed to CTNext. It was a pretty easy onboarding process. I called them up, told them what I was getting into and they told me about the various resources to help us succeed. Over the past four years, CTNext has been there for us every step from the EIA program to helping us source mentors and partners.
What did winning the EIA Award in 2015 mean for your company?
Up until that point, we were funded by friends, family and my own capital. When we won the EIA grant, we were able to finish testing the technology, which we parlayed into raising our first round of capital and developing our next product. It was really the start of the avalanche of the success that we’ve seen over the past couple of years. Without CTNext, it would have taken another six or 12 months to accelerate to the point we’re at today.
What are some of the other ways that you have leveraged the CTNext network?
I’ve attended many events and have networked from there. I’ve found other programs throughout the state by being associated with CTNext. Being part of CTNext has kept me close with Connecticut Innovations, who led our last funding round. The exposure that the network has provided to capital resources has been invaluable. You can’t really quantify all the value that that brings, but it’s significant for sure.
What advice would you offer a new entrepreneur as to how they can best leverage CTNext’s resources and programs?
Ask a lot of questions and follow their advice. One thing about entrepreneurship is you have to be resilient. And you have to hear a lot of “no’s” to get that one “yes.” The majority of people involved with CTNext are experienced, successful leaders. They’ve been there and they’ve been able to help companies succeed. So just persevere, continue on and follow the advice of those in the CTNext network that have been successful.