In this the second of a series of stories profiling presenting companies at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual Tech Venture conference, Sustainable Industrial Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer Jason Massey explains how his company is helping customers achieve sustainability.
What is your “elevator pitch” you will use at the CED Tech Venture Conference?
S.I.S achieves sustainability breakthroughs in traditional industries, such as mid-tier manufacturing, through cash-flow driven energy efficiency and waste reduction implementations. We combine high tech SaaS analytics and good ole fashion construction installations to help companies save money and become more sustainable in their operations.
What is the “secret sauce” of your firm that sets you apart?
Our ability to provide both holistic solution analytics and physical implementation of projects. We are able to synthesize sophisticated technology and sustainability issues into a language and financial package that our customers can easily understand and consume.
Do you have a motto/slogan that you feel captures the energy/mission of your firm? If so, please share with us and explain why you feel it is appropriate.
“S.I.S is making American manufacturing more competitive and reducing green house gases one factory at a time.”
While S.I.S does a variety of work across sectors outside of manufacturing this serves as a nice slogan that quickly encapsulates the value prop and scale of our ambition.
Who are your “heroes” in business? How are you trying to emulate them?
Ray Anderson of Interface Flooring (passed away last year – he was the radical industrialist who showed that you could embrace aggressive sustainability goals and drive a very profitable business). S.I.S is simply trying to implement Ray’s playbook into other facilities around NC and the US.
Richard Branson – Richard goes into markets when no one else thinks its popular or thinks it can be successful. S.I.S specifically went after more conservative mid-tier manufacturing businesses because it was going to be hard and a worthy challenge. I have been very fortunate to have been invited by Richard to participate in the Carbon War Room and Creating Climate Wealth summit.
What triggered your initial thoughts about launching a company? How has that original thinking/goal changed or evolved since your launch?
I had been talking with the Noel Family about what “sustainability” meant for their factories and the abuse of the term “green.” We talked about setting up an internal team within Noel Group but decided that the opportunity to tackle this issue for other mid-tier manufacturers was big enough to start a separate company.
The main evolution of the company is that with a Silicon Valley background and deep appreciation for web based solutions I thought we could automate the entire process but these are big deals within an organization so human interaction is critical in the sales and implementation process. Technology in this case should be seamless and behind the scenes…as an empowering tool to streamline the process and consumption of important analytics.
Why did you choose to launch a company in what has been a difficult economic environment since 2008?
This is the best time to start a company in general….most of the best companies in history were started in an economic downturn. It causes you to focus intently on the important components of scaling a business.
This economic environment is specifically important to SIS because more and more companies are looking to squeeze cost while revenues are flat or declining. Energy efficiency is just smart business.
What is the business “need” you are seeking to address? What problem do you solve, and for whom?
The need we’re addressing is “how can we (customer) be more resource efficient?” and “How can we get a multiplier effect from our energy efficiency capital expenditure investments through marketing and sustainability claims?” “How do we not greenwash?”
We give customers defined savings cash flows and the metrics to properly promote their efforts both internally and externally. Attached is a sample of recent article we worked to get on behalf of one of our customers.
What products are you offering/planning to offer? Please describe each briefly.
We currently offer energy efficiency upgrades (lighting, HVAC, building envelope), energy/green team advisory work and analytic tools.
We’re launching by CED event a standalone product via a website, www.coincidentpeak.com, which is an advanced utility demand and weather algorithm to help facilities get advanced notice of peak demand calls so they can dramatically reduce their energy bills.
We have several other products in the pipeline.
Why do you believe investors should be interested in your firm?
We are already at break-even. We’ve raised very little funding to date and are evolving a service business into a product company. Any new funds will be almost solely be allocated to growth related activities.
How much funding are you seeking, if any, and how would the funding be used?
We would privately entertain discussions of additional funding but the most important component of that decision is the quality and strategic value of the investor. We are looking for great partners more than we are looking for cash. Bringing in an outside investor is like a marriage…not to be taken lightly.
Any additional funds would be used for growth expansion in sales and product development
How much funding have you raised to date? How much funding in grants (please specify)? Who are your investors?
We have only raised $300,000 in the last 1.5 years with no funding from grants. Our investor is Acorn Innovestments (Mike Noel)
Are you hiring at the present time, and if so how many positions are you looking to fill?
We are starting to look at hiring in sales and product development. Looking at up to 5 at our current pace over the next 12 months. That would more than double our team.