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Posts Tagged ‘Industrial’

Vortex Tools shares a video of a natural gas flare in North Dakota.

One of our key U.S. oil & gas markets is the Bakken field in North Dakota where, currently, they’re burning off (or flaring) 30% of their natural gas. In the aftermath of the 2012 election, flaring will be regulated down in the upcoming years. As Vortex Tools has a solution that increases and captures the natural gas liquids energy entrained in the gas, the flare burns smaller and cleaner, allowing oil & gas producers to increase their profits while remaining in compliance with environmental regulations.

This brief video, taken by one of our partners in North Dakota, captures the jet engine sound coming from the flare (without Vortex):

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Ecotechnology, Ltd. (Ecotech Systems) reports on a generator that can convert urine to electricity.

By Turbotorque (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile I don’t mean to make a lot of Ecotech posts about bodily functions (see here, here and here), as the non-thermal drying of biosolids is one of our key markets, that type of green slant gets placed in this area.

Also, while I still hope that one day I’ll be able to pee out a valuable fuel—minus the unfortunate side effects of a burning sensation and the likelihood of setting a toilet on fire once every three months—someone’s out there bridging the gap:

Today’s step of progress: Four African high school girls have developed a generator that turns a liter of urine into six hours of electricity.

Technology journalist Emil Protalinski broke down the process (source):

  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

When asked for comment by NBC News, Gerardine Botte, the chemical engineer who invented the process, stated, “What these kids are doing is taking urea electrolysis and making hydrogen and then using that hydrogen to make electricity.” Although Botte said that the project is “empowering” for the students, she also swatted down some of the fanaticism over the project, stating, “It is a high school project, so don’t take it (so seriously).”

That’s the thing: Often times the green community is willing to excessively root for something before it’s had any real mass implementation. Throw in a couple of underdog factors like youth and it coming from a third world country—or really from anyone save big bad corporations in the western world—and some will cheer it more. Additionally, the details are a little slim as to what exactly gets fueled for six hours.

Here’s what we do know: Like biosolids, this human waste is a worldwide problem. Unlike biosolids, it gets somewhat of a free pass on the yuck factor. Regardless, this is a creative solution that—barring the impending doom of the apocalypse—will have raw material available. The biggest gimme is the wastewater treatment plants themselves. They’re already getting too much fuel delivered to them already; they should convert it to power their own facility.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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SpiroFlo looks at Sweden’s success in recycling and how that success has created a shortfall of trash for burnable waste.

Sweden: Land of neutral diplomacy, equal pay, and the top recyclers on earth (though it turns out that bit about them all being blonde haired and blue eyed is a myth).

While the rest of Europe wastes an average of 38% of their household trash in landfills, Sweden wastes only 4%, instead recycling or composting most of it. When that doesn’t happen, they also have high standards for their Waste-to-Energy program, where they burn trash to provide 20% of their district heating and electricity to 250,000 homes.

There’s just one problem: Sweden ran out of trash.

Sure, people are throwing things away every day, but Sweden is far enough behind that they’re importing trash from other countries. They’re looking for 800,000 tons a year from Europe. Right now, most of that comes from Norway; though Sweden is already eyeballing glorious trash piles in Bulgaria, Italy and Romania.

As much as I’d like to set up a catapult to fling trash at other countries, there are far more logical rules and tradeoffs:

  • For Norway, exporting their excess trash is cheaper than burning it (and landills are running out of space).
  • For Sweden, they get to return the toxic waste ashes (and the harder-to-treat-yet-easy-to-pollute dioxins) to Norway, thereby remaining all the more sparkly and clean.

Dioxins are nasty business (Agent Orange contained dioxins). Highly toxic, they’re established as a carcinogen that can mess with tooth and sexual development.

Yeah, not so sure if that trade is so great now…

However, some have already figured out that as the world continues to improve its recycling, the laws of supply and demand could push the value of trash up:

“Earlier this year, Catarina Ostlund, a senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, said that in the future, waste will be valued even more. ‘Maybe you could sell your waste because there will be a shortage of resources within the world,’ Ostlund said.”

As of 2010, the U.S. only recycled 34.1% of its trash. I’ll see you at the catapult.

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SpiroFlo wishes you all a happy Thanksgiving.

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This series of blogs was designed to chronicle our experience going through the 2012 Cleantech Open as a reference point for future applicants. Every post — as well as the top five best and worst things the Cleantech Open has to offer — is listed below.

After five months and now 10 posts on the Cleantech Open (or clean tech open if the search engines are slacking), it’s time I get back to things that are ongoing, like my disdain for Captain Planet. Before I go, however, here’s a post of the top five best and worst parts of the Cleantech Open, as well as every post of what to expect from each section of this green business accelerator:

Top Five Best Things in the Cleantech Open

  1. You get your money’s worth: Despite the initial cost, with the extensive networking, volunteer services, and yes, free swag, you’ll get more value than what you put in. Based on time input, though, that’s a whole other angle. For more on this, see posts I and III below.
  2. Rapid education for new small business people: If you’ve just started a company or you just have an idea, the Cleantech Open is for you. Established companies should stay away. For more on this, see post III, IV and VII below.
  3. Excellent business clinics: Currently these are only in the Rocky Mountain region, but with the caliber of support and the expertise of the specialists, they should be expanded to every region. For more on this, see post IV below.
  4. Cleantech Open volunteers genuinely want to help every team succeed in business: With the networking alone, you’ll start to connect to some of the right people (though networking is always a numbers game and you never know its true value until later). More than that, however, Cleantech Open volunteers want to see innovation succeed. For more on this, see post II below.
  5. Win or lose, your company messaging will improve: Whether it’s your elevator pitch, legal needs, target market or customer connections, the Cleantech Open will point you in the right direction. For more on this, see posts III, IV and V below.

Top Five Worst Things in the Cleantech Open

  1. Very disorganized; needs more staff support: This was the true constant in the Cleantech Open. If they want to grow, they need to invest in the proper infrastructure, but those costs could well change its value. For more on this, see posts I, II, IV and VI below.
  2. Not all regions and personnel are created equal: Whether it’s the amount of finalists, the engagement of personnel, or what state you’re in (in proximity to where the regional events are held), your experience can vary. Call up past semifinalists in your state and check. For more on this, see post III below.
  3. The worksheets are frustrating and have little value (especially to an established company): Whether it’s meaningless deadlines, shifting requirements, or the sheer amount of busy work (especially with the webinars) for a product that doesn’t have that much value in the Cleantech Open or the business world, the worksheets — at least with their current form and emphasis — are a waste of time and effort. Additionally, much of the education materials throughout default to the lowest common denominator, meaning the more basic info you know, the less you learn. For more on this, see posts IV and V below.
  4. Some judges will continually miss the value of your product: People mess up and have biases, and since the judges in the Cleantech Open are no different, it doesn’t matter what you say, some will miss or misconstrue what you present (even if those worksheets were supposed to help ease that problem). This can happen as early as the application phase or as late as final judging, but it will happen. For more on this, see posts I, VI and VII below.
  5. Final judging bias overrules overall competition effort: Although the Cleantech Open says overall competition participation is important, it feels more like you can shrug off the first 80% of the competition and hope to hit the judges niche at the end. Rather than sending on the best teams, it feels like they send on the teams that safely fit the Cleantech Open mold. For more on this, see posts VI and VII below.

Process Posts: What to Expect from the…

I. Application

II. National Conference

III. Regional Academy

IV. Webinars (part one) and business clinics

V. Webinars (part two), worksheets and mock judging

VI. Final judging and the awards ceremony

VII. Final thoughts on the Cleantech Open

Misc. Posts on the Cleantech Open

VIII. Five insights to the current state of green energy in the U.S.

IX. Vortex Tools clip from the Cleantech Open

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If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This blog covers Vortex Tools’ final placement and all the things we couldn’t (or shouldn’t) have said along the way.

After nearly five months, the 2012 Cleantech Open has wrapped. In writing these final thoughts, I wanted to give it some time so that I’d be fair. Inevitably, if you win, it’s hard to not come across as wearing rose-tinted glasses, and if you lose, it’s hard to not come across as sour grapes. As this entry is long (and I’ve covered the complete process over a half-dozen other entries), I’ll post a complete summary soon.

Throughout the Cleantech Open, I’ve tried to be fair about both the good and the bad, even if it’s just my opinion. Hopefully this blog is no different:

1. Vortex Tools Placed As a Runner-Up in Both Categories 

In getting picked as runner-up in both sustainability and the overall competition, we had two avenues to mercilessly threaten the winning teams to get to the national finals, but for all the horse heads we left on pillows, no one dropped out to allow Vortex Tools to go on. As both these runner-up nods indicate that the Cleantech Open thinks somewhat highly of our product, we should be satisfied, right?

Well… we’re not. Before I get the “you’re just disgruntled because you didn’t win” line, let me explain:

Let’s get ready to rrruuuuumble! 

2. The Best Teams Did Not Win

Bear in mind, throughout this process, you will connect with many other teams. If you’re like me, it’s possible to enjoy people, but still be objective about their strengths and weaknesses. Of the three teams picked as finalists in the Rocky Mountain region, one was clearly the favored pick, as they won both the finalist slot and the sustainability slot. This threw off the other teams in the region — as we thought there were four finalists, not three — but upon questioning this, we were told that the Cleantech Open judges like it when the same team wins both categories, as it shows that a winning team can also be sustainable. It should be noted that this is a 2012 rule update (in previous years the same judges divided these categories).

As sustainability is supposed to be 20% of your final grade, I figured each of the finalists would have a strong sustainability component, but all of them seemed surprisingly lacking, especially as several other teams excelled in this area. Worse than that, the sustainability finalist was a terrible pick. I’m not saying this just from my viewpoint, but also by the stated Cleantech Open guidelines. At mock judging, the sustainability judge told us that sustainability was graded based on a triple bottom line, meaning that the technology has to provide a profit, as well as benefiting both people and the planet. We were also told that Vortex led in this category, because as of the mock judging stage (as in two weeks before the competition was over), no other team had incorporated sustainability into their presentation. That’s right: in a green competition not one team save Vortex had green benefits noted in their presentation. Seemed pretty nuts to me, too.

I won’t list the finalists’ names (as that would be unfair to them based on what I’m about to say), but of the three winning teams in the Rocky Mountain region:

  • The favored team didn’t show up to several “required” events, but was a shoo in as they’re a safe pick, had won prior green competitions, are involved in academia and nanotechnologies, but not in-revenue (all Cleantech Open soft spots). One of their team members noted that the Simon Cowell judge knew him from another competition and was excited to see him again (not surprisingly, this was one of the few teams that judge didn’t grill). Most judges would understand the need to remove bias and recuse themselves, but I’m assuming the Cleantech Open doesn’t have the support for that kind of personnel switch. In the end, it just serves to note that the green world is as much of an insider’s club as the good old boy industry agendas they despise. It’s okay; networking is that way of the world. We’ve benefited from it as much as it has hurt us.
  • The second finalist is easy to pick apart, but as they worked hard and are a different take on what clean tech means, I’ll actually give kudos to the Cleantech Open for selecting a great long shot pick.
  • The final team though — that’s the one that highlights all the issues with the Cleantech Open judging: This team struggled throughout the process, was unprepared several times (but allowed to fix things after deadlines), and didn’t even finish their final presentations. As a result, I have a hard time believing they came out ahead of most of the other semifinalists. For as harsh as that may sound, consider this: Even the leader of this team was surprised at being picked as one of the winners.

So if there were better teams in the Rocky Mountain region, how did we get these three finalists? 

3. Cleantech Open Biases Come Out Late in the Game

As far as the 2012 Rocky Mountain region is concerned, there were certain obvious biases (covered above), but there also seemed to be judge opposition towards in-revenue companies and dirty industries (oil and gas, clean coal, biofuels, landfilling, etc.) — regardless of how much innovative companies improve these areas. I say this because most of the best teams in the Rocky Mountain region fell into at least one of these categories and didn’t win. Every team that won hasn’t sold anything yet.

At the beginning of the competition, we thought we had a chance to do well in our region, but not at the finals for a couple of main reasons:

1) This is a clean tech competition: Inevitably, we figured we’d run into the kind of green crowd that hates that we work in the oil and gas industry, even if we’re trying to improve it. Do you really see a clean technology competition picking an oil and gas company as their winner? As crass as an example as it may seem, it’d be like a mainstream beauty pageant picking a plus-sized model as their winner. It should be possible — as beautiful is beautiful regardless of size and there are a variety of factors in those competitions (like the verbal horror of the question and answer sections) — but in the end, whether it’s stated or not, we all know what they’re looking for.

2) Chevron was the main sponsor: Yes, you read that correctly: one of the six supermajor oil and gas companies was the largest corporate sponsor of the Cleantech Open in 2012. While some might think this should have improved Vortex’s chances to win, large “dirty industry” companies promote green activities to A) keep a pulse on innovation; and B) improve their image. Again, with the latter, there’s no way they’d pick and oil and gas company to win a green competition. Everyone would assume it was rigged by sponsor dollars.

Even with these factors in mind, Vortex figured we’d enter to network and prove that the oil and gas industry can do better environmentally (reducing CO2 emissions) while doing so economically (increasing oil vapor and natural gas liquid recovery for greater profit). Up until the final judging, we thought we were wrong about these initial assumptions and the aforementioned biases, but it was really disappointing to be proven right in the closing days.

As a clean coal company won the Rocky Mountain region in 2011 — but got ripped apart at the national finals — we thought we had a chance, but it turns out the only reason that clean coal company went to the finals at all was because one of the safe companies took the prize money and immediately dropped out of the competition. You can bet your pocket lint that little payday flub got fixed this year. As a result, the biases we noted above have remained consistent over several years.

4. Come On, Are You Sure You’re Not Just Bitter?

With this much criticism, I imagine a number of you must be thinking: “Why don’t you just say you should have won?”

Okay, I’ll say it: Vortex Tools should’ve been one of the finalists.

Angry cat: More socially acceptable than I am in this situation

It’s one thing if we say it — we could easily be delusional about how good we are (watch the tryouts for any talent show on TV) — but the problem is others were saying “Vortex should win,” too. This includes some of the other semifinalists, the volunteers who helped teams with their messaging, and even Cleantech Open personnel. When Vortex didn’t win and the wrong company did (above a field of stronger competitors, not just us), the Cleantech Open personnel said things to us like, “I don’t know what happened”; “I don’t get it, but we have no pull on the judging team”; and bluntly: “You should have won.”

As I’m as direct in private as I am publicly, Vortex discussed this with some of the more open Cleantech Open personnel. One high up volunteer told us, “You only lost by half a point” (hence the runner-up status in both categories) and that we were leading the competition until late in the day. The problem is that two of the teams who beat us presented early and the last one was the weakest team. As genuinely supportive as the Cleantech Open is to each company throughout (and even after) the process, there are still hidden standards and expectations for their winners.

Final judging should not be able to override what was a good process, but as of this year in the Cleantech Open, it does. Pick the wrong judges and they’ll send on their bias rather than consistent teams. In the end though, it’s their competition; they can judge it however they like. However, people also have the right to judge the way they judge — especially when they don’t follow their own guidelines — and we’ve come to the conclusion that Vortex’s runner-up nods were given as platitudes for a dirty industry team that wouldn’t be allowed to win a clean tech competition.

I’m guessing that I’m not the first person to feel this way, but if the Cleantech Open doesn’t want a repeat of Vortex Tools in the future, it needs an update. The easiest ways I see to do this are A) have pre-revenue and in-revenue companies compete for different finalist slots; B) place “dirty” technologies in their own category that they can actually win; and/or C) rewrite the entry rules so that a team like Vortex can’t slip through the initial process.

Inevitably, whatever the Cleantech Open is at this stage — a small business accelerator, a positive image shift for large sponsors, or a way to feel good about supporting small green startups  — it’s not a business competition.

5. The Bottom Line: Knowing What We Know Now, Vortex Tools Wouldn’t Have Participated in the Cleantech Open

It’s safe to say that Vortex got more out of the Cleanteach Open than we put in. There are many good parts, including:

  • Lots of networking opportunities
  • Several great Cleantech Open staff volunteers, including David Talon, Rex Northen, Cindy Jennings, Jerry Healey and Jennifer Mayes
  • Excellent business clinics (every region should have these); and
  • The ability to improve your marketing message, especially with volunteer companies like Posit Partners involved

So then… what’s the problem?

The problem is that you can do all the above with far less commitment. You can be intentional about networking; you can work with business clinics and marketing groups more specifically (even if you have to pay for their services, they’re worth it); and guess what? Usually it doesn’t take a four-month commitment and you don’t get all the bad we’ve covered either.

Early on, we knew the Cleantech Open would be a hefty commitment, but we chose to dedicate the resources. This meant working early/late and on our vacations. It meant that as a company already selling a patented and proven technology into growing markets, we had to spend our resources carefully, so to get a late game bait and switch from the Cleantech Open feels like a rip off.

I will say this: If you’re just starting a business (pre-revenue), the Cleantech Open is worth it. You’ll get a rapid business education, technology development, market help, a level of credibility for your company, extensive networking and many other good things. As a company actually doing business, however, we got a basic business education we already knew and are far beyond, resources we could get elsewhere more efficiently, and the final jab of watching weaker teams stumble into awards with less effort.

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In the next (and final) Cleantech Open blog, I’ll provide links to every Cleantech Open blog I’ve written as well the top five pros and cons of the process. If you read all of this entry, you get an e-high five. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

 

Read Full Post »

Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This series of blogs is designed to chronicle our experience going through the 2012 Cleantech Open as a reference point for future applicants. Today’s blog: What to expect from final judging and the awards ceremony.

Of note: I’m writing points 1 and 2 before we find out if we’re selected as one of the Rocky Mountain region finalists—it feels like I’ll be more objective that way.

After four months, we’ve completed all the regional activities in the Cleantech Open. If Vortex is selected as one of the finalists in the Rocky Mountain region, I’ll blog onward. If not, you’re on your own, dear souls. As usual, these are the opinions of one participant going through the process in 2012:

1. Even Volunteers are Frustrated by the End

I’ve mentioned throughout these blogs that there’s a degree of disorganization that needs to be addressed in the Cleantech Open. Thankfully, as the competition progress to the final stages, things mostly run smoothly for the companies. However, this doesn’t mean that the volunteers aren’t still stressed. We happened to catch a high-up volunteer on an honest day and he expressed his frustration that nearly every “this will not be moved” deadline was extended and that, with the current structure, even the simplest tasks took far too long to be completed.

In coming to the end of this process, one of the last tasks is to upload your presentation about 10 days before the final judging day. This is good, as since the Power Point deck of your presentation cannot be changed, you get a week-and-a-half to get your final presentation polished. There’s just one catch: Throughout this process, we tried to turn our work in early. This meant we didn’t get the shaft from website overload issues and that I didn’t flog my teammates as the deadline rapidly approached (it’s only happened three or four times, I swear).

In seeing that the deadline was on a Sunday—the worst day for an online deadline, as there’s all the issues and none of the technical support—we elected to wrap up two days early. Unfortunately, the Cleantech Open website wasn’t accepting any documents, as the organizers hadn’t opened the submissions back up after the worksheets were due. Apparently nobody else tried to submit early, or at the very least, they hadn’t complained. It’s these kinds of minor oversights that can cause major issues, but once you get the last of your materials in, it’s time to present:

2. Some Judges Will Be Harsh

In the Rocky Mountain region, both the mock judging and the final judging were held at Faegre Baker Daniels, though the judges and the rooms were different each time. When it comes to final judging, you have to arrive 30 minutes early. You get 10 minutes to present, then there’s 10 minutes of Q&A followed by five minutes of feedback. In the Q&A you’re graded based on how you answer questions and in the feedback you’re graded based on shutting up. Although two people can present, only one can answer questions while the other is a scribe. There are six judges in the room (it can be hard to tell who’s who) along with a few more familiar faces.

At this stage in the Cleantech Open process, no matter how much you’ve enjoyed the connections or the ways it has helped you refine your company message, you’ll be ready to be done. With this is mind we elected to go first. Why wait a few more hours?

By Alison Martin of SimonCowellOnline.com (XF58) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Simon Cowell

We’d received positive feedback throughout the Cleantech Open, but since they’re preparing you to go against other finalists from other regions, some of the judges can be tougher on you. For the most part, we appreciated the criticisms, but there was one judge who was the equivalent of Simon Cowell, where even if the heart of the criticism was fair, his delivery was not. It seemed like it was his job to get a rise out of you, but we survived him fine. Unfortunately, this was the first time we felt we experienced a bias in the Cleantech Open process—something that was wonderfully absent before.

As for the other judges, one of the earliest frustrations comes back again, in that even if the information was a part of your presentation, they can miss or misconstrue that info. In some ways it felt like they hadn’t read our worksheet materials and executive summary at all, lowering their value in the competition, but with 16 other companies still in our region (down from 20 total at the start), I can see the need to cut them some slack, too. In updating your presentation to earlier rounds of judging, you either, a) get criticism that’s the opposite of what the last judge wanted; or b) get new criticism based on the flaws that are left. Inevitably, a 10-minute presentation is designed to have gaps. In the real world, this type of presentation is designed to leave people wanting more. In the Cleantech Open, it’s a never-ending edit-fest, but that’s the parameters in this type of competition.

3. Awards Ceremony: See How Far People Have Come / Haven’t Come

And then the big day…

In our region, the awards were held at the University of Denver’s Cable Center and were hosted by Emmy award winning news anchor, Cheryl Preheim. She graciously skipped the 60-year anniversary of her own network, 9 News, to host the Cleantech Open awards.

Before that though, teams were required to show up by 2 PM (most by 1 PM) in order to set up a presentation table and get parking validated (never miss an opportunity to avoid paying for that kind of thing). At 2:30 we went through and practiced our three-minute pitches. What was strange about this is that A) some teams did not show up for this practice and had a hard time getting through their actual pitch; and B) very few teams made a specific three-minute slide deck. Many had either just a single screen or had just put in the 10-minute version, which they’d have no hope of getting though. Despite the standard claim that you wouldn’t be able to change your presentation, several companies were allowed to do so, because deadlines mean nothing in the Cleantech Open. Every deadline throughout this four-month process was amended/extended.  

Before the pitches, there’s essentially a small trade show in the main area of the Cable Center consisting of the Rocky Mountain finalists. Like the original national conference, you get a 6’ table for anything you can fit on there (electricity is extra). From 3-4, the sponsors come in and from 4-5 it’s open to anyone with a ticket—likely your friends and family who like you enough to pay $60 per ticket. There’s an open bar and “heavy appetizers,” which means random hors d’oeuvres and a feeling you should’ve eaten a bigger lunch. All in all, 170 people attended the event.

After this, you’ll hear a few brief speeches before moving into the auditorium for the three-minute pitches and awards. The teams will sit up front to get in and out easily. If you don’t complete your pitch in three minutes, the sound booth will turn up that fancypants orchestral awards music until you get the hint (though some speeches sure did seem longer than that limit). As usual, you don’t know who you’re in the room with, so present your best.

Like everything else in the Cleantech Open, not all regions are created equal. The original western region in California—which started it all and is still a hotbed of green activity—gets six entrants to the finals (one in each category). The Rocky Mountain region gets three entrants (and can pick multiples from the same category) whereas the new pilot region in Texas only got one finalist this year (based on the number of entrants). Each region also picks a winner in sustainability that gets to go on to the Global Forum/finals in California the following month. Each winner gets prizes in cash and services.

After the awards are handed out, you’ll spend the last hour back out by your table meeting and greeting people again, this time with dessert. By 8:30-9, things wrapped up and it’s tear down/pack up time. In the end, no matter who wins, you’ve built some great relationships and you’re happy to see whoever go on…

…but if you’re like me, you’ll have some opinions on who does and does not go on and why. I’ll cover those next time.

* * *

In the next blog, I’ll reveal Vortex Tools’ placement in the Cleantech Open and will share my closing thoughts on the semifinalist process. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

SpiroFlo explains a common lie from airlines.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Boeing_747_Lufthansa.jpgI was waiting for a flight recently when the staff stated, “We’re running a little behind, but we’ll make it up in the air.”

At this, the aviation engineer standing next to me scoffed. He explained that planes can go 1% faster, but as this burns 5% more fuel, no pilot — or at least the ones who don’t want to get fired — would do this, as top fuel guzzlers are tracked and disciplined, so all they’re making up is mile-high lies.

And yet you often land on time… so what is it? Well, the actual flight time is exaggerated, so even if you leave late, the airlines want to close with a good impression. As long as that rubber chicken meal doesn’t bounce back to haunt you, they might well succeed.

*          *          *

Colin McKay Miller is the Vice President of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This series of blogs is designed to chronicle our experience going through the 2012 Cleantech Open as a reference point for future applicants. Today’s blog: What to expect from the webinars (part two), the worksheets, and regional mock judging.

Now that we’re finished with the webinars, worksheets and mock judging, here’s what you can expect from each. As usual, these are the opinions of one participant going through the process in 2012.

1. Webinars: See Part One

I originally split my thoughts on the webinars into two posts, as I thought some dazzling, new, revelatory information would come to me at the end of the process, but, uh, it didn’t, so what I said about the webinars last time still applies. I will say that there are only eight weeks worth of webinars and you’ll do them all in a row before taking a week off. In the tenth and final week, the Cleantech Open organizers give a slew of announcements (on due dates, completing a survey on your generalist mentor, etc.) but there’s not much to it.

2. If You Don’t Use the Resources, Another Team Will

Hollie from Posit Partners: She was very helpful

As mentioned during the business clinics post, several companies donate free consulting time. In the Rocky Mountain region, this included Faegre Baker Daniels (legal), Merrick (engineering), Posit Partners (marketing) and YouSeeU (presentation help). You’ll also hopefully get some help from specialist mentors. In my region, this equated to one—a sustainability mentor—but each consultant we met with gave us assistance that benefited us both in the competition and in our day-to-day business.

Here’s the thing: In talking with several of the consultants, half of the participants in the Cleantech Open didn’t take them up on their gracious offer. These are professionals who make their living charging companies for the very services you’re getting for free, so if you skip out, you’re missing out. (That said, we passed on the legal and engineering help, as they couldn’t help with how far along we are as a business—something we mentioned to them at the clinics.) One of the consultants told us that their company had set aside a certain amount of hours to help Cleantech Open semifinalists, so with half the companies not taking the help, Vortex got the hours dedicated to them instead.

In short: Take the help and opportunities offered.

3. The Worksheets Will Frustrate You

Here’s where you’ll put in the most work: As the webinars wrap up, you will submit PDF versions of eight worksheets, a one-page executive summary, and an in-progress version of your investor presentation. In noting the obvious, if you try to put all of this off until the week beforehand, you’re screwed. We thought we’d try to wrap up and get our worksheets in early. Instead, we used most of that last week to refine the work that we’d already labored on.

Make the time for the worksheets—you’ll need it.

Your answers to the worksheets will depend on how far along you are as a company, but they cover your product/market fit, technology/product validation, business model, markets and getting to them, finances and funding, legal, management team, and your sustainability benefits. Each worksheet has several sections and many require additional uploads. For example: the financial worksheet also required an Excel spreadsheet of several years’ worth of earning/cost projections.

Here’s what Cleantech Open volunteers didn’t tell us early enough: The worksheet guidelines on their wiki and the guidelines on the main Cleantech Open site are different. Additionally, although we knew each worksheet had character limits—as the judges read several entries and we all need to learn how to be concise—the breakdown of sections and their associated character limits weren’t released until two weeks before the due date. This meant that some of the work we did during the first eight weeks was for naught.

Hands down, this lack of worksheet guidelines is the most frustrating part of the Cleantech Open and the one thing they must work to change for future semifinalists. In case this isn’t fixed, most sections allowed between 1,000 and 2,500 characters (or in Twitter terms: 7-17 tweets). Of course, if like us, you don’t have the section breakdown on each worksheet, these character limits won’t help, but it’s still more than we had in this area.

4. Mock Judging: Practice, Update, and Practice Again

Although there’s only one mock judging day, you actually have a couple of chances to present beforehand and get feedback. This is where you’ll use that investor (PowerPoint) presentation I mentioned above. Basically, you make a 10-minute presentation, receive 10 minutes of Q&A from the judges, then 10 minutes of feedback. The presentations are scheduled throughout the day and you don’t get to see other teams present. The content of your presentation is based on the worksheets (generally: the problem, how your company addresses it, why you do it better than the competition, how your business is successful, and why this is good for the environment). In the Rocky Mountain region, the event was held in Colorado, so if you don’t live there/fly in, you’d have to present via Skype (save for Arizona who had their own in-person presentation day).

I said there are a couple of other times to present before though. One is luck of the draw. At the business clinics, you can enter in to do an open version of the mock judging where only five teams present, but everyone can attend to learn. Vortex was fortunate enough to be one of those five. That said, of the 15 companies who attended the Rocky Mountain business clinics (of the 20-something semifinalists in our region), only seven put in to present. I can tell you that even though the Cleantech Open is more of an accelerator for each company involved—something that they do quite well—in my eyes, the competition for finalists in my region immediately boiled down to those other companies pursuing advantages and opportunities.

The other option was open to all semifinalists via getting your presentation critiqued on YouSeeU (where you upload a video of your investor presentation and you get feedback on what isn’t clear, your mannerisms, speech, etc.). From what I understand, most semifinalists did not take advantage of this offer either.

Again: Take the help and opportunities available.

In terms of what to keep in mind for your presentation:

  • Don’t use anything too flashy (video files crash, graphics don’t load up, etc.)
  • Less slides, fewer words, visuals and pithy phrases often work better (so you have to know your material)
  • Don’t read what’s on screen (people read faster than you can talk and wind up disengaging)
  • This is a clean tech competition, so sustainability is 20% of your grade
  • Don’t talk while the judges talk, don’t get defensive, and only answer the questions they ask (back up slides can help)

From here, there are only two events left: Final judging and the regional awards ceremony. Both are next month. If Vortex Tools is selected as a finalist, you’ll see more blogs on what to expect from the Cleantech Open. If not, I’ll upload a video of me crying sustainable tears. Considering I haven’t sussed out how to make the latter work, we’re aiming for the former.

*          *          *

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This series of blogs is designed to chronicle our experience going through the 2012 Cleantech Open as a reference point for future applicants. Today’s blog: What to expect from the webinars and the business clinics.

Last time I shared what to expect from the regional academy. This time, I’m covering what to expect from the 10 weeks of webinars and the business clinics that show up at the halfway mark. As usual, these are the opinions of one participant going through the process in 2012.

First off, Vortex is not yet done with the webinars, so this blog is designed to cover the first half of this process. Basically, every Tuesday for 10 weeks—save one bye week late in the sequence (meaning there are nine webinars total)—you’ll spend a few hours sitting at your computer. Hosted by the University of Phoenix, you log on and listen through your computer or phone while watching the presenter slides, essentially on a shared screen. You can ask the presenter questions by typing in a chat box—as the microphones of listeners are muted—as well as sending technical questions to the host.

Oh, and if you think that you’ll just turn on the webinar and do something else without anyone noticing, you’re wrong. I did a five-minute speaking slot on grant writing, and when you’re logged in as a presenter, there’s a list of who isn’t paying attention. They do not announce this feature. Make no mistake about it: You’re graded on everything; don’t think you can coast here.

Given the differing time zones, some regions get better slots, but in Colorado, the webinars go from 3:30 to 6:30 (MST), with a 15-minute break after the first one-hour-and-45-minute session before wrapping with the second one-hour session. (The webinars are recorded and available for viewing if you can’t make it live, but they’re not always uploaded fast, and as of this writing, one of the week four videos is still missing.) If you’re like most people, that time frame won’t be the easiest slot to work with, and you probably have a full-time job along with everything else that pulls on your schedule. This brings us to point one of what to expect:

1. You Get Out What You Put In

Early on in the process, Vortex sat down and figured out if we should really invest in the Cleantech Open as an established, in-revenue company, and if so, with how much effort. Upon seeing the time requirements of the webinars, we had this debate again. We’d spoken with another semifinalist company from a year ago, and upon asking what they got out of the Cleantech Open, they said, “Nothing.”

Given that we got a fair amount out of the national conference and the regional academy, we thought this was strange, but soon figured out this company didn’t actually do anything with the Cleantech Open. Like a few companies each year, they were selected as a semifinalist and then proceeded to do nothing, so they got nothing. In realizing the time cost and that there is a lot of effort involved with the worksheets, we decided that if we were going to stay in the competition, we’d have to go all out, even if the requirements are painful to aspects of our business at times. (If you haven’t noticed, it’s taken a bite out of my ability to regularly update this here blog.) As a result, we’ve gotten a fair amount out of the Cleantech Open, and we think we have a decent shot of making the finals, but there have been bumps along the way:

2. Technical Difficulties

This is the biggest gripe you’ll have about the webinars (and it’s similar to the issue of disorganization that’s been consistent throughout): technical issues.

By Kmashaye5220 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

From what I understand, 2012 is the first year the Cleantech Open is working with the University of Phoenix on these webinars, so while I expect a bump or two along the way, with the same issues popping up week after week, my grace has long since run out. At first I thought these issues reflected poorly on the University of Phoenix, but it seems the issues lie more with the Cleantech Open. Don’t get me wrong: the volunteers are kind and work hard; there are just not enough of them and too many things they can’t control.

The first week, the audio didn’t work at all through the computer, so you had to dial in. If you’re like me where you’re often out of the office and your home phone has long since gone the way of the dodo, three hours on a weekly webinar won’t do any favors for your cell phone bill. While there wasn’t a repeat of this incident, the computer audio cutting out for 30-45 seconds is common.

Additionally, there’s always background noise: a bird tweeting, some bighead conducting a business call for 20 minutes, random cussing, etc. Notice how I said above that listener microphones were muted? This means that it’s always one of the presenters who isn’t speaking at the time and hasn’t muted his/her phone or computer mike. Again, this is every single week. Next year, the Cleantech Open needs to give their webinar presenters basic training on how to mute their microphones and act professionally. Right now, it’s hard to value their expertise with this consistently happening.

Finally, that 15-minute break I mentioned above: well, it gets cut. A lot. Do I even have to say this is bad form? It gets replaced by testing presenter connectivity; by going long on question and answer sessions; and by unscheduled announcements. As a result of this, there isn’t a webinar that’s gone by that I feel couldn’t easily be 30-45 minutes shorter. I’m sure that there were plenty of times that the program popped up that I wasn’t paying attention, as most people aren’t wired to stare at a computer presentation for three-plus hours straight.

3. The Lowest Common Denominator Factor

As mentioned in the regional academy post, the knowledge and training you have going in, as well as how far along your business is, will shape what you get out of the Cleantech Open. A lot of the material continues on in the topics covered at the regional academy: the business model canvas, determining and navigating your market, sustainability, legal issues, and creating your management team, etc. As you can probably tell, for an established company, a lot of these topics have long since been addressed and early-stage thoughts don’t really apply, but I will say that these webinars help highlight all the areas where we do things right, all the problems we know about but haven’t fixed, and the places where change is possible. Every business, no matter how established, should have this kind of reflection time.

Remember, many of the companies in the Cleantech Open aren’t much farther than the idea stage, so unfortunately, everything gets boiled down to the lowest common denominator: presentations get simplified for the everyman; the same awkward, low-brow questions get asked every week (and yes, some of them stop just shy of asking the experts to do their work for them); all of which can be very frustrating for savvy or established companies who hope for a lot more depth. One guy, in a moment of frustration at the business clinics, declared the process a coarser version of bovine scatology. I won’t go that far, but it’s disappointing to feel held back by people who aren’t even sure if they’d like to try their hand at this whole small business thing.

However, since I’ve mentioned the business clinics, I’ll mention that they have far more strengths than weaknesses:

4. The Business Clinics are Different Than Announced, But Well Worth It

At the midway point of the webinars, you’ll attend classes for three days (8-4: Monday through Wednesday). If you’re in Colorado, you’ll attend these classes in person. Like all the other training sessions, you’ll be receiving far more information than your poor, little head can handle, but you’ll be well fed while you’re at it.

In addition to the public classes where you go deeper on many of the topics covered already, you’ll have several one-on-one meetings with experts donating their time. These people have expertise in a number of areas including business management, engineering, legal advice, etc., and we were very impressed with how well the Cleantech Open volunteers matched up these experts with our needs (for example: all of them had oil and gas connections/experience).

One of the engineers we were matched up with spent most of the hour arguing with us on the validity of the Vortex technology–not uncommon with engineers, as, for them, old textbook standards can trump real-life innovation–and this experience of going off-topic was common (albeit usually less combative with the other experts). I imagine if we were just starting out as a company and needed more help, the conversations wouldn’t have gone this route, but these off-topic treks served us well and the networking strength of the Cleantech Open remains a positive standard.

Another thing you’re supposed to do is bring rough drafts of your worksheets to go over with the experts during your one-on-one sessions, but this didn’t happen (at least not for us). Finally, there are a number of beneficial resources you’ll get out of the business clinics, but as these affect the latter part of the webinars/competition, I’ll delve into those in the next blog. I will say this: If you’re not volunteering and connecting with the resources available to you, you’re not only hurting your chances in the Cleantech Open competition, you’re missing out on some great perks for your business.

*          *          *

In the next blog, I’ll cover the second half of the webinars as well as what you can expect from the worksheets. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Vortex Tools qualified as a semifinalist in the Cleantech Open—a global competition to accelerate green technologies—for their application in turning harmful CO2 waste from oil and gas wells into recovered high-value energy. This series of blogs is designed to chronicle our experience going through the 2012 Cleantech Open as a reference point for future applicants. Today’s blog: What to expect from the multi-day regional academy.

Last time, I shared what to expect from the one-day national conference. This time, I’m focusing on the subsequent regional academy. As usual, these are the opinions of one participant going through the process in 2012.

If your company gets accepted to the Cleantech Open, at least two members of your team need to attend the 3-4 day regional academy (either in San José, CA, right after the national academy, or in Boston, MA, one week after that). If you’re not close to either state, the west coast academy (in San José, CA) makes the most sense in terms of budgeting flights / hotels. As Vortex Tools attended the one-day national conference in San José, we stuck around for the regional academy.

As covered in the national conference post, you’ll get to network with hundreds of companies—some large and established, some the success stories of tomorrow, many that will go belly up—and get your name out there more. For new and established companies alike, a chance for this type of vast networking is a welcome advantage. There’s the standard bit of disorganization, too—mostly in technical difficulties, presentations not starting on time, and materials not being available on the wiki—but these are fairly minor points and are the types of issues you can expect when you’ve got hundreds of people together.

However, here’s what to expect that hasn’t been covered before:

1. You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth

Early on, I covered the elephant in the room question: Is the Cleantech Open a scam?

Part of my answer was that you won’t fully know the value of the Cleantech Open until after the national conference and the regional academy, so I’ll delve into that more here:

First of all, this year, Autodesk gave every company in attendance a free copy of their design software. Although I don’t think it’s worth the $10,000 price tag—when really, software is worth what a company will pay for it—it’s certainly worth more than the expenses you’ll accrue thus far and it’s a valuable creation tool. Additionally, Autodesk met with and individually trained Cleantech companies on their software after the conference wrapped.

By Peter VDW (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsAfter that, you’re receiving a fair education. The chair for the Rocky Mountain region said that the regional academy is like drinking from a fire hose. That’s accurate. The days are long and filled with a slew of info that you can’t possibly digest all at once, but hey, they feed you well while you’re at it.

2. Your Knowledge Will Shape the Value You Get From the Presentations

We were in a long room with two screens on either side of the stage and three microphone stands out in the crowd. Although your  table mates will stay the same—which seems strange to me, as I thought they’d mix us up—your table location will change each day. If you get a table way off to one side, you’ll see how easy it is to disengage from the presentations. Likewise, if you get a table in the center, even though it’s hard to see the screens, you’re essentially forced to stay engaged with a presenter 15 feet from your face.

There were presentations on sustainability, patent law, marketability, business plans, mock pitches, investor pitches, etc., and I can tell you that you can’t judge a presentation by its subject matter. In fact, the more creative the presentation format by the Cleantech Open, the worse and less informative it was. However, dynamic presenters like Steve Blank were well received, and the Cleantech Open agreed to send all participants a copy of his book when it comes out.

Make sure you get up and participate at the microphone at least a couple of times over the weekend. There are people who will go up every time (and frankly, hog the mike), so make sure you don’t wait when the crowd is invited to participate. Throughout the three-day academy, you’ll have a chance to work on your business model canvas (an earlier version of a business plan) and your elevator pitch. Get up there and get grilled by the presenters. You’re missing part of the experience if you don’t.

Overall though, how far along you are in your business and what you already know from experience will shape how much you get out of these presentations. Which brings me to my next point:

3. Not All Companies are Created Equal…

As stated before, one of the best things about the Cleantech Open is that they’re technology neutral. Whatever your company, whatever stage you’re at in your business, they want to see you grow and accelerate from where you’re at.

What you’ll find at the regional academy is companies in various stages of development. Vortex’s table mates were right out of college with an idea. Vortex Tools, well, we’re quite a ways along as a business, with having sold over 1,500 tools into worldwide markets, but there’s always room to grow. Wherever you’re at as a company, as long as you’re within the confines to enter the Cleantech Open, they’ll help you along.

4. …And Neither are the Mentors

Mentors are a big part of the Cleantech Open process, and they can also be one the greatest sources of frustration depending on what your expectations are.

When Vortex started in the Cleantech Open, we assumed that the generalist mentor you’re assigned early on would be able to answer questions about the process, but this was not the case, as our mentor was as new to the process as we were. (Don’t believe anything you read about multiple generalist mentors either—you get one.) As our mentor has a full-time job as a venture capitalist, he wasn’t available to come to the national conference and regional academy like other mentors. This meant that we lost out on a networking avenue, but some companies didn’t even have an assigned mentor yet. In talking to those companies, they had less-than-favorable view of the Cleantech Open at that stage.

That said, since the regional academy wrapped, we’ve received a lot of input from our mentor via weekly calls and worksheet feedback, but I’ll get into that in a later blog.

* * *

In the next Cleantech Open blog, I’ll describe what you can expect from the 10 weeks of webinars. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

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