Alacrity Cleantech Talks

How Plugzio and Audette Use Energy Consumption and Efficiency to Build Their Platforms

Episode Summary

Season 2, Episode 4 of Cleantech Talks features host Peter Van Der Gracht in a conversation with Mohammad Akhlaghi, CEO at Plugzio, and Christopher Naismith, CEO at Audette. The discussion covers Mohammad's and Christopher's entrepreneurial journeys, the potential for better efficiencies when consuming energy, and how their platforms address this problem.

Episode Notes

-Peter Van Der Gracht, senior advisor at Alacrity Canada, talks to Mohammad Akhlaghi of Plugzio and Christopher Naismith of Audette about their platforms and how they make use of energy consumption data

-what is a day in the life of an entrepreneur like and what are some of the surprises that have popped up along the way?

-being "a hacker, a hustler, and a hipster" as an entrepreneur

-saving energy as being a small part of functioning within a job or community

-"entrepreneurship is jumping off an airplane and building a parachute on the way down" and the love/hate relationship with entrepreneurship as a job; failures are huge, but the successes feel amazing

-saving energy is about saving money; in a startup you're either saving someone money or making someone money

-energy ecosystem is changing very rapidly throughout the world and there is so much opportunity

-how data around energy usage is used in Plugzio and Audette as platforms

-data brings businesses out of darkness and acts as a feedback mechanism

-the primary job of a building is to keep people comfortable; how layers of energy efficiency can be designed into buildings

-the digital information gathered over the past 10 years in this space has matured and allowed the technology to advance, but the processes around this sector have not yet advanced

-pulling in large building data to identify and display the best opportunities for improvement in energy usage

-how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their businesses, especially when focused on customers that have office buildings or other shared spaces

-incentives for delivering money into the energy management space has been "business as usual," especially in institutional buildings and spaces

-because of COVID, there is a huge trend in people buying electric mobility vehicles like bicycles and scooters

-how these two companies go to market and find customers; the role of channel partners

-how utilities and governments play a role in energy efficiency programs; incentives versus processes

-how utilities can manage micropower; incentives as very effective, but for the wrong reasons

-increasing awareness about energy consumption is good, but incentives are being allocated to people who don't need it

-accessing financing for these companies; how government funding programs help

-different entrepreneurial journeys to found these companies and platforms; learning from past experiences to develop the businesses

-the next milestones for Audette and Plugzio

-the future is not just about electric cars; increasing awareness around electric mobility - bikes, scooters, etc. - as the bigger picture

-misconceptions around fast charging; different machines than gas vehicles so approach needs to be different as well

-at the precipice of a huge investment event in energy usage and cleantech

-the technology is there, the processes aren't quite there yet