|EMPEQ joins the largest entrepreneur network in the world for veteran-led startups|
|January 31st 2018, Palo Alto, CA and Ithaca, NY. – The Founder Institute (http://fi.co), the world’s premier pre-seed startup accelerator, and EMPEQ (https://empeq.co/), an Upstate New York NYSERDA and LaunchNY Portfolio Company join forces to help fund and scale EMPEQ’s energy efficient project financing business globally. Veteran Founder Lab is a fundraising program that is part of the Founder Institute’s Veteran Founder Initiative. Through this initiative, EMPEQ will gain access to free programming and resources within the Founder Institute’s Global Network while receiving hands on acceleration support from Vet-Tech, a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley that helps fund and scale Veteran-led startups. With Vet-Tech headquartered at the Plug and Play Tech Center, EMPEQ sits at the intersection of two of the largest startup organizations in the world whose combined networks span over 200 Cities and 11,000 Mentors.|
“Being selected for this highly competitive program is quite an honor. The best part is that we aren’t forced to relocate to Silicon Valley or New York City to access world class investors and advisers. These types of impactful resources enable EMPEQ to more efficiently create jobs and invest capital right here in Upstate NY,” says Herbert Dwyer, CEO of EMPEQ, US Marine Corps veteran, and Ithaca, NY resident. “Many Upstate NY startups believe they must leave our region to access the necessary resources needed to become successful. With programs like the Founder Institute, this is simply not the case.”
Derek LaClair, CFO of EMPEQ and native of Buffalo, NY said, “I’ve lived my entire life in a 75-mile radius here in Upstate NY and I am thrilled that EMPEQ’s inclusion in this program will allow for that trend to continue. There is no better place in our country to live and raise a family.” He continued, “We are fortunate to be counted among the countless successful companies that have found their start with the Founder’s Institute.”
As part of the Veteran Founder Initiative, veterans receive:
Funding Assistance Through Founder Lab
Founder Lab (http://founderlab.com) is a virtual advisory program that helps early-stage startups raise seed funding. Over the course of this regimented 3-month program, participants will work closely with the Founder Institute and Vet-Tech teams in Silicon Valley to improve their pitch materials, build an investor pipeline, pitch to angels, negotiate terms, and generate strong investor interest.
Veteran-led startups will gain access to the combined global networks of the Founder Institute and Vet-Tech to scale their companies utilizing corporate partnerships, customer introductions, and a network of startup talent as part of the Initiative’s expansive global network.
The Veteran Founder Initiative was conceived by Ryan Micheletti, Director of Global Operations at the Founder Institute and Co-Founder of Vet-Tech. “EMPEQ is empowering businesses by helping them access commercial energy efficiency projects in a quick and scalable manner. This is a win-win for the both environment and the bottom-line of the businesses they serve”, says Ryan Micheletti.
Learn more about the EMPEQ at: https://empeq.co/
About the Founder Institute
The Founder Institute (http://FI.co) is the world’s premier pre-seed startup accelerator. In the Founder Institute, you can build a company alongside a critical support network of local startup experts that are invested in your success, and through a structured and challenging business-building process that has helped our alumni raise over $700M. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 200 cities and 60 countries, the Founder Institute’s mission is to Globalize Silicon Valley and empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to build companies that will create one million new jobs. The Founder Institute was founded in 2009 by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechan. It is operated out of Palo Alto, California.
EMPEQ solves the three biggest problems that stop small to mid-sized organizations from taking advantage of energy efficient equipment:
1. Upfront cost
2. Time-consuming loan review
3. Burdening the balance sheet
With EMPEQ, a multi-family, commercial, nonprofit, or municipal organization can use energy efficient equipment, such as LED lighting or an air source heat pump system, without upfront cost by providing just their corporate name and address for financial review. Within 48 hours, approved organizations can simply sign a service contract with EMPEQ and then an approved contractor will perform the installation. EMPEQ uses its unique financing model and proprietary FinTech platform to help channel partners like contractors and utilities to overcome the equipment financing challenges faced by their customers.
EMPEQ MEDIA CONTACT: Herbert Dwyer, Co-Founder and CEO at EMPEQ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FOUNDER INSTITUTE MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Greechan, Co-Founder at the Founder Institute (email@example.com)
PRESS KIT: http://fi.co/press
Blog – Latest News & Updates
Ithaca, NY, July 2, 2018 – Empower Equity, Inc. (EMPEQ), an energy efficiency project investment and asset management company, has been selected as one of 20 finalists in the 2018 76West Clean Energy Competition. Sponsored by NYSERDA, 76West is an unparalleled competition focused on attracting high potential clean energy startups from across the globe to compete for $2.5M in prize money.
Going into its third year of competition, 76West has already provided startups $5M in prizes and launched incredible success stories in the clean tech field. Inclusion in the 2018 competition was celebrated by EMPEQ’s CEO Herbert Dwyer; he stated that, “Being selected as a finalist in one of our industry’s most prestigious and renowned startup competitions is one of the greatest honors that we’ve received as a company. Our team is proud and excited to have been selected among so many worthy applicants.” The competition will be held from July 30 – August 1 in Ithaca, NY and will feature six winners with one grand prize of $1 million, one $500,000 prize, and four $250,000 awards.
The competition’s goal of furthering economic development in New York’s Southern Tier region struck a chord with EMPEQ’s President / CFO Derek LaClair. He said, “As a company whose three core founders are native to New York State, we are particularly moved to be included in a program so closely associated with the renaissance that we’ve seen Upstate in the past decade.” EMPEQ was founded and currently has major operations in the Southern Tier region.
Incorporated in 2016, EMPEQ is changing the way customers become more energy efficient. We provide modern energy efficient equipment to small and mid-size businesses and municipalities through a subscription service. Our approach will finally bring financial efficiency to energy efficiency because it requires no up-front payments from the customer, removes all ownership and performance risk, and the process is automated, streamlined, and simple to understand.
For more information on EMPEQ visit www.empeq.co.
I’ve got a hypothetical question for you—
Question: Would you go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe if you knew for a fact that you were about to drop 50 pounds in the next six months?
Answer: Of course not. You’d end up with clothes that were way to big for the new you.
So let me pose a not-so-hypothetical question—
Question: Why have we focused our effort and attention on the adoption of renewable generation when most are sized to artificially large building loads?
Answer: Well, the Department of Energy (DOE) has found adoption rates for energy efficient infrastructure has lagged in nearly every pertinent equipment market—equipment that effect and/or make up the majority of a building’s energy usage.
However, as this inefficient infrastructure naturally ages out and/or innovative business models like Empower Equity’s (EMPEQ) UnFinancing℠ program aid in market adoption, these building energy loads will inevitably drop in the next five to ten years. Yet, we have advocated for assets with assumed lives of 20 – 25 years to supply the generation for this same building stock at current energy usage levels.
I have always been an enormous advocate for renewable generation and firmly believe this is the key to unlocking a sustainable future.
Still, building owners should always consider efficiency measures as their first priority when retrofitting their building site. Only after 60W fluorescent lights are retrofitted with 18W LED lights, a 93%-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) machine is providing hot water as well as producing baseline electric consumption as a byproduct—or 60%-efficient boilers are replaced with 95%-efficient products can we fully understand the building’s true energy profile for 2018.
With these long-lived, efficient assets in place, we can properly size our even longer lived generation assets to our new “slimmed-down” building—thereby creating a truly sustainable solution for the next decade or longer.
All advocates in our industry agree that the goal is to achieve a more sustainable energy infrastructure. On the other hand, if we are installing generation assets for artificially inflated loads, nobody wins in the long run.
Ultimately, the lesson here is simple: efficiency first.
Hosted by Urban Future Lab (UFL), in conjunction with BP, New York Community Trust (NYCT), and NYSERDA, the competition “debuts the world’s most revolutionary smart mobility, smart city, and smart grid technologies by bringing the brightest entrepreneurs together with mission-driven investors, policy leaders, and corporate sponsors for a prestigious pitch competition in NYC.”
We are one of 10 semifinalists in the “NYCT Smart Grid Prize” track, designed for “companies that reduce emissions through both business model and energy innovation and support the next generation energy system.” Companies compete in one of three distinct tracks, with a grand prize awarded to the winner in each track (BP Smart Mobility Prize, NYCT Smart City Prize, and NYCT Smart Grid Prize).
There is a non-dilutive (zero-equity stake) $50,000 grand prize for each of three tracks and includes admission into the ACRE incubator at Urban Future Lab, NYC’s longest running cleantech incubator program.
Finalists are to be announced on January 30, 2018.
For most small and mid-sized commercial building owners, financial options for energy efficiency upgrades tend have always been relatively limited. However, the one tried and true option has been operating leases. These operating leases have a relatively simple to follow cash benefit to the customer:
You start with the base energy expense of the building—let’s say 100 units—you reduce the expense via efficient upgrades offering a gross expense reduction of 60 units. The lease payment might take up half of your savings, but your net savings ends up at 30 units; plus, you have new and energy efficient infrastructure.
It’s easy to see the attraction here. In fact, the ease and simplicity of operating leases have led to these structures acting as the financial backbone of many of the most popular financing methods in energy efficiency. The US DOE has correctly identified that “Leases are commonly used to provide underlying financing for energy performance contracts (EPCs) and other structures.” These “other structures” include most Energy Services Agreements, Lumens-as-a-Service Agreements, Energy-as-a-Service Agreements, and the like that have been marketed in the past half decade.
Operating leases have always been an easier sell than capital leases or loans for one additional reason: they have always been an off-balance-sheet item. This can benefit the company in that it appears less risky. To provide color, this may keep them inside of certain debt covenants or it could perhaps benefit the cost of capital, especially in private middle market companies as they apply for their next loan. In other words, it was always a convenient way to finance equipment without having negative ramifications to the company’s proverbial FICO Score.
However, as of February 2016, that gravy train has pulled into the station for the last time. The Financial Accounting Standards Board ruled that operating leases must be reported on a company’s balance sheet just like all other forms of financing. This will begin in 2018 for public companies and 2019 for all entities. This ruling was understandably made to increase transparency, but it will have massive effects on balance sheets in the US. As it doesn’t matter if you’re Boeing leasing planes to Delta or Joe’s Electric leasing light bulbs to Ma and Pa’s Grocery Store, overnight, the method just got a lot less attractive.
This is precisely the impetus for Empower Equity’s innovative UnFinancing℠ program. Our Simple Energy Subscription℠ model brings many of the same benefits that were previously seen under operating leases in new infrastructure, no capex, and immediate savings, but, as the owners of the assets, we are fully responsible for maintaining and servicing the equipment during the term. And, perhaps most importantly, because of our third-party ownership approach, the subscription remains an “off-balance sheet” item for the end customer.
We see our UnFinancing program as a very unusual win-win-win-win where EMPEQ, our partners, our customers, and our planet can all come out ahead and we can do it adhering to changes to financial reporting standards.
New York. – December 8, 2017 – Empower Equity, Inc. (EMPEQ), an energy efficiency project investment and asset management company, announced today the hiring of energy executive Herbert Dwyer as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dwyer joins a growing team of energy and finance experts who are bringing financial efficiency to energy efficiency to small and mid-sized commercial and industrial buildings.
“EMPEQ deeply understands why the existing building stock in the U.S. and abroad have not been upgraded. Simply put, the market is characterized by willing customers, capable contractors, and insufficient financing solutions,” said Dwyer. “Throughout my career, this misalignment has troubled me, and I believe EMPEQ and its UnFinancing℠ program holds the key to unlocking the potential for scaling investments into energy efficiency. I am excited to be a part of this market disruption in the commercial and industrial energy efficiency industry at EMPEQ.”
Dwyer joins EMPEQ from his previous President and Chief Strategy Advisor position at Herbert Dwyer Consulting, LLC. In this role, he consulted for companies of varying sizes to assist with corporate strategic planning, business development, and energy efficiency project management and due diligence. In the United States Marine Corps, Dwyer served as a platoon sergeant and achieved a United States Department of Defense (USDOE) Top-Secret SCI security clearance as a National Security Agency (NSA) tasked cryptanalyst/intelligence operator. He earned his bachelor’s (BS) degree from RIT and is currently an SC Johnson College of Business 2019 MBA candidate at Cornell University. Active in the energy community, Dwyer spent six years as the CEO of energy efficiency design-builder ASI Energy and is currently the Chairperson of the Northeast Clean Heat and Power Initiative (NECHPI), a spin-off organization of the United States Department of Energy.
Derek LaClair, EMPEQ’s President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is stepping down from his role as de facto CEO and will remain President and CFO.
“We believe that Mr. Dwyer’s background in real estate investing, asset management, fundraising, management, business development, and clean energy is a perfect fit for EMPEQ,” said LaClair. “I am confident that his leadership and management background will play a central role in ensuring our company’s growth projections. As a result of our experience with Herb over the last few months in a consulting capacity, it quickly became obvious to EMPEQ senior management and investors that he was the clear choice for CEO.”
Dwyer joins a diverse team currently operating in the three U.S. states and Canada. Founded in 2016, EMPEQ has grown rapidly. The company’s UnFinancing℠ program—which pairs with its proprietary Empower Visibility℠ platform and innovative Simple Energy Subscription℠ model—provides complex financing capabilities to middle-market energy efficiency contractors, OEMs, and utilities, allowing their commercial and industrial customers to attractively finance their desired upgrades.
To learn more about Empower Equity (EMPEQ), visit www.empeq.co.