Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact. Ahead of Earth Day, we talked about eco-friendly startups and ways to green-ify your startup. How can your business be more environmentally conscious without compromising effectiveness? Is it too late to get into a green industry?
“Environment Is No One’s Property To Destroy; It’s Everyone’s Responsibility To Protect.”
Customers care about brands’ efforts to be sustainable, and if you don’t care, your competitors will. Implementing environmentally friendly business practices is not only an opportunity to make a difference, it can be profitable too! We were joined by entrepreneurs Trevor Warren and Edna Bibb, each with their own green startup and area of expertise.
Trevor Warren founded Higher Wire Energy in 2019 as a smart solution to lithium batteries and the environmental disruptions they can cause. The company disassembles and recycles batteries, offering the lowest total cost of ownership for the battery’s life. They’ve built a cost-effective business through low waste energy storage, keeping prices low for customers while still being profitable.
Similarly, Edna noted that green renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing industries today, and it’s financially wise to jump in now, whether a consumer or entrepreneur. Edna is the founder of GreenGo Energy Solutions, introducing solar power on residential, commercial, and industrial levels. Edna spoke of how she has benefitted, not just from selling solar panels but from using them herself. Over time, the installation pays for itself– especially considering rising energy costs– and she’s passionate about helping people own their energy.
These are just two examples of entrepreneurs going green! Check out the full session above to learn more ways your business can benefit from going green!
- Read the Transcript
The Serial Entrepreneur – EP54: Go Green to Grow Green!
Green is good. I think it’s interesting to talk about a business opportunities, not only because there’s a social good, but also because there’s opportunity to make money in green. I don’t think we’ve seen this kind of opportunity in this space ever in our history. And it’s just exciting to see that this is coming together and this is going to be an exciting opportunity for so many entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses in a new way.
In fact, we’re actually doing a series of these new shows. We’re going to do a crypto show. We’re doing tokenized real estate. We do this show every Friday because we’re trying to crack the code. We’re trying to figure out what it is that entrepreneurs do over and over again to succeed.
And if we can crack that [00:01:00] code, if we can figure out what it is and how they succeed like Edna, how does she do it over and over again? And Trevor, how do these entrepreneurs launch these businesses and succeed? And if we can learn a few of those key formulas so we can understand the recipe, then we can emulate that.
We can use that in our own businesses today. It’s all about green. Green is good. Michele’s our lead up moderator. Take it away, Michele. Yeah I love the subject. I feel like it’s something. It’s something, the world is working toward that many of us have been waiting for almost her entire life. I know that sounds very grandiose, but it’s true.
It’s not that it’s just sexy. And for me, it’s not that it’s political. It just makes sense. I think most people want to lead a cleaner, more responsible life across the board. [00:02:00] So we’re super excited today on serial entrepreneur club, we have call us a group of experts that are starting to come into the room.
I had not, is one of them. Aetna has been in selling solar solutions for many years. She’s an expert in the space and helping people dare. I say, Solarize, their, environment, whether it be commercial or residential. And I’ll let Edna talk about that herself in a second. And then we have a new person to clubhouse.
Trevor Warren, Trevor has a very cool product. I’ve been hearing a lot about it. He’s a CEO, he’s also an engineer. And I think Trevor, you’re the founder of higher wire. And he is in the space. I think I understood that you are dare I say, like a NASA or, they’re in [00:03:00] engineered that has invented a solution for.
Re-usable lithium battery. So I don’t want to get into the details because surely I’m not getting it quite right. And we’ll let you talk about it. And we have with us also his CML and partner Devin. So my gosh, we’re super passionate, like I said about this subject, and it’s just amazing that we’re in the, we’re in the stage now in the whole world, dare I say, where people can start to really bring these kinds of solutions to the general populace.
Probably a lot of that has to do with Tesla and Elon Musk has really raised the awareness. But, without further ado, let’s start going through our guests here are subject matter experts, so they can talk a little bit about the space. We’ll talk five to 10 minutes.
They’ll also talk about startups and where they think there’s opportunities. [00:04:00] And then I very quickly want to get into the audience because I’m sure there’s going to be lots of questions for our experts here on the stage right now. So without further ado, Aetna, tell us where you are in the space and what you’re observing from a high level kind of strategic position, where there are opportunities.
So Edna. Thank you. Thank you, Michele. Matt, there’s so much growth. The green renewable energy business is the fastest growing industry. Currently today, there are so many opportunities, whether it be solar, thermal, nuclear, wind, there’s just an enormous amount of opportunities. And I pretty much focus on solar.
I do rooftop solar for residential, commercial and industrial, and that’s one of the. Easiest and fastest way to reduce your carbon footprint to also own your power. Currently right now you set up [00:05:00] electricity in your home and you’re renting your power. So why rent your power when you can own your power?
Eventually you have a zero electric bill. So as you’re Twilight eating out and you’re aging, you’ve got decisions to make. Do you pay for your electricity or do you pay for your meds? At the current rate of inflation? Our electrical rates are going to be through the roof 20 years from now because our infrastructure is so outdated.
So there’s so many opportunities to come in with great creative ideas. And I love this room. I love the idea of getting other people that are working on green startups and solutions, because there’s so much money available for those folks that they can tap into the hero project. They can tap into so many things where they can bring their ideas to life.
And I PR, like I said, I predominantly focus on solar rooftop, solar, and, w with that being said, some states have better opportunities than others. And it boils down [00:06:00] to creating the infrastructure so that you can go out and provide these solutions for homeowners and for businesses. And there’s an opportunity with solar panels with batteries.
Cabling, you name it. There are so many opportunities. There’s one company that I was looking at recently and it’s a, the Oxford photovoltaic and they’re building solar panels and they’re using a different CO2, super critical CO2 and pero Skype so that they absorption rate of the heat is going to be a lot better.
There’s a lot of people that are working on this, and I think collaboratively coming together in a room like this today gives us an opportunity to also find and discover talent that is working on the same solution. So I’m super excited to hear what Trevor’s got to offer. And if anybody has any questions, feel free to hit me up in the back channel, send me a message and I’ll be more than happy to provide you with information.
If you want to get involved in the solar space, anywhere in the U S I can point you in the right direction and put you in touch with the right people. [00:07:00] Thanks, Michele. Appreciate you. You bet. So Edna, you bring a very good question to the forefront. If I’m understanding you, you’re almost saying if I own a property, whether it be residential or commercial, that the economic incentive for me to get solar is strong. Are you saying I could pay less and have solar? Like I’m trying to understand like, yeah. Move it to mainstream. Absolutely. So let’s say for example, you’re a homeowner, right?
You’re currently paying, I don’t know, $150 a month and you’re going to continue to pay $150 a month. You’re going to pay until the day you. So your electric bill will never end when you go solar, you build a project that offsets your entire consumption. So we build a system to offset your consumption.
If you’re consuming a thousand kilowatts, we built a system that offsets a thousand kilowatts. Your [00:08:00] bill goes from between from between a hundred to 150, we lock in your rate. So you’re going to pay that $100 for the next 25 years until you pay off your system. Once you hit that 25 year mark or 20 years or 15 years or 10 years, depending on what program you want to sign up for after that time period, you have a zero.
The only bill you’ll get is whatever the electric company, which is like $4, $5, $8. It just depends on the region that you’re in. And that is all that you will have. If you overproduce, then you end up with the credit. So 10, 15, 20 years down the road, you have a zero electric bill, not to mention that the government used to give you 50% in an ITC credit.
Now that credit is at 26%. So a few years ago, the government gave you a tax credit that you could write off in your taxes. So if you’re a high income earner and you need a tax write off, you don’t have children, you put solar on your house, 26% of your, of the total [00:09:00] cost of your system. You’re getting back in the form of a credit that you don’t pay at the end of the year towards your taxes.
So it is a very viable and a very good solution for a lot of folks, Michele. So the economics make a lot of sense. We’re just setting care. And I don’t know about the other folks in the audience. There’s a lot of telemarketers calling and making these offers even I’m like, like I’m a little bit confused about which way to go.
If somebody was really considering doing that, a what would you suggest they should do? Just to do their due diligence. So first and foremost, the one thing that’s really important. There’s a lot of good companies out there, and there’s a lot of bad companies out there understand that whatever your consumption is, it’s all based on consumption.
When you get somebody that’s going to come out and build a system for you, you want to make sure that they’re off. 100% of your [00:10:00] consumption. If they tell you that it’s 85%, then you’re, you need to push back and say, why are you only offsetting 85%? I need you to offset 100% so that you truly don’t have an electric bill.
The reason they don’t do that is because they make less money, right? We have federal funds that we’re tapped into. So for us, we’re going to get paid no matter what, whether you go solar or not. So our incentive is to do the right thing by the customer and we will build you a 100% offset system.
So you’ve got to be looking at your price per kilowatt. I teach homeowners how to look at their bills. What to look for, how to get a system that really is going to work for you and your family. And then we also have the conversation of, are you planning on getting an electric vehicle anytime soon?
Because if you are planning on getting an electric vehicle, then we need to build you a slightly larger system. We’ll go to 110 or 115% because that electric vehicle is going to consume more energy, which is then going to [00:11:00] throw you off. We’ll have the discussion about batteries. If you’re in an area where you have with a safe, free nights and weekends, or they’re not really free.
But a battery will help you store the energy that you produce during the day. So that at night you can pull from your battery instead of tapping into the grid. So there’s a lot of options and there’s a lot of things that, that are, that can be done. And if anyone’s listening and they have questions, feel free to send me a DM and I’ll be happy to walk you through it, guide you through it, answer any questions and point you in the right direction.
I really should come up with a little book that I can give to folks and tell them these are the things you need to look for. A like little check list. Absolutely. And I do have one, so I’ll put it together. Thanks Michele. For, yeah, that would be great. And anyone who signs up to our email list on ww.startup.club, we can send you Edna’s checklist.
That would be amazing. Get it [00:12:00] done. Awesome. All right. So there’s so many questions. This is such a deep area of conversation that I know people are interested in, but let’s skip over to Trevor, but then I want to come back and focus more on where is there opportunity for investors passive as well as business for startups.
So Trevor if you and Devin could give us I’ve heard some really cool things about what you guys are doing love to get the overview and like where are you finding the money? What the business model is. I know that would be of great interest to our audience. So Trevor and Devin, I’ll let you guys tag team it.
Sure. Michele first and foremost. Yeah, you were spot on. So I’m an engineer. I worked in aerospace for a number of years before founding higher wire, a couple of years. And I’m actually located in Arizona, so higher wires out of Arizona, but as you might be aware Devin’s over in Florida.
[00:13:00] So we have known each other for a number of years and he’s a marketing guru. So when I needed some help with some marketing, he was the first guy that I called and we’ve been, we’ve really hit the ground running this year. So it’s been a lot of fun. So everybody on this call, you guys are all depending on lithium batteries, myself included, right?
Everybody’s either listening in on the cell phone, a tablet, wireless headsets, laptop, whatever maybe you can mute it this morning. An electric vehicle, a scooter. E-bikes something like that. So lithium batteries obviously power in our daily lives and that’s not going away. In fact, it’s estimated that demand is going to grow exponentially through 2050 at the very least.
And that’s awesome. The electric. But here’s the thing though, people are starting to kind of question are starting to realize rather the hell are we going to do with all these batteries when they go bad. Recycling is obviously an answer. So there’s a number of companies that have that are looking into [00:14:00] recycling that are trying to grow that recycling of lithium batteries so that we can make a kind of circular economy out of them.
But the problem is decimated only about 6% of lithium batteries are properly recycled in the United States. And it takes a ton of energy, takes toxic chemicals, and they’re not quite there yet. It’s not quite able to recover most of those critical materials for lithium batteries. So higher wire. What we do is something a little bit different.
We give new life to old batteries. We developed a unique process flow that creates a truly circular economy for these battery. Requires less energy than recycling generates no chemical waste. And the cool thing is the vast majority of all the battery components can be recycled. We talking about the plastic casing, the charge boards, the nickel, the copper, the batteries themselves, all of that can, what we do is we actually extend the useful life of those batteries.
So we’ll take batteries out [00:15:00] of, for example, scooters e-bikes golf carts, that sort of thing. We’ll analyze those batteries, the individual cells inside those batteries we’ll make a determination. Are they good to continue to use in those applications, those high load applications? Are they good to be used in lower drain applications?
So solar backup, for example paired with solar, for like bus stop lights or park lights, that sort of thing, or do they need to be processed end of life, recycling. What that does is that creates domestic supply, right? Cause we’re not getting these batteries from anywhere that’s outside.
The United States. You guys are probably all well aware of all the supply and supply chain issues we’ve had this year and last couple of years, and because we’re safe handling experts, it reduces the load and the burden for processing centers. So a lot of places when you recycle, if you properly recycle a battery, they go to a processing center and they probably have laptops and [00:16:00] keyboards and computer screens and that sort of thing.
And they’re not necessarily battery experts. So a lot of the companies that I’ve talked to the e-waste recyclers, they are terrified for lack of a better word of handling these batteries because they think that just one night they’re going to explode and start a massive fire. So we help them safely handle those as well.
So like I said, we take, mobility, power tool packs consumer electronics, all of that. Analyze those rebuild them, stick them into off-grid. Solar is our big our big market for city of Tempe, for example. So we’re out of Tempe, Arizona and they have a huge climate action plan. So when we brought this up to the city of Tempe, they said, this is absolutely perfect.
When I first started higher wire, I actually went to the city of Tempe household product collection center. And I asked them, Hey, what are you guys doing with these batteries? And the guy said, man, you want to take them off my hands? I said, that’s, that’d be perfect. And he said, how much I told the guy, I said, I’m not going to pay you for these batteries, but [00:17:00] I’ll gladly take them off your hands for free.
And he told me, he said, we have no idea what to do with these. And we just have companies that come in and we pay them to take them off our hands. So that was a missed opportunity, but definitely a learning story as well. But we offer those cradle to grave services for example, the city of Tempe, where we process those use lithium batteries from their household collection centers.
We analyze them and we rebuild stationary energy storage, and we put them back into those local applications. There’s a bike path here in the city of Tempe town lake. We’re working on a project to power, all of those lights so that and they’re connected to solar. So that in the evening, when people want to bike along Tempe town lake, their recycled batteries will be powering those lights.
So it’s a really cool and different value proposition for lithium batteries. Cause like I said, they’re everywhere. And they’re not going anywhere. And people don’t quite know exactly how to process these things at all.[00:18:00] My gosh, like you both, you and Edna have touched on so many points and I love that Edna’s bringing the consumer point and you’re also bringing the business part, but I can’t think of a time in the last 20 years where there was such an opportunity for consumers and businesses like this.
What I hear both of you saying is and I’m paraphrasing here. So tell me if I’m wrong. Like governments and consumers, both sides of the equation are just clamoring for these eco-friendly green solutions. And that if you can just come up with a viable idea and do a little bit of the. Yup.
You can massively benefit obviously. And, dare I say, the whole world kind of benefits from it’s, it sounds like a really unique time. And Trevor and Emma, you’re pointing to [00:19:00] some really interesting business models here. Yeah. And here’s the thing too is the vast majority of municipalities of cities, towns, and that sort of thing.
They’ve got somebody dedicated to sustainability to renewables, that sort of thing, whether it’s trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, like the city of Tempe does promoting solar, we’ve got a solar co-op here. That’s just a bunch of residents who are super excited about it as well.
And, trying to help the city in that. More renewable, friendly legislation, so it’s definitely worth if, obviously I think everybody here is interested in the business side of and capitalizing on renewable energy, right? So it’s definitely worth looking at your local city and just seeing what they’ve got out there, because the vast majority of them have a climate action plan or a sustainability plan or something like that.
And you can find those people to get in touch with and talk to. And that’s exactly what Devin and I did here in Tempe, and he’s done in Florida. And we’ve expanded [00:20:00] out from there where we’re just having conversations and trying to understand the pain points for businesses and for municipalities and addressing those.
All right. So w let me understand. So Edna talked about if you’re consuming. How to move forward and she’s going to actually give us a checklist that we can email out. So please remember everyone to go to ww.startup.club and get on the email lists. Trevor, are you saying just tell us at a high level.
So I’ve got a business idea. Do I need a minimal viable product, an MVP? Do I need a business plan? Like how hard is this going to be for me? What would be the next steps if I’m a startup and I’m pretty sure I have a good idea. What would you recommend our members here of startup punt to do?
What would you suggest.[00:21:00] Like I said, first and foremost, it’s talking to people. So as I mentioned, when I first talked to the household collection center here in Tempe, it was me and I had barely started higher wire. I don’t even think that I had incorporated at all. But I just said, Hey, I had the name at the time.
I said, Hey, I’m a Tempe resident here in around the corner from you guys, a longtime resident, whatever. But I started a company hire wire. And what we do is we repurpose lithium batteries at the time. Again I didn’t have any sort of product or anything. I was basically just playing with these things and that the most important part is reaching out and making.
Talking to people, even if it’s just something that you’ve got on paper in your mind. And you’ve got an idea, find people to talk to and get people excited about it. Because if they see that you’re excited about something and you are passionate about it that’s going to come across and you’re going to get a lot of people who will be very interested just for that reason alone.
And, again, we’re [00:22:00] obviously all here for renewables and renewables are massive right now. Absolutely massive. So there’s a ton of opportunity, a ton of incentives out there. So hit the ground running and try to find people to talk to. Cause that’s going to be the very first step. All right.
That’s awesome. And it’s one thing, and calling up open to up the session here this hour, he said here on serial entrepreneur club, we’re trying to figure out what are the elements? What are the ingredients? What is the formula to break the code to be successful as an entrepreneur? And I’m going to say.
Trevor, one thing we continuously hear always here is the importance of what you just said, getting out there and talking and understanding at every level at the consumer level, both you and Edna has said. And both of you have also said the importance, especially in this area of being connected with your local city, your [00:23:00] government, national levels, because these are huge, usually funded initiatives by the governments.
Oh my gosh, I have a couple ideas. I’m not quite as far along as both of you, you’re your experts in this. But gosh, I think anyone who has an idea seems worthwhile to get out there and try and talk, but, before we get too much. Jeff sass is here. I know Jeff personally, and I know he is a huge advocate of these kinds of solutions, and I’m sure he’ll have some insight for us about like how to get started or even invest in ideas that support, eco-friendliness.
Thanks Michele. And thanks Edna and Trevor and Devin. Great stuff. And Trevor, I love what you’re doing too, because it’s almost a double whammy when you think about it, because just promoting use of batteries is a sustainable effort that has benefits like riding, I [00:24:00] ride an electric scooter to the gym virtually every morning.
I put over, a few thousand miles on that thing already. But the side effect is you also have the issue with battery waste and how do you dispose of these batteries and recycle them? So the fact that your, a encouraging continued use of batteries and be solving some of the problems around, what to do with them when they start to, to wear down and re replenishing them or restoring them through your process, I think is just a great concept.
And I think that to your question or your point, Michele, that kind of raises this notion is. You want to look at all sides of the sustainability issue, cause there’s always side effects. If you change your diet to support the environment, you still have to take into consideration.
There’s still costs involved in the farming of those vegetables, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan and other things. So it’s always such a bigger picture and you don’t know about the domino effects of every piece. And so I liked that what Trevor and Devin are doing [00:25:00] is not only looking at the front end, but in a way of looking at the back end, and solving some of those domino effects as well.
When you think about that’s where the opportunities come from. That’s where the opportunities for innovation come from. And I think that, where at the very tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the innovations around battery solar and sustainable energy, both at the front end and the backend, if that makes sense.
Yeah, definitely. If, and when that battery of heres degrades and that scooter get ahold of me or Devin we’ll take care of before. Awesome. I think I’m almost there because I noticed now when I turn on the headlights, it slows down, which it never used to do. There you go. A funny, quick aside, a story of kind of how I got started with higher wire actually, where I came up with it was similar.
I’m an engineer. So I love to tinker with things, but a few years ago I had a laptop battery that actually died and I ordered the new one. And when it came in, swapped the batteries and then I had to figure out, what do I do with this battery now? [00:26:00] Where do I recycle it? It’s not like you can throw it in with your giant pile of double and triple A’s.
So I Googled it and I found a YouTube video that somebody disassembled a laptop battery, and it’s got six individual cells inside a little bit bigger than a AA. And so I put my volt meter on there and four of those cells were still good. So two out of those six cells had failed, which basically rendered the battery useless for that application.
So I took them out. And did what any responsible father would do? I put those into my kids battery powered, Nerf guns. And let me tell you something it was both the best idea I’ve ever had and possibly the worst because it, those things fired those little yellow Nerf balls. About twice as hard gave me some bruises.
I’ll tell you. But I also took those. So when I went to the city of Tempe, I took those and I actually built a battery pack for an electric scooter. And so now I have similarly because I’m about a mile away from my house. I have an electric scooter that is running off of our [00:27:00] repurpose batteries that otherwise would have just been, end of life, completely done, or something like that.
Definitely a huge opportunity there for this. Awesome, totally great story too. I love the background story and it’s interesting cause I think most people don’t think of that because most batteries are made from an array of smaller batteries inside. And I’m surprised that the technology doesn’t, fail over like it would in, in a hard drive array or something so that when one or two batteries become weak, the whole thing doesn’t die.
Yeah. And again, for the, for that application, it typically does. But the way that they’re arranged means that as long as they’re not in the same parallel string, the cells they’re typically still pretty good. So even from new, they, they degrade at different levels. So when some go bad, the other ones are still good instead of taking the entire assembly out, which is wonderful for us.[00:28:00]
Really this is so fascinating. And I’m just, thinking that, we’ve heard two different business models, right? We have Trevor here who’s, very centric. And I don’t even know Trevor, but I’ll just say, smaller batteries, not massive batteries that are lithium, but probably, gosh, I don’t even know.
They’re so pervasively used now and I believe they’re more efficient. So correct me if I’m wrong about that. And then we have Aetna here talking about the application, when I think about solar power, wow. Residential commercial, and going off the grid. And, there’s just a million reasons to do it, even in addition to, saving the environment.
If that’s the way you choose to think about it, but there’s also, high economic incentives, as she said, but there’s other business models, right? There’s all the input [00:29:00] materials, to put into these eco-friendly products. There’s even the business of building, money market funds that are.
Green safe for green friendly as well as there’s a lot of people that are just interested in recycling, just pure recycling. So there’s so many different facets of being eco. Devin, we talked about you a little bit, but you haven’t spoken yet. Like how are you going about marketing this and what kind of opportunity do you see there is in the market, Devin.
Hello everybody. How are you today? Yeah, I I was going to jump in there a couple of times, but Trevor’s been practicing in the mirror and he knocked that presentation out of the ballpark. He’s also a big baseball guy, so that ponds. I think we’ve touched on a lot of those.
Our branding strategy is, and driving awareness is going to be focused on consumer facing products that people are familiar with as well [00:30:00] as the sustainable efforts that we’re going to do to create that full life cycle of these batteries with partnerships, with the city of Tempe and the hazardous collection centers.
And that’s our goal is to grow those programs. Trevor talked about the Nerf con and it is, it’s a fun, fun thing. I’m actually flying out there on the 27th to be staying with him and do some work. And I can’t wait to throw down with those Nerf guns, but, that is actually something that we’re going to utilize for awareness and to educate, we’re gonna, we’re going to create instructional videos and a cool marketing campaign behind, taking these old lithium batteries and creating.
Said products, Nerf guns, little go-karts different opportunities of go-kart, on a larger scale, we’re going to be converting converting bicycles to electric. So our goal is to promote these kind of do it yourself, tinker, learn the program. And then also through different like 2d animation videos and a variety of content campaign strategies that we’re going to be initiating here in the next 90 days is, [00:31:00] actually educating number one where consumers find these everyday lithium price.
A lot of people know some of the front runners, but they might not know all the other products of which they touch. We want to educate where to find these products, where the problem is, which Trevor’s already touched on. And the fact that only 6% of these batteries is getting recycled.
There’s a huge opportunity for us, for the consumers, for Citi, for our planet to overall really, work towards a zero carbon footprint and reduce this landfill waste that is going to be an issue and exponentially is only going to grow even more. That’s our short term approach is we’re rebranding everything currently.
We’re sprucing up the website. We’re going to be launching a bunch of campaigns on social. We’re talking to the cities both in here in south Florida as well in Arizona and Scottsdale Tempe. Obviously we’re going to launch everything there since it’s based there. But our goal is to launch the pilot program with the hazardous collection centers, educate their staff, maybe be [00:32:00] out there with them occasionally and, get the community excited about it as well as have our website be a one stop source for resources, for what to do with them, how to handle them, where to take them to the closest location center near you, and have that, have it lifetime math and build out that database that is resourceful for people.
As well as sell individual DIY products, batteries a variety of things that are associated in this category. And that’s really our short term approach. And of course, we’re going to have a municipalities. We’re looking at government contracts. But really our focus is getting everybody excited about what we’re doing.
Really looking at the proprietary way of which we are approaching a problem that has not been solved or even tackle the way that we’re approaching it. And I think that’s what we’re most excited about is that we really, Trevor really found a niche in this market. And I think that’s really our best thing.
Hey, Trevor dead Devin do you know if someone [00:33:00] in the audience here they’re in another city, is this an opportunity for them to partner with you? Or is this something that you do solely on your own as a company?
There are definitely some opportunities to partner. With lithium batteries, they’re classified as a hazardous material for transportation purposes. The DLT classifies them as I think it’s 49 CFR classes. Which means that you can’t transport a ton of more than a ton, less literal ton, I believe is what it is 2000 pounds across state lines without a specially trained driver without special, play cards, all that stuff.
So it makes it difficult to expand beyond like Arizona for us, for example. So we’re looking at how we’re going to expand with that. Whether it makes sense to have kind of pop-ups in major cities, especially out here in the west or try and see what the costs would be for transportation.
But yeah, definitely. If somebody is interested, I would love to to [00:34:00] chat with them about, expansion because Obviously these things are everywhere and getting these centrally located or, getting them into our hands so that we can further process them and give them new life is I think essential.
And I know there are also other entrepreneurs or those aspiring to launch businesses in the green space, in the audience here. And I know Edna you’ve always given such good advice when it comes to startups and people who just want to get going. Any thoughts on what, how somebody could start a business in the green field or any ideas that you might have, or any new technologies that they could latch onto or grab onto to support a new business initiative, Edna.
Colin and what you need for Trevor, right? You need a hazmat driver, Trevor that has all the hazmat certifications in order to be able to transport that interstate not intrastate. So intrastate is within the state and interstate is [00:35:00] going to another state. But that’s easy. That’s not difficult to do.
I’ve got a trucking company, so I can definitely help you out with that. Colin, to your question, the fastest, easiest way to get involved in the solar industry is to start a solar company within your community and provide solar for residential, commercial, and industrial. And I can definitely Put people in touch with the right people so that they can do that.
I have infrastructure in five states and I have contracts with other people across all 50 states. Now COVID was definitely something that helped have opened that up. And so that’s probably the fastest and easiest way to get into it, but there’s so much Colin, there’s so much that can be done, farming there’s containers, there’s opportunities in and just the air quality, right? Windows, insulation, all of those things help to reduce the energy that you’re consuming, because [00:36:00] that’s really the goal. The goal is to consume less energy and you do that by, Windows that are more efficient by having better installation by looking at your overall environment.
And, there’s a company that just recently launched and they have these vents in the home and they’re gauged by temperature. So you’re, if you’re only in one part of the house, your AC is pushing the air to that area and they’re timed. And so there’s a lot of things that people are coming up with that are really creative and innovative.
And again, if you’re looking to start something, in, in the home space, everybody, that’s probably the biggest dent also going to commercial and Esq. They also are doing something called carbon capture. And if you produce enough energy, you can sell your carbon credits to a company that maybe isn’t hitting the mark.
The, I think in the future, you’re going to start to see a lot of companies that are going to be pushing that [00:37:00] carbon capture as well. So there’s opportunities pretty much everywhere. You look when it comes to green energy and renewables Colin. So let’s say I want to start my own solar panel, residential business in Fort Lauderdale.
And do I need to buy inventory? Do I need to buy the panels and then knock on the doors? Or is there no, do I, is there a way to get in this business without spending. A hundred thousand or a million dollars to start what does it cost to get started? Absolutely. Colin that you’d be surprised, right?
There’s two different models. You have the sales model and then you have the installation model. I would recommend to anybody. Look, if you don’t have a lot of capital to invest, start a sales company, you go out, you partner with folks. I can help you set that up. You would have your, all of your tools that you would need to design and build the systems training is involved.
You go out there, you start selling the systems. When you get started, you let an installer handle your installation jobs because [00:38:00] it’s a lot to bite off all at once. And you also have to be tied into the lender. So you need to have an electrician. That’s going to sign off on that. But if you have the financial capital and you say, you know what, I want to go all in, you can do that as well, but I don’t recommend it because you need that experience.
You need to be able to go out there and problem solve these things. There’s a lot of stuff that you need to learn about the electrical panels and the electrical grid right now. The biggest opportunity that I see in the renewable space is electrical panels because our houses were built back in the day where these panels are no longer efficient, but to what you were saying, calling, you can start a sales organization, get a small, you don’t even need a small little office.
You can use one of those shared office spaces. That’s very inexpensive. You hire a sales team, you train them. You go out you door, knock, you get a customer’s bill, you bring it back or right then and there, you can design it because I have all the design tools. You design a system right then, and there you show the economics to the [00:39:00] customer qualifies for the credit.
You’re off to the races. You then turn that project over to an EPC. The EPC will build it out and you’re off to your next deal. And you do that for about six months. And then on month six, if you really want to go into the installation side, you need an electrician, a licensed electrician in that state, and you go out and you bring that electrician on, and now you’re doing your own in-house installations, what’s going on.
You tie into a company called CED Greentech and they have a program. Where they will pay. They will supply you with the panels. They will supply you with all the things that you need and they will do the draws from the bank. So your capital output is very low. It’s not when, like, when I got started, the capital output was huge, but I’ve got a lot of projects going on.
And so I do my own financing. I don’t have to wait to get paid. And that’s something that you build up to, but if you want it to start, you could tie into [00:40:00] their program, which directly ties into the lenders and your capital output. And you can get started for less than 20 grand Edna. I had a question about solar panels.
It’s always been at the back of my mind. So you probably the best person I know to answer it. I had a sailboat many years ago before it sank in a hurricane. And I had a solar panel on the boat, but all it could do was it was basically trickle charging the battery. So that in between going sailing, the battery would never be dead.
I know that Fisker, I believe had a solar panel on the top of its car, but for similar purposes, just to keep the accessories charge, how far away are we from solar panel technology, where you won’t need a charging station for your Evie? The roof will be sufficient to keep the car charged with solar panels on the roof of the car.
Is that something that’s in our. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, Jeffrey, because the technology is just not [00:41:00] there. The batteries it’s all in the battery. The battery has to be able to store enough energy for you to go longer distances. And so that’s really the challenge here. The Cape have the ability to store it in the battery so that you can use it when you need it.
And the other thing too is I don’t know how long ago that was, but back if I, if it was five years ago or three years ago, the panels were maybe two hundreds or three to hundreds at most. So that’s the maximum that it was going to produce. Right now we have panels that are four fifties, five hundreds, and that’s on that’s.
That’s how much energy they’re producing. So the panels have gotten stronger that same size, but they’ve been able to put more. More strengthened to those panels so that your production is going to be higher. So as we continue to increase the production of the panels, then we’re going to also increase the capability of storing more energy.
If that makes sense.[00:42:00]
It one other thing I’ve heard, and I don’t know if it’s true or not still is the weight of those boats, you and Trevor, because I honestly believe that the thing standing in between like mass market for electric cars and solar, and many of these things, even little consumer devices, electronic devices are batteries.
Isn’t one of the challenges is that they’re like super heavy. When Jeff was talking about cars, I know Colin and I had talked to some people for one of his company at Capcom. And they were telling us there is so extremely heavy. They’re really not conducive to go down to that level yet. Is that accurate?
That is very accurate, but I’ll let Trevor speak more on that. Yeah. Lithium batteries are about four times as energy dense as traditional lead acid, which means that for example, [00:43:00] our products in a form factor, that’s the same size as like an automotive car battery, right? Like a starter car battery.
We can fit about twice the capacity at half the weight. That’s. Where we’ve seen a lot of the the EVs start to take off because now you can actually fit enough to where people can go two to 300 miles, but you’re right. It’s still, they’re still a very heavy and a typical EVs, a few hundred pounds heavier than its ice counterpart.
But they’re, they have a, and I say they scientists have come up with some solutions that are at least viable in the lab right now. So solid state batteries is a big one and those are going to offer a couple of advantages. One there’s the charging problem. So right now it’s great. If you’ve got the space that you can charge overnight.
The batteries, can’t take a charge that is as fast as something like a gas station, where five minutes you’re in, you’re out, [00:44:00] still takes multiple hours to fully charge a battery. And even, 30, 40 minutes, depending on how depleted it is to quick charge to 80%. And then second, those are going to be much more power energy dense than even lithium is.
So that’s going to reduce the the overall weight of the battery, the overall footprint of the battery, or allow you in the same amount of space as what lithium batteries currently do to to have a longer range and to have greater capacity in that same space.
It’s really fascinating to me. But I don’t want to forget that we have Mina on the stage. And Nina has joined to ask a question. Mina, what is your question or your comment for this conversation, please? Sure. It was a little bit off topic. It’s actually, when I was talking about carbon [00:45:00] capture credits, and I’m just wondering if anybody else has any insight about this as I discovered that there through the hydro there’s a lot of scientific journals that have proven that hydrogen rich water captures carbon in the soil as microbes make complex solar cells from the carbon in the air to multiply.
So I was looking into researching what, with a university to get the actual metrics of how much carbon is sequestered. And when I get those findings who would the governing body be to bring these findings, to qualify farmers? When they’re using hydrogen rich water, to be able to sell the carbon offsets to the government.
Man. That’s a tough, that’s a tough one because you’ve got to capture it, you’ve gotta be able to capture it, package it and sell it. And so that’s really the challenge. There’s so many things that people are working on and that’s one of the things that folks are working on that they’re going on, farming, they’re working on health care.
They’re working [00:46:00] on residential solar, they’re working on wind. There’s just so many things that are currently in the works, but there’s a, if you back channel me, I can put you in touch with the lady. Her name is Jade, and she may be able to put you in touch with the hero project. And that’s a federally funded project.
That’s a competition right now. It’s in round five. I think the final, the finalists are going to be announced this coming week. And it’s a project where if you’ve got a great idea, you can compete with others that you’re going to be competing against universities as well. And they have a software software lane and then they have a hardware lane.
And those are people that you want to be in touch with and you want to be communicating with, because they’re the ones that are out there working on all this. Thank you so much. Yeah. Hey, really quickly to, to piggyback on that. If you’re working with university, there are, there’s a really big grant program, a federal grant program called a small business innovation research SBAR.
And if you Google that all [00:47:00] of the big government programs, department of agriculture included department of energy, national science foundation they have funding available and it’s non-dilutive funding for research specific to innovation. So that sounds like that is a perfect thing that you can look into.
And typically when you partner with a university that strengthens your case for those grants, we’ve actually partnered with ASU sustainability. And we’ve put in several grant applications and have been invited from the national science foundation to submit a grant for our technology for renewables.
I think that’s something that you should definitely look into because that could really help get some capital and gets you really moving forward with that. Thank you. I’m actually based in Canada, so I’m not sure if that would apply to me, but there are in Canada, there is a government fund that chain for research.
They do start at $15,000. So I am working towards getting that, but I’d be interested in seeing if I could qualify as [00:48:00] Canadian or tap to start. Yeah. And I know in Canada too, they also have the R and D credits. So if you’re a developing technology, definitely about 60, 70% of your costs can be Def paid for by the Canadian government.
The issue with R and D credits up in Canada, they take a long time, but I like where this conversation has turned to be. A lot of these, a lot of startups here, they want to figure out how can they raise money? And it seems like the government is ideal for this particular industry. And they want to incense entrepreneurs to launch green startups.
And so where do they go? And I know that, we’ve talked to a couple of sources here. I think if you connect with your local university, they also have incubators or innovation centers and they can also help you find funding as well. And there are particular groups of investors that will focus just on the green space as well.
If anyone else here on the audience or on the stage, or even in the audience, you have an idea of [00:49:00] how some of these startups can raise money, whether it’s yourself, Trevor Edna, or Jeff, or Michele, or even yourself meet up in Canada, if you have any ideas it’d be interesting. Up.
Yeah. I just, further expanding on that. Like I think it’s such a unique time and such a unique opportunity because governments are heavily incented right on the international level. To take care of, eco issues and, we could even do it on a smaller basis. I just want to mention this cause we’ve talked about some really cool big ideas, but there is even a lot of opportunity in retail and e-commerce and building an, almost every sector to run environmentally friendly businesses, whether it be dry cleaning or retailing or, food for organic.
So [00:50:00] it’s truly a massive opportunity. But before we go to get to the end of the show, we actually have Mamie here in the audience below us, who is one of our editors on www.startup.club. I think, unfortunately some folks help some of our members help. I think it would be great to start compiling, some kind of, papers, some documentation just to try to help people out because Edna and Trevor had Devin have said, there’s tremendous opportunity to get money and funding from the government and even consumer back program.
So that it’s extremely easy for them to buy. I think the issue, what I’m hearing about here is that people just don’t quite know where to go. So let’s take that on. I think made me as a as a project for the members. I know I’m Michele we’ll be working with, we were working with Procter and gamble venture.
They were looking for innovative solutions [00:51:00] that were more holistic and no, I guess that’s not really the green energy, but it’s more of, or. Solutions that humans use that are environmentally friendly, which I guess is green, right? Yeah. I would definitely call and I would definitely consider that to be in this field.
And you’re right. That’s a great resource for us also to reach out to, they’re really trying to build awareness and help people navigate. They actually have a whole incubator that is just for that helping businesses navigate into the space, whether it be bug spray. I’m saying this because this is one of the products that they were helping, bud sprays that were not toxic, like that’s considered green and environmentally friendly.
So I feel like we’re making some good contacts here with the. And this could be a really cool project for us to take on, to start producing some guides. Again, I’m not just pitching our newsletter [00:52:00] and we all like email out if it’s some value, make sure if you’re interested in this area or hearing these cool speakers that you know, we’re working hard to bring to you at no costs, obviously make sure you sign up for the email@example.com.
We also have three amazing people. Edna, Trevor and Devin who have offered to, help people like make contacts if they can and just provide the information because they’re in the trenches and they’re learning. Reach out to them on a back channel, follow them, check out their profile.
And if you have questions, I’m sure it sounds like they’d be happy to help where they can. All right. Michele, there’s one other area that I wanted to touch upon because a lot of people are focused on. Education right. And got to have a college degree. Got it. All these other things we overlook the blue [00:53:00] collar industry and the blue collar worker.
And there is a huge opportunity for anyone that is working on anything where you can use materials to build homes that are also green. So think about installation, right? So innovation and installation and anything that has to do in the blue collar sector, where, as it pertains to construction. So if anybody here has a brilliant idea on how to make that happen, you’re looking at foam, you’re looking at a bunch of different materials that you can make better that are green and more efficient.
There’s a huge push for that. So I just wanted to throw that out there cause we didn’t we talked about green energy, solar wind, but we didn’t talk about how it can be impactful in residential building commercial building and. You know what Edna, that is an excellent point. When you earlier mentioned about, you need to find an electrician like my gosh.[00:54:00]
That could be an amazing opportunity for somebody in that field or interested in being in that field is to specialize there. That could be extremely rewarding. So I’m really glad that you brought that up at now. There really is a place it’s a rare thing. Again, I think it’s such a rare space.
There’s a place for everyone, right? And there’s a place for us to live that lifestyle daily and feel good about what we’re doing as well as work in the space. And that’s very different than like cloud computing or other fields that are, doing very well. Now, cloud computing is green. There really is.
If you think about it, So many areas that maybe not Bitcoin, we won’t go with that. All right. We got a cold, a couple of minutes left. We got a couple more people or one more person on stage MC Fiona. I hope I said that. Did you want to ask a question of our experts here or have any comments for us [00:55:00] MC
okay. He might be busy right now, so let’s just go and wrap this up. We’re at the top of the hour, we want to give a big, thanks to Edna Bev who has joined us, who is an expert in everything, solar specifically in installations, and much, much more from very small projects to very large projects and that whole business startup ecosystem around it.
So thank you Edna for joining us today and always thank you. And we had Trevor and Devin from higher wire Trevor and Devin have a super cool product. I’m actually Devin says here in our incubator here in Fort Lauderdale. So we really, hope that you guys can come back again. I think this is a good topic to expand on later, kudos to both of you for [00:56:00] really moving your venture forward as a startup and in the battery space, which again, you know, I, I believe that’s like a massive opportunity and it’s also a massive on road ramp or on ramp to really, commercializing and getting massive adoption.
So a huge thanks to Mina for joining us and asking your questions and our moderators, Jeffrey and Colin and re. So Colin what’s next week. Yeah. All right. So I’m going to get this right, but first of all, I did follow your Trevor Devin MENA. You’re experts in your own way. And that’s what clubhouse is all about.
It’s really about connecting with other experts and hopefully we’ll see you on more and we’ll run some more of these green shows as well. I really, of course, I really enjoy working with you. You add none in the advice that you give small businesses is great. Last week I said, this week was going to be the metaverse.
We got that wrong. It was green this week. Totally messed that calendar up. But next week we are going [00:57:00] into the matter verse and we have a lady who runs a technology company that specializes in the metaverse. She runs actually an incubator for the Canadian government and she does it in the metaverse.
And she’ll, we’re going to talk about how startups can benefit from the metaverse great show. Talk to you next week. Thank you. Thanks everybody. Really appreciate it. You guys okay. Thank you. Thanks everyone. Thanks Colin. Thanks for hosting as always a great show. And for those of you in the room, if you haven’t already done so please click on that little greenhouse firstname.lastname@example.org register.
Get in the know and get into the group because startup club is doing some amazing things. Y’all I know we got to get you to run a weekly show and now you’re like the you’re so good at what you do. I’m telling you we would be great. If we could get you to do something there it’s it’s done Colin, consider it [00:58:00] done.
I’ll do a weekly show on green startups would be awesome and help as many folks get into the green energy and at least provide a path. And I’ll come up with some great tools that that we can use and we can send out, change the world one step at a time. All right. See you next week. See you next week.