Seven ventures will compete in the Global Impact Award finals on Monday, October 29th. Up to $50,000 will be awarded to one or more ventures.
Since the announcement of the 2018 finalists in April, all finalists have been paired up with industry mentors and have been polishing their pitches and Opportunity Summaries. Each week leading up to the finals in October, we will introduce one finalist team individually. Check back each week for a new profile!
This week is all about…
Total Number of Employees: 5
When They Formed: March 2017
Total Funding (as of September 2018): $139,700
What problem are you solving?
CyberPowered Home solves the problems of high residential energy bills, concern about environmental impacts of wasteful energy use, and limited contextual data for smart homes for the homeowner, and simultaneously helps reduce significantly increasing grid volatility and cost of generating power for electric utilities.
How do you solve the problem?
The CyberPowered Home system analyzes energy use to determine which electric devices are running at any given time. It then builds a predictive contextual model that automatically controls devices in the home (smart thermostats, other smart devices, and even entire circuits) to reduce wasted energy use and provide convenience to homeowners.
About the Founding Team:
Will Blanchard (Computer Engineering, Economics & Strategy, SYSTEMS ENGINEERING ’18)
Co-Founder and CEO
As CEO, Will builds strategic and product vision while leading business execution (hiring, fundraising, customer discovery, etc.). He has a BS in Computer Engineering, BSAS in Economics & Strategy, and BSAS in Systems Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
Allen Nikka (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science minor ’17)
Co-Founder and CTO
As CTO, Allen translates vision to technological implementation through hands on engineering and procurement of necessary assets. He has a BS Electrical Engineering and minor in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and he is working towards his MS in Computer Science at University of California, Los Angeles.
What has been your biggest lesson learned since starting your venture?
Will Blanchard (WB): Nearly everything you do for the first time takes longer than you anticipate.
Allen Nikka (AN): My largest take away has been that there is no single magic bullet to finding a viable business. High technical acumen and a great product solving a big problem are just the foot in the door, it takes ingenious marketing, talented sales, and flawless execution to get there.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
WB: Entrepreneurship allows me to work on a problem I believe to be of incredible importance and find creative solutions.
AN: The thing I love about being an entrepreneur is taking complete ownership of what I do, for better or worse. And what’s more, I’m able to guide the direction of my product development, and parallel with that, my own personal development.
What words of advice do you have for those who are interested in starting a business?
WB: To start a business you must be extremely comfortable with uncertainty, lack of structure, and self-direction.
AN: It’s no cake-walk and certainly not for the faint of heart. And at the very minimum, you need an incredible conduit for creating value for a very particular person/entity. But all that being said, it’s completely worth it.
Like what you see? Follow along CyberPowered Home’s journey: