This commentary is by Morgan Casella, who is the CEO of Dynamic Organics. It appeared on VTDigger.com on 5/16/18
Dynamic Organics is a small business headquartered in Putney that is dedicated to the design, development and operation of renewable energy and efficiency projects. When my business partner and I decided to expand beyond consulting and develop a software solution we were suddenly faced with the challenges of a startup company, including startup costs, identifying markets and access to capital. So we were thrilled to be chosen as one of eight business startups to join Accel-VT, a business accelerator providing startup support, mentorship, and access to capital – for climate economy entrepreneurs.
Over the course of three months, we attended 12 day-long training sessions where we heard from over 40 mentors who provided us with critical input, feedback and advice on our business plan. We also had substantive meetings with various Vermont companies who are interested in our services. This provided our company with the ability to refine our value proposition through conversations with these investors and stakeholders in the utility sphere.
During the Accel-VT training we also developed close relationships with the other companies in our cohort and gained invaluable insight of our business models strengths and weaknesses from these other groups feedback. Since meeting at the accelerator, we have also begun collaborating with another company that attended Accel-VT, Introspective Systems of Portland, Maine.
Dynamic Organics’ software solution enables building heating and cooling loads to be flexibly controlled, using these loads to balance intermittent, renewable generation. Introspective Systems is developing a pricing platform creating real-time pricing at multiple levels throughout the electric distribution and transmission grids. Having the chance to discuss both of our companies’ software and hardware in-depth over the three-month accelerator program illustrated the complementary nature of our business models, and we have since started collaborating on a microgrid development at a former naval air base.
Accel-VT afforded us a foundational understanding of where we are currently as a startup company, and tools for levelling-up our company as we go forward. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund provided an amazing curriculum, instructors, access to stakeholders and investors, and a comfortable environment to refine our business model and value proposition. We sincerely thank all of our sponsors, and wholeheartedly recommend any Vermont startup company participate in future accelerators to test your own assumptions about your business.
Accel-VT is a program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. To learn more: www.accel-vt.com