EnerNOC makes strategic investment in WeSpire to target energy savings at companies

David Harris, Tech Editor – Boston Business Journal
June 25, 2014

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EnerNOC (Nasdaq: ENOC), a Boston-based provider of energy intelligence software, announced Tuesday that it made a strategic investment in Boston-basedWeSpire, a Boston software startup that focuses on keeping a company’s employees engaged in sustainability.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, EnerNOC has exclusive rights to market a white-labeled version of WeSpire’s employee engagement application, customized for enterprise and utility customers. Through the agreement, WeSpire will be available to all EnerNOC customers.

By using WeSpire software, users can earn points for actions related to projects that span energy, water, waste, transportation, food, volunteerism, and corporate citizenship. Founded as Practically Green in 2010, WeSpire’s customers include eBay, McDonald’s, Unilever and MGM Resorts International.

“Changing behavior is one of the most effective ways that organizations can take control of energy use, but it also requires a systematic approach built on proven behavioral science,” said Susan Hunt Stevens, founder and CEO of WeSpire. “By pairing WeSpire’s interactive technology to motivate people with EnerNOC’s ability to pinpoint the largest opportunities for energy-related savings, organizations can not only get a high return on investment, but improve overall employee engagement metrics, and deliver against broader sustainability goals.”

As part of the deal, EnerNOC CEOTim Healy will join WeSpire’s board of directors.

Next Step Living Secures $25 Million in Series D Financing to Grow Residential Services for Energy Efficiency, Renewables

Next Step Living, Press Release
June 25, 2014

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Boston – Next Step Living, New England’s leading provider of home energy solutions, has received $25 million in Series D funding, the company announced today. Led by new investor Braemar Energy Ventures, the funding also includes several leading earlier-stage investors. Among them are VantagePoint Capital Partners and Black Coral Capital.

The funding caps a record growth period for Next Step Living which since 2008 has helped more than 85,000 households become more energy-efficient and adopt renewable energy.  Earlier this year, the company ranked first as the fastest-growing private company in Massachusetts and was named to the prestigious TiE50 “2014 Global Hot Technology Start-up Watch List.” Additionally, company founder and CEO Geoff Chapin this month was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014TM in New England.

“Next Step Living is well-positioned as a leader in the clean-energy sector that is experiencing strong double-digit growth, notably in New England. We are particularly excited about the company’s ability to offer homeowners the most cost-effective, energy-saving investments, whether that is weatherization, window replacement, solar or even participating in community solar,” said Dennis Costello, managing partner, Braemar Energy Ventures. “We see Next Step Living as quickly rising to the next level as a dominant force in enabling green living and energy efficiency for homeowners well beyond New England.”

The funding will help Next Step Living continue its expansion into new markets. It operates today in Massachusetts and Connecticut with more than 800 employees.

“We appreciate the recognition and support from Braemar and the very meaningful, continued support from our early investors. This validates that our whole-home approach to helping homeowners save energy and reduce carbon emissions resonates with both homeowners and the investment community,” said Chapin. “We’ve always believed in our practivist model to marry our activist agenda for sustainability with a sustainable business model.”

Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, The Windquest Group and dozens of angel investors are among those that have helped fund Next Step Living.

About Next Step Living

One of the fastest-growing companies in the country, Next Step Living® is the leading provider of whole-home energy solutions. Headquartered in Boston’s Innovation District, Next Step Living makes it easy and affordable for people to live in homes with a low environmental impact. A one-stop service provider of informed advice, funding guidance and expert work, Next Step Living partners with more than 400 municipalities, civic organizations, leading corporations and utility companies to deliver energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for better living. Since 2008, Next Step Living has helped New England homeowners achieve more than $20 million in energy savings, which is expected to grow to more than $100 million in the next five years. Next Step Living makes our world better. Please visitNextStepLiving.com for more information.

About Braemar Energy Ventures

Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital fund making early- to mid-stage investments in the energy technology sector. The firm’s principals have invested in more than 60 companies in the sector and have more than 100 years of combined technical, operational and financial experience in energy and energy-related industries. Braemar partners with exceptional companies and management teams, in both alternative and traditional energy markets, that can contribute to a more profitable and efficient energy landscape through innovation and marketplace expertise. Additional information is available atBraemarEnergy.com or on Twitter at Twitter.com/BraemarEnergy or @BraemarEnergy.

Powerhouse Dynamics Raises $6M in Series B Funding

Business Wire
May 20, 2014

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BOSTON — Powerhouse Dynamics announced that it has raised $6 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Point Judith Capital and Constellation Technology Ventures (CTV). Existing investors, including SOSVentures and Vision Ridge Capital, also participated. The funding will be used to help ramp sales and accelerate the execution of the company’s comprehensive product roadmap.

Powerhouse Dynamics is the developer of the award-winning SiteSage™ enterprise energy and asset management system, designed for multi-site operators of small commercial facilities, such as restaurant, convenience store, and specialty retail chains. SiteSage customers include 6 of the 20 largest global quick service restaurant chains.

Zaid Ashai, partner at Point Judith Capital, said: “We have been very impressed with Powerhouse Dynamics’s approach to leveraging the “Internet of Things” to deliver energy management systems to a market that has historically been underserved and hard to reach with a cost-effective solution.”

Michael Smith, Constellation vice president and head of Constellation Technology Ventures, added: “Multi-site facilities face unique challenges when it comes to managing their energy use. Powerhouse Dynamics offers users an enterprise-level solution without incurring a large, upfront capital expense. We’re pleased with the initial response from customers and see significant potential for continued market growth.”

Constellation Technology Ventures is the venture capital arm of Exelon Corporation. CTV actively invests in early stage companies across the energy technology space with an eye toward commercializing new technologies across the Exelon platform.

SiteSage, formerly known as the eMonitor, is an enterprise-level energy and asset management system that allows customers to centrally control HVAC and other electrical loads with a highly intuitive web interface and mobile apps. It remotely monitors equipment and leverages patented analytics to diagnose performance issues and identify savings opportunities. SiteSage makes it simple to benchmark energy usage and equipment performance across facilities, allowing multi-location companies to identify and share best practices. The system was designed specifically for smaller facilities so, despite its sophistication, it features low cost, easy installation, simple operation, and minimum imposition on staff time.

“Adding investors of the caliber of Point Judith Capital and Constellation Technology Ventures is a great testament to what we have been able to accomplish in the market, and further evidence of the growing awareness of the importance of managing energy at smaller facilities,” said Martin Flusberg, Powerhouse Dynamics CEO. “Both of these companies will play integral roles in helping us drive the company forward. The funding will enable us to leverage the terrific momentum we have been experiencing, allowing us to scale much more quickly.”

About Powerhouse Dynamics
Powerhouse Dynamics is a privately held technology firm focused on using cloud-based controls and analytics to deliver energy and operational efficiencies to its customers. Thousands of locations, including restaurants, convenience stores, retailers, and others, use the SiteSage platform (formerly known as the eMonitor) to save money by centralizing control, analysis, and management of energy-consuming equipment. Engineered specifically for smaller facilities, SiteSage features powerful analytics delivered via simple online and mobile interfaces. The system continuously improves efficiency by controlling major loads, monitoring power consumption and performance of individual pieces of equipment, and tracking gas and water usage. Advanced analytics deliver actionable intelligence via diagnostics and alerts, and SiteSage’s enterprise-wide benchmarking helps identify stars and underperforming assets. To learn more about how Powerhouse Dynamics’ customers maximize energy and equipment maintenance savings with minimal staff effort, visit www.powerhousedynamics.com.

About Point Judith Capital
Point Judith Capital is a leading early stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm focuses on investments in software and technology-enabled service companies. They have constructed the firm and their team around the strategy of building market leading companies with innovative founders and serial entrepreneurs. By taking an active approach to investing, the firm strives to build collaborative relationships with portfolio company management. The firm and its partners have backed market leading companies such as Nest (acquired by Google), Fidelis Security Systems (acquired by General Dynamics), Nexamp, and GetWellNetwork (acquired by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe).

About Constellation
The Constellation family of retail electricity and natural gas suppliers (www.constellation.com) are subsidiaries of Exelon Corp. and are leading competitive retail suppliers of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. Constellation’s retail businesses serve more than 100,000 business and public sector customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100, and nearly one million residential customers.

Exelon Corporation EXC, -1.48% is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).

SOURCE: Powerhouse Dynamics

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Copyright Business Wire 2014

Ditch That Laptop Brick With FINsix’s New Tiny Notebook Charger

Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch
April 14, 2014

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Many aspects of computing have changed, but the laptop charger has remained sadly stable over the years; no matter what, we never seem to be able to ditch the lumpy power brick, that mid-cable eyesore that takes up tons of space in your bag and presents a ready hazard for stepping on. MIT project turned startup FINsix wants to change all that, and you can help them by reserving your own Dart micro notebook charger on Kickstarter today.

The Dart is a tiny 65W laptop adapter, complete with a 2.1 amp USB charger built-in for charging a smartphone or tablet at the same time. The plug isn’t a huge cumbersome affair, however; instead, it’s about the size of two stacked standard iPhone adapters, which makes it about four times smaller and six times lighter than your average notebook brick.


FINsix was showing off the Dart prototype at CES this year, and one of the key aspects of its design is that it takes up only a single socket spot in addition to getting rid of that big mid-cord box. It’s compatible with the PCs of every major OEM, and with MacBooks using the Dart for MacBook or Custom Dart backer options. The Dart for MacBook will cost backers an additional $79 it’s worth noting, but that’s because FINsix has to buy an actual MacBook adapter for each one it builds at full retail price. Also, users of 15- or 17-inch MacBook notebooks are out of luck, since they require more than 65W power capacity, the max currently offered by Dart.

The tech used to build the Dart works by using some new techniques to miniaturize power conversion using very high frequency methods that have been made more portable and more cost-effective. FINsix’s MIT-made tech can cycle 1000x faster with only the same energy loss as existing power converters, making it far more efficient to pack the converter into a much smaller space.


The Dart is also supposed to run cool (some power bricks double as space heaters or hot plates, and comes with a one year warranty and sells for just $79 on Kickstarter, which is around $40 cheaper than the final expected retail price when the Dart goes to market after it ships to backers in November of this year.

Practically Green Becomes WeSpire, Debuts ROI Calculator to Better Demonstrate Impact of Sustainability Initiatives

Boston, MA
April 10, 2014

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Practically Green, the engagement platform for sustainability and responsibility programs, today announced it is rebranding as WeSpire. The company also debuted its proprietary ROI calculator which will allow customers to more accurately measure the impact and savings of each individual project deployed. WeSpire helps companies engage people in sustainability and responsibility initiatives with persuasive technology that builds awareness, drives behavior change and now more accurately measures business results.

Practically Green’s evolution to WeSpire reflects the growing scope of sustainability and as a result, the growing scope of their technology. The platform, built on the research of persuasive tech pioneer BJ Fogg of Stanford Persuasive Labs and the behavioral science established by Robert Cialdini, inspires and supports meaningful change at scale. WeSpire has seen high levels of adoption across corporations and campaigns, and has customers with over 80% of their team voluntarily engaged. There has been over $1M in savings across campaigns in the nine months since the enterprise platform was launched. Equally important is the environmental impact. Collectively, WeSpire customers have realized reductions in water (3.6 million gallons), energy (3.15 million kWh), and C02 emissions (2167 metric tons).

“Positive actions in sustainability and social responsibility engage people where their passions lie – where they can feel great and proud of themselves, their work, and their company. Those positive actions are different for each company and individual, and we have grown and evolved our brand and platform to support those unique initiatives,” said WeSpire Founder and CEO Susan Hunt Stevens. “This is technology that hooks people, gets them excited, and inspires them to think and act innovatively even outside of business hours. It is hugely powerful because it brings results to both the business bottom line and the planet.”

WeSpire’s platform uses social actions, gamification, and achievements to help participants complete projects and hit goals. These goals involve positive actions at work, at home, and in the community that help people live more healthy and sustainable lives, from carpooling to saving energy at work to volunteering with colleagues.

WeSpire is also debuting a new ROI calculator, which drills into individual actions and campaigns and gauges their impact, both on cost and resource savings. With this calculator, the efficacy of each campaign that a customer runs on WeSpire can be accurately measured, as well as the combined impact that these initiatives have had on their business. It is based on a proprietary model that has been tested in real-world use cases, and is based on industry best practices and benchmarks that have been widely adopted across the globe.

“Most companies understand that higher employee engagement can impact their business, but they don’t always have a way to tie individual initiatives to savings and it makes it difficult to build a compelling business case for these programs,” continued Stevens. “It is crucial that we provide a way to quantify the impact of these actions and programs. They are the collective step towards meaningful change, and with the introduction of our calculator, companies are armed with more substantive proof. Companies can easily see which actions have demonstrated and will result in the most cost and resource savings.”

WeSpire was recently named Product of the Year by Environmental Leader and raised a $3M Series A in January. The company powers employee engagement programs at over 20 global corporations including eBay, Unilever, MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and EMC. WeSpire also recently launched a partnership with Sony Pictures A Greener World powering the Eco Spidey Game. Eco Spidey is a fun and engaging initiative involving sharing photos and videos of environmentally friendly actions for the partnership between Earth Hour and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

About WeSpire

WeSpire helps companies engage people in sustainability and responsibility initiatives with persuasive technology that builds awareness, drives behavior change and measures business results.

The award-winning engagement platform, used by leading global corporations, pairs expert content with proven social and game mechanics to make embracing new habits simpler, faster and more fun.

WeSpire was founded in 2010, and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more at http://www.wespire.com.

Powerhouse Dynamics Dramatically Expands Remote Equipment Control Functionality

Article here – http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140218005239/en/Powerhouse-Dynamics-Dramatically-Expands-Remote-Equipment-Control#.VKv1qorF_bj