Raising Your Antenna is a B2B tech podcast that explores the latest trends and news shaping the B2B technology industry. Hosted by Keith Zakheim, CEO of Antenna Group, the podcast features technology experts and thought leaders from across the cleantech, sustainability, life sciences, mobility, and emerging technology sectors.
About Antenna Group: Antenna Group is an award-winning public relations, marketing and creative agency that specializes in clean technology, with market-leading practices in smart mobility, clean energy, sustainability, real estate and life sciences. Learn more at www.antennagroup.com.
I’m not sure that the climate change and sustainability community would include issues related to the pandemic, biodiversity, health equity, and modern slavery in their definition of ESG. Yet, today on RYA, we address all of these issues with our guests Chris Kline (Global Senior Principal for Sustainability and ESG at Cardno), Natalie Egnot (Epidemiologist at Cardno Chemrisk), and Seth Yoskowitz (Interim CEO, International Development at Cardno).For those who are not familiar, Cardno is a global infrastructure, environmental, and social development company operating in more than 100 countries. It is a truly remarkable organization that partners with governments, NGOs, and corporations to address most, if not all, of the vexing environmental, health, and social challenges that persist globally. You will learn a lot on this episode, including: whether solar panels contribute to noise pollution. Spoiler alert: they do not.Tune in as we discuss:The impact of climate change on the developing world, and the measures being taken to stave off those outcomesHow Cardno is addressing all three ESG categoriesThe definition of modern slavery, and how Cardno helps its corporate clients address this crisis
40 min 25 sec
Having Joel Makower appear on your podcast is, in the clean tech world, akin to Oprah landing Harry and Meghan. Like Harry and Meghan, Joel is a celebrity in our world, everyone wants to hear what he has to say and he provides salacious details about the royal family. Okay, maybe not the royal stuff. But the rest is true. As the founder and Chairman of GreenBiz — a media and events company that lives, works and leads at the intersection of the business, technology and sustainability — Joel is privy to the discussions, debates, policies and business outcomes that are driving our clean energy economy. Today on RYA, Joel and I explore how the business community is attacking climate change, how the investment community really sees ESG as an opportunity for both good and profit, the strength of commitment towards a net-zero future, and of particular interest to me, the failure of corporate America to properly market their sustainability wins.Tune in as we discuss:Joel’s career journeyThe threats posted to the business community by extreme weather eventsThe global “net-zero” goal for 2050, and how seriously companies are taking it"Credible greening" and the ESG scorecards of the future
34 min 39 sec
When we imagine what our energy transformation will look like, we tend to focus on the shiny new toys — solar panels, electric vehicles, Tesla powerwalls, and Nest Thermostats. While those products are necessary for a carbon net-zero future, they are in no way sufficient. Today on RYA, I chat with Benjamin Birnbaum, partner at Keyframe and co-founder of TeraWatt Infrastructure. Ben is consumed with the energy transition technologies that we don’t see, but are critical to fighting global warming and climate change. In this episode, Ben and I take a deep dive into real estate’s disconnect between the boardroom and boiler room. We also explore how New York City’s Local Law 97 addresses this challenge with a pathbreaking effort to spur the transformation of New York City real estate to cap carbon emissions. Tune in as we discuss:Ben’s career journeyThe challenges cities must address in order to meet net-zero emissions goals The true costs and challenges of electrifying transportation, and why Ben and his partners started TeraWatt InfrastructureBiden’s ambitious infrastructure plansKeyframe’s new approach for funding the cleantech revolution
30 min 56 sec
It’s not every day that I have the opportunity to interview two utility executives — especially from Texas, and especially a mere two months after the historic freeze in the State of Texas. While we didn’t spend a lot of time dissecting the causes of the February grid failure, much of our conversation addressed the types of challenges, programs and solutions that utilities — in this case CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned electric utility — are thinking about and implementing in the aftermath of the Texas freeze. On today’s episode of RYA, we host Rudy Garza and Rick Luna, Chief Customer Engagement Officer and Director of Technology & Product Innovation at CPS Energy, respectively. Rudy and Rick are two utility executives who are clearly thinking deeply about the future of utilities and the need for customer-centric programs that focus on energy efficiency and management, demand response, and conservation. To that end, CPS has issued an open RFP that seeks to crowdsource energy efficiency and conservation programs that will augment their already award-winning Save For Tomorrow Energy Program (STEP). Interestingly, our conversation meandered a bit and ended up at a place that I am very familiar with: the growing importance of customer education, proactive communication, and engagement across digital and other more traditional communications channels. As Rudy pointed out, the utility of tomorrow will only thrive if there is a true partnership between customers and their utility. Customers have rights, but they also have responsibilities. It is incumbent upon utilities to engage those customers and both aid, encourage and prod those necessary behavioral shifts. Tune in as we discuss:Rudy and Rick’s respective career journeysConsumer attitudes following the Texas grid outageThe role of businesses and homeowners in making sure that we avoid future outagesThe role of carbon capture in a net zero future
39 min 25 sec
Today’s guest on Raising Your Antenna is Siobhan Clarke, Operating Partner of Launchpad — a bp scaling engine accelerating the growth of digitally-led businesses that re-imagine energy. As Operating Partner, Siobhan is helping bp reinvent its company and lead from the front on building a clean energy future.Siobhan brings a unique perspective to cleantech investing as she hails from the SAAS venture capital world. She was attracted to cleantech for both its economic opportunity as well as its mission-driven nature. While reflecting on her past life as well as her new one, Siobhan critiques what she feels is the broken model of VC investing (and cleantech investing, specifically) and how the Launchpad investment thesis addresses those definiens — thereby unlocking the full potential of emerging technologies as well as delivering handsome returns to investors.Tune in as we discuss:Siobhan’s career journeyThe dramatic rise of VC investment in cleantech and the factors driving today’s gold rushLaunchpad’s unique approach to cleantech investingThe dynamics that arise when a legacy company partners with a dynamic startupAdvice for entrepreneurs who are stuck in the quagmires of funding and scalingLearn more about Launchpad here: https://www.itslaunchpad.com/Since recording this episode, Launchpad announced its fifth portfolio company - Finite Carbon. Details on the acquisition can be found here: https://www.itslaunchpad.com/blog/bp-acquires-majority-stake-in-largest-us-forest-carbon-offset-developer-finite-carbon
29 min 9 sec
One of the nice things about hosting a podcast is the opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. On today’s episode of Raising Your Antenna, I was able to do both. I've known Adam Bergman for 15 years as we go back to the halcyon days of the solar revolution and have stayed in touch as renewables have waxed and waned as well as reinvented itself in an effort to stay relevant, attract investment and most importantly continue its quest to mitigate climate change and effect systemic transformation of the way we use and consume natural resources. As the Managing Director of EcoTech Capital, Adam has transitioned into AgTech and FoodTech and he shares with us his thoughts on a host of related topics. My new friend is Andrew Rose who is the Executive Director of Innovation, Strategy and Business Development at MidAtlantic Farm Credit, an organization that finances loans for farms, homes, equipment and buildings, land, construction and improvement, as well as loans for production and operating. On today's episode of RYA, Andrew and Adam touch on topics as diverse as Faux Shrimp in Singapore, food waste and landfills, cyber Agtech, Burger King and ESG.Tune in as we discuss: How AgTech fits into the sustainability and cleantech industryThe most exciting blue oceans, white spaces, and opportunities in the agricultural industryThe biggest bottlenecks in the AgTech industryWhy the food side of AgTech is consequential for sustainabilityComparing the solar industry with AgTechDefining the respective responsibilities of the public sector, private sector, and nonprofits as the AgTech industry grows.And more…Learn more about EcoTech here https://ecotechcap.com and MidAtlantic Farm Credit here https://www.mafc.com/Read “How South Korea Is Composting Its Way to Sustainability” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/09/how-south-korea-is-composting-its-way-to-sustainability
39 min 25 sec
Tune in as we discussUsing the resources of corporate America to not just make money but to drive social impactChante’s experience as a leader in the movement to transform our cities into smart citiesAdvice for securing pilot projects, undertaking design initiatives, and launching community impact initiativesPerspectives on the bubble that has emerged around clean mobility/transportation...and more
30 min 48 sec
Heather and I had a fascinating conversation that touched on the respective roles of the public sector, both federal and state, as well as the private sector in advancing a clean energy future. We agreed on a lot, disagreed on some, but the tenor of the conversation and one that I hope can be mimicked by our political leaders, was characterized by mutual respect, data-driven arguments, and an understanding that while reasonable people can disagree on how to get there, the goalposts must be climate change mitigation.Tune in as we discuss:Clean energy policiesThe role of media in the clean energy industryPerspectives on the respective roles of the federal and state government in fighting climate changeThe optimal way that the public and private sectors can best partner for climate change mitigationFacilitating bipartisanship solutionsNational Clean Energy Week 2020...and moreNational Clean Energy Week 2020 will be held on Sept 21 - 25. Learn more and register here: https://nationalcleanenergyweek.org/
31 min 12 sec
When we think about sustainable finance, we tend to focus on the capital needs for renewable energy products, green bonds, and carbon trading and credits. While these are all key components of sustainable finance, they do not begin to tell the full sustainable finance story. On today’s episode, I speak with Nicole Andersen, Managing Partner of Redsand Ventures. Every organization thinks they are unique, but Redsand, at least from where I sit, really is unique. Redsand specializes in innovation strategy, investment and venture creation for companies that are pushing the boundaries of sustainable finance. I'm pretty sure that most of my listeners with a background in sustainable finance will be amazed at the innovation and disruption that is poised to upend the industry as well as provide it with the scale it needs to fund the estimated $60 trillion in debt investment that is needed to effect meaningful change across the industry. Nicole’s background cuts a wide swathe across the sustainability ecosystem and today’s conversation reflects her smarts and innovative mind.Tune in as we discuss:How Nicole sits at the crossroads of financial services, sustainability and climate changeWho the pioneers in the financial innovation space are when it comes to climate change and sustainabilityThe economic upside of this innovationThe comparison between climate change and if the pandemic will serve as a wake-up call to take the threat of climate change more seriouslyAnd more...
41 min 24 sec
Today's guest is someone who has been a sustainability thought leader from multiple vantage points - as a journalist, NGO board member and advocate, climate change summit delegate and sustainable finance investor. Sasja Beslik, in his role as Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance at J. Safra, has a powerful pulpit in which to motivate and mobilize his industry to unleash the power of its capital to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change.On today’s episode, Sasja, with both candor and transparency, points out the peculiarity of how the Paris Climate Conference overlooked the impact of the financial services industry on climate change, addresses how corporations must close the gap between the values they profess and the behaviors that they employ and gives examples of companies that are doing it right and those that are not; and as a special treat for me, engaged me in a conversation about marketing as it related to the profound impact investment decisions have on the environment and carbon mitigation. Tune in as we discuss:The role of sustainable financeWhat Sasja hears from European government and business leaders about the US as a partner in climate change mitigationSasja's guidance on ESG investmentsThe importance of understanding what sustainable finance is, its objectives, and why it is so critical to climate changeThe comparison between climate change and the lack of preparedness around COVID-19
38 min 52 sec
The National Renewable Energy Lab, NREL for short, has been in existence since 1977. It was founded by the Carter administration as a reaction to the oil shocks of the mid-70s. It was the first acknowledgment by the federal government that our economic and national security interests demanded that we diversify our energy resources from exclusively fossil fuels to renewables. The clean energy economy was born! In the 40+ years since the founding of the laboratory, the clean energy industry has experienced fits and starts but has ultimately developed into what today is a mature, well-funded industry that enjoys support from both the public and private sectors. Richard Adams, our guest on today’s episode, is the Director of the Innovations and Entrepreneurship Center at NREL and oversees two fascinating programs: The Innovation Incubator - a technology partnership with Wells Fargo and GCxN, a technology accelerator partnership with Shell. Richards’ position situates him at the crossroads of clean technology innovation and the public/public partnerships that fund and dictate the needs of much of that innovation. Richard’s insights into the evolution of the clean technology industry, the respective interests and responsibilities of the diverse entities that comprise the cleantech ecosystem, and the state of early-stage cleantech investing are driven by his day-to-day interactions with Shell, Wells Fargo, the other hundreds of NREL stakeholders, as well as with the early-stage cleantech innovators that he supports.
42 min 52 sec
Today’s podcast is an exciting one as we’re lucky to have Talia Rafaeli, Investment Director at Porsche Ventures as our guest. Talia has built an incredibly successful career as a Venture Capitalist at a couple of Israel’s most successful VC firms such as Gemini and Stage One. In the past year, Tali made the decision to move to the corporate VC world and specifically into the mobility industry. As one of the world’s preeminent luxury car manufacturers, Porsche is no different in that it is playing catch up to Tesla, Waymo and others, but it has quickly jumped into the deep end of the pool with both innovations as well as acquisitions. Talia, as Porsche’s Investment Director who is spearheading much of that innovation through acquisition strategy, will share her thoughts on a number of the issues impacting both the industry at large and Porsche in particular.
31 min 5 sec
Today on Raising Your Antenna, we are joined by two individuals who are at the forefront of the data and mobility space and leading the charge to make Big Data both responsible and valuable to the people that it is serving. Ben Volkow, the founder and CEO of Otonomo, and Yuval Cohen, founder and managing partner at StageOne Ventures, an l fund that invests in early-stage B2B deep tech startups in the Israeli ecosystem, share their professional backgrounds, what they saw that motivated them to be first movers in this space, and how they understand both the promise and potential risks of a Big Data World. Yuval was among the first investors in Otonomo and, in full disclosure, Otonomo is a client of Antenna Group, but one of the things that make Ben and Yuval special is that they are straight shooters which today’s episode will make clear. Tune in as we discuss: -Ben and Yuval’s professional journeys -What inspired Ben to work in the connected car data space -What motivated Yuval to invest in Otonomo -Insights into Otonomo’s partnership with Microsoft -The opportunities and challenges for OEMs when it comes to data collection -Top takeaways for OEMs, suppliers, and mobility disruptors in their approach to consumer data ...And more
37 min 3 sec
This episode of Raising Your Antenna was recorded live in Salt Lake City at the Solar Power International podcast center. On this episode, we are lucky to have one of the visionaries of the distributed energy movement, Dan Nordloh. Dan is General Manager of DCentrIQ, a newly formed division of Faith Technologies. DCentrIQ is providing distributed energy technology and capabilities for a sustainable future through innovative distributed energy resource systems and Internet of Energy (IoE) control platforms. Dan shares his expertise with us about the DER revolution, both the opportunities and challenges, how it will force utilities to change their business model, and how battery technology is the next frontier in widespread DER adoption. Tune in as we discuss: -Distributed Energy Resources (DER) -Why Faith Technologies is entering the DER market -DER and macro trends, challenges to economics, scaling and wider spread adoption. -Microgrid and battery technology -Distributed energy and utilities ...and more Learn more about https://www.dcentriq.com/ Special thanks to Jim Spano and RadiantREIT for sponsoring the SPI podcast center
25 min 3 sec
Today on RYA, we host Henry Gordon-Smith the Founder and Managing Director of Agritecture Consulting. Henry has a lot to say about the current AgTech scene, both the business and moral imperative driving the industry and where we are, as a society, both making strides and falling short. Tune in as we discuss: The recent spike in Urban AgTech investment and macroeconomic, environmental, and social drivers of the industry Urban AgTech’s part in solving food supply challenges caused by urban density and population growth The future of vertical farming The impact of current farming methods on carbon emission and how the Agtech industry can be a major corrective Cannabis as a focus of the AgTech space …and more NYC AgTech Week is 9/21 - 9/26.
34 min 16 sec
On this episode of Raising Your Antenna, we are lucky enough to feature ZenCity and its CEO Eyal Feder-Levy. ZenCity perfectly fits the model of a company that uses data, as captured through “social listening” and other publicly available platforms, to enhance our everyday lives. As Eyal will explain, ZenCity’s algorithms capture anonymous conversations and feedback and transform it into actionable items for elected officials and municipal bureaucrats who can then respond and govern accordingly. To take one of the innumerable examples, a city official may decide to change the garbage pickup from Tuesday to Wednesday. The driver of the decision may be cost or some other consideration but either way, the municipal department in charge of waste is eager to understand the impact and consequences of the change. Until ZenCity, there was no real real-time feedback mechanism to analyze the success or failure of the program. Today, municipalities that have signed up with ZenCity (as of this taping there were already 50 clients) can get this feedback and act on it in an efficient and expeditious manner. Eyal will discuss this, as well as provide some advice, and motivation, for early-stage companies that are hoping to sell their products and services to the public sector. Tune in as we discuss: -Government tech and small cities -How ZenCity's AI-driven platform helps local governments translate what people want in their cities more effectively and eliminates the guesswork from policymaking -What it means to "track sentiments" across different channels -ZenCity's explosive growth and client success stories -What the future of technology, politics and governance may look like -...and more! Learn more about ZenCity on their website here: https://zencity.io/
37 min 58 sec
Your energy bill is made up of several charges, including the cost of transmission and distribution of the energy. But only the energy portion of the bill is competitively priced. The wires and pipes that bring electricity and natural gas to your home, business or factory are still owned by the traditional utility company, and the transmission and distribution charges are still set by regulators. But the energy is competitively priced and provided by suppliers, called ESCOs, competing for the customer’s business, which helps lower electricity rates. The utility will provide one consolidated bill, which helps keep shopping for energy uncomplicated. The bottom line is in certain states, a part of your utility bill is competitively priced, if you opt-in. This market, called the retail energy market, is the subject of today's episode of Raising Your Antenna. Joining us to demystify the retail energy markets and address the challenges and opportunities in today’s retail energy market are Jack Doueck and Larry Leiken, co-founders of the Energy Marketing Conferences. EMC is the largest gathering of retail energy executives in North America and it takes place twice a year: Houston, Texas in the Spring and New York City in the Fall. This year's conference in NYC will be September 12 at the Midtown Hilton Hotel.
32 min 59 sec
Complex problems demand complex solutions. While we would all love to have the silver bullet to solve a marital crisis, business challenges, Middle East peace or climate change, the reality is that the solutions to these types of problems are usually multifarious but related and attack the problem from different directions. On today’s episode of Raising Your Antenna, we are going to address the threat of climate change but from a non-binary, non-zero sum game and a non-linear perspective. Guiding us on this journey is Shanna Rappaport, Vice President and Executive Director of Verge at Green Biz Group. For those of you who are not familiar, VERGE is the leading platform for accelerating the clean economy, convening the world’s largest companies, public sector leaders, utilities and technology innovators to foster a diverse ecosystem of influencers advancing solutions at the intersection of technology and sustainability. Shana has been evangelizing on behalf of the clean economy for more than a decade and has been spearheading Verge’s efforts to reverse climate change since 2013. Tune in as we discuss: -The carbon tech industry -How the media covers and portrays climate change -Carbon capture as a complement of carbon mitigation -Circularity as both a sustainability framework and business strategy -Circularity and sustainability trends such as Reconomy, BluePlanet, and The Closed Loop Partnership -VERGE’s leadership role in spearheading a genuine circular economy ...And more VERGE 19 will be held October 22 - 24 at the Oakland Convention Center.
41 min 17 sec
The range of transportation options at the fingertips of contemporary urban commuters is both astonishing and at times, overwhelming. For the Luddites, filling up your car with petroleum, sitting in a car for an hour and a half to complete a 15-mile trip and then spending a week's worth of salary on parking is still an option. For those that don't want to drive into the office, there is the option of public transportation, a mode of transport that depending on the city can range from clean and convenient to inefficient and unsafe. For the technophiles, there are ride sharing and micro-mobility solutions that have dramatically changed the urban landscape: dockless e-scooters and e-bikes, traditional bikes, and Ubers and Lyfts. Depending on the weather, your athletic profile and risk tolerance, there is an option to help you navigate our cities in a fashion that is often better for the environment, reduces congestion and can be economically more affordable. So who is managing all of this and is there a way to have all of the different options on one easy to use interface that compares and contrasts by price, modality, accessibility and even environmental impact as measured by fuel type? On this episode of Raising Your Antenna, we speak with Scott Shepard, Chief Commercial Officer of Free2Move, a Berlin-based company that has developed a solution to managing the puzzle that is the new urban transportation environment. In addition to discussing the consumer-facing app, Scott and I will delve into the role of cities in facilitating the transformation of their streets and highways and how Free2Move is partnering with said cities to deliver the data to manage the demand, trip patterns and utilization of these emerging transportation options. Tune in as we talk about: -Scott’s professional journey and his role as Chief Commercial Officer at Free2Move -Free2Move as a subsidiary of Group PSA, which owns Peugeot, Citroen and Opel car brands. -How Free2Move is different from other companies that are in the business of aggregating new mobility options. -The challenges that are facing cities, both large and mid-size, in incorporating new mobility options. -Scott and Free2Move’s role in making sure that the emergence of private sector solutions and the MSPS (manages solutions providers) play nicely in the sandbox with public transportation options. -The differences between the U.S. and European mobility models ...and more
34 min 55 sec
On this episode, we are fortunate to have Raj Pannu as our guest. Raj is a deep thinker who, in his current position as Co-Founder of Smart Cities NY, has a platform from which he can bring together the key stakeholders who are in a position to impact the future of our cities through technological, economic and social innovation. Raj is non-ideological in his approach to helping to shape the future of our cities. He is open to all ideas and welcoming to people from all political persuasion and his conference embodies that ethos. Smart Cities NY is North America's leading global conference for innovators and decision-makers who are improving life in the cities of tomorrow. The conference convenes innovators and decision-makers who are improving life in the cities of tomorrow including: city leaders, CEOs, and startups. Raj and his team take a holistic look at the innovations in technology and infrastructure that are making cities more livable, equitable, and sustainable. Tune in as we talk about: -Raj’s career path from McCann Health to founding and running Smart Cities New York. -How influencers from the private sector, NGOs, community based non-profits and government can work together towards a salvific urban quality of life -How technology can help cities build social capital and alleviate or solve economical, medical and education related issues -The economics and finances around building smart cities -Smart Cities themes in Bruce Katz’s The New Localism and Raghuram Rajan’s The Third Pillar ...and more Don’t miss Smart Cities NY on May 13 - May 15! Learn more and register at https://smartcitiesny.com/
32 min 35 sec
How does a country with the population and size that is slightly larger than the state of New Jersey create an ecosystem that has successfully emerged as a hub for smart mobility innovation? On this episode, we chat with Orlie Dahan, Executive Director of Ecomotion, a week long event in Tel Aviv that brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, OEM c-suite, investors and public sectors officials that are all moving the smart mobility industry forward. EcoMotion is a JV of the Israel Innovation Institute (private NGO) together with the Government, the Fuel Choices & Smart Mobility Initiative (under the PMO) and the Ministry of Economy. Orlie’s insights into the nature of Israel’s smart mobility ecosystem as well as the drivers of its growth is worth a listen. Tune in as we talk about: -How Ecomotion is different from other industry conferences -The recent trend of OEMs moving to Israel and how it's impacting the Israel mobility ecosystem -The role of the public sector in Israel in building the mobility ecosystem -New innovations in mobility including optimization, demand balancing, AI, machine learning, simulation and connected services. -...and more Learn more about Ecomotion and register for Ecomotion Week 2019 here https://www.ecomotionweek.com/
35 min 18 sec
We're excited to have Omer Keilaf, CEO and Co-Founder of Innoviz Technologies. Innoviz is a leading manufacturer of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software that enable the mass-production of autonomous vehicles. Innoviz has announced two major pieces of news. First, Innoviz became the first LiDAR manufacturer to ink a major OEM deal when it was selected by BMW for its InnovizOne LiDAR and computer vision software for series production of vehicles beginning in 2021. Second, Innoviz recently announced the completion of a $132 million Series C Round. Tune in as we discuss: -Innoviz's journey to the top of the LiDAR food chain -How Innoviz's partnership with BMW has influenced its business processes and methodology for innovation -Innoviz's completion of a $132 million Series C Round -The impact of LiDAR on the future of AVs -and more! Learn more at https://innoviz.tech/
44 min 56 sec
On this episode, we're lucky to have Mark DeSantis, CEO of RoadBotics, an exciting startup housed in Carnegie Mellon’s acclaimed AV lab, that promises to address our country’s road infrastructure problem, thereby paving the way for a future of economic bounty, mobility transformation and logistical nirvana. RoadBotics uses artificial intelligence and smartphones to help governments and engineering firms make data-driven decisions with objective road assessments. Tune in as we talk about: • The road maintenance industry as a business • The state of road infrastructure • The road maintenance model • Disruption associated with rebuilding roads • Artificial intelligence and automating assessments • Implications for the future of mobility • Advice for founders, entrepreneurs and investors ....and more!
33 min 53 sec
We’re excited to have Doug Mandell as our guest on this episode of Raising Your Antenna. Doug is a Silicon Valley insider, Founder and Managing Partner of the Mandell Law Group, and has been an investor and advisor to countless startups, including Phylagen, Originate and Cricket Health. As it relates to the topic of this podcast, Doug was an early investor in Motiv Power Systems and Nauto, where he also served as General Counsel. Doug has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of Silicon Valley's top four attorneys. He was LinkedIn's first outside counsel and then served as its first general counsel. Tune in as we talk about · Doug's professional background · How Nauto is making driving safer and paving the way for autonomy · Advice on starting & exiting companies for founders · His experience as LinkedIn's General Counsel · Using LinkedIn to reference check professional services · Why he became interested with the mobility space · Data, mobility, legality and more! Special thanks to AdLarge for providing their podcast studio.
40 min 33 sec
The cars get the headlines but the infrastructure and the cities that facilitate building that infrastructure will ultimately determine whether the autonomous vehicle revolution becomes a reality or fades away into the atmosphere like a burned-out comet. Mobility options such as electric scooters, dockless bikes and driverless vehicles are realities that city planners need to confront whether they are ready or not. The key that unlocks solutions to many infrastructure challenges is data. It is the newest four-letter word to enter the mainstream lexicon and its collection, analysis, and delivery both promises a more efficient, cleaner and safer transportation environment while also posing some threats to privacy and security. On this episode, we are excited to have Noam Maital, CEO of Waycare, an AI-driven mobility solution that partners with cities and other public entities to get them ready for the onslaught of autonomous vehicles that will become ubiquitous on our city streets anywhere from the next 5 to 20 years. Tune in as we talk about... -Using infrastructure data and in-vehicle data to optimize traffic flow -Cooperation of public and private sector in creating the right infrastructure for the future of mobility -The use of mobility data specification to provide real-time data -Key metrics and data points that public agencies need to better plan services and build the right infrastructure and more! Learn more about Noam Maital and Waycare at http://waycaretech.com/
33 min 50 sec
Blockchain is one of the business buzzwords that has become ubiquitous in conversation but not fully understood by the many who use it. While blockchain may have been developed with cryptocurrency in mind, today its promises are far greater. We are excited to have Topper Bowers, Founder of Quorum Control, a company that has reinvented the way in which developers build and scale distributed ledger technology. Topper is an entrepreneur and engineer with over 20 years experience building software people want. Tune in as we talk about... -Topper Bowers' professional background -How he started Quorum Control -Primary application for blockchain -Blockchain's most prominent use cases -Distributed ledger technology -and more! Learn more about Topper Bowers and Quorum Control at https://www.quorumcontrol.com/
In this episode of Raising Your Antenna, we examine data democratization in the commercial real estate industry with Sam Viskovich, Director of Marketing at Reonomy. Reonomy is a commercial real estate data platform that facilitates prospecting processes for CRE professionals and uncovers ownership information for over 49M commercial properties in the United States. Reonomy creates intuitive products designed to help CRE professionals achieve success by easily finding the information they need. Tune in as we talk about... -The commercial real estate technology industry -Background of Reonomy -Democratization of data -How data can be used in navigating CRE markets and more! Learn more about Sam Viskovich and Reonomy at https://www.reonomy.com/
30 min 5 sec
We are excited to have Daniel Goldman, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Clean Energy Venture Fund. Clean energy innovations are poised to disrupt markets and achieve extraordinary growth in the coming decade. CEV invests in companies commercializing disruptive clean energy technologies and business model innovations that are able to achieve significant scale by taking advantage of market-driven forces to address global climate disruption. Tune in as we talk about... -Daniel's professional background and how he transitioned from working in the oil and gas industry to the clean energy sector -Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Cleantech Investment Cycle -Climate change & policy -Why it's an exciting time to invest in cleantech -Investment calculus for clean energy & more!
36 min 35 sec
We are excited to have InMotion Ventures principal James Nettleton, our first international guest! Backed by Jaguar Land Rover, InMotion Ventures creates and invests in mobility, transportation and travel companies bringing innovative approaches to getting from A to B. James invests in transportation and mobility and is always up to chat with founders of companies from Seed round to Series B. Tune in as we talk about... -Investing in the future of transport and mobility -Transportation challenges in the US, Asia, and Europe -Autonomous vehicle adoption -Will Jaguar Land Rover's focus shift from individual car ownership to fleets? -The future of mobility ...and more! Learn more about James Nettleton at InMotion Ventures https://www.inmotionventures.com/
32 min 38 sec
Welcome to another episode of Raising Your Antenna, your source for in-depth insight from leaders in emerging technology. We are excited to have Rei Goffer, Chief Strategy Officer and Cofounder of Climacell, a Massachusetts-based weather forecasting company that repurposes wireless communication networks as weather sensors. The company was founded in 2015 by a team from the Harvard Business School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. ClimaCell is on a mission to map all of the weather data in the world. They're building the ultimate weather engine by pioneering the use of new weather sensing technologies and combining them with the best existing sources of data. ClimaCell's microweather™ platform can help governments and business across various industries, including mobility, energy, agriculture, insurance and more, make better decisions and solve critical problems. Tune in as we talk about... -Rei's background from the Air-force to co-founding ClimaCell -The idea behind building the ultimate weather engine -How precise data information can help businesses make better decisions -The mission of ClimaCell to provide microweather™ with global coverage -How ClimaCell gets precise predictions compared to other weather companies ...and more! Learn more about Rei Goffer at ClimaCell
24 min 51 sec
Welcome to another episode of Raising Your Antenna, your source for in-depth insight from leaders in emerging technology. We are excited to have Alex Shirazi, organizer of Cultured Meat Symposium, a conference held in Silicon Valley highlighting top industry insights of the cell-based meat revolution. One of the hallmarks of the last 100 years is that we not only eat to live but we live to eat. Americans, perhaps more than anyone else in the world, love beef. Unfortunately, beef has some major drawbacks. The meat that we ingest is riddled with hormones and preservatives, potentially creating some health risks. We produce more antibiotics for animals than we do for human beings and that increases the risks associated with antibiotics resistance. There's a massive environmental cost to raising cattle, and then there's the problem of cruelty to animals. In this episode, we will explore the cell-based meat movement, or what until very recently was referred to as the clean meat industry - a new and fast-growing industry that promises to satiate our nation’s appetite for beef, but to do so growing it outside the animal. Joining me on today's tour de force of cellular meat is Alex Shirazi, who runs the Cultured Meat Symposium, one of the preeminent industry conferences for cell-based meat. Tune is as we talk about… Alex’s background and what led him to the cellular meat industry Naming and defining the terms “cell-based meats” and “cultured meats” Converting animal agriculture to cellular agriculture. Cell-based meat vs. traditional meat Price parity The barriers that this industry face The future of cell-based industry and more!... Learn more about Alex Shirazi and join him at Cultured Meat Symposium in San Francisco for a one day event on November 1, 2018 that highlights the top industry insights of the cell-based meat revolution.
31 min 11 sec
Welcome to the fifth episode of Raising Your Antenna, your source for in-depth insight from leaders in emerging technology. We are excited to have John Rossant, Founder of LA CoMotion and Founder and Chairman of the New Cities Foundation. John Rossant personally leads the LA CoMotion team. He is the Founder and Chairman of the New CIties Foundation, a major global non-profit institution dedicated to improving the quality of life and works in cities. He previously led the team producing the famous World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland every January and has been the producer of major World Economic Forum conferences in China, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Tune in as we talk about... -John's personal background -How he transitioned from press media to marketing -How LAComotion and New Cities Foundation came about -Future of automation, mobility and transportation space -Autonomous vehicles -Electric cars and electric car chargers Learn more about John Rossant at LAComotion https://www.lacomotion.com/archives/speakers/john-rossant
38 min 48 sec
Welcome to the fourth episode of Raising Your Antenna, your source for in-depth insight from leaders in emerging technology. We are excited to have Michael Granoff, founder and managing director of Maniv Mobility. Aside from several startup boards, Michael serves on the board of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a Washington, DC-based policy and advocacy organization he helped establish in 2004. Michael has been involved in three US Presidential campaigns and he received Brandeis University’s Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship in 2010. Tune is as we talk about... Hear about Michael's background in the mobility space How he became interested with transportation energy The autonomous vehicle industry How Michael has become deeply involved with car autonomy Financing, engineering, and macroeconomics of the auto industry Disruption and mobility The consumer's view of full-autonomy and more!
37 min 13 sec
We are excited to have Ryan Cox, Principal at Founders Grove Capital, a real estate investment and advisory firm dedicated to helping clients select and manage real estate investments that work for them. Ryan is responsible for helping clients select and manage real estate investments so they can build a more secure financial portfolio. Ryan hosts The Real Estate Innovators Podcast and he is a real faculty for drawing out some of the inside baseball elements of the real estate tech world. When he is not hosting his podcast, he is the CEO of Founders Grove Capital! Tune in as we talk about... Multifamily Real Estate Investor Real Estate Technology or PropTech Design in Commercial Real Estate Block Chain Platform and much more! Learn more about Ryan Cox on The Real Estate Innovators Podcast and Founders Grove Capital VO: You’re listening to Raising Your Antenna, with host Keith Zakheim. Keith: Welcome to Raising Your Antenna. And I’m your host, Keith Zakheim. Today, we have a guest, Ryan Cox that wears many hats. Being that this is a podcast, and many of you, like me are podcast addicts, let me give you Ryan’s podcast bona fides first. Ryan hosts a real estate innovators podcast, in which he interviews some of the bigger founders and influencers in the real estate tech/proptech market. I guess Ryan, one of the things we can kinda talk about is what we call this industry because I’m hearing a lot of names for it: proptech, real estate tech, other things. But anyway, Ryan’s podcast is a great listen. And he’s a real faculty for drawing out some of the inside baseball elements of the real estate tech world. That I think is great gold or father for investors and professionals in the real estate and the real estate technology space. So anyway, definitely give a listen. But, when he’s not hosting his podcast, Ryan is a CEO of Founders Grove Capital, where he himself is a super successful investor and advisor to investors. So Ryan, before we get going and kinda get into the nitty gritty of our conversation today, maybe give my audience some of your background, professional background. And also specifically, you know, why you do the podcast. You know, is that kind of a personal passion. And also, how it helps your business from a marketing perspective. So anyway, welcome aboard and, yeah, it’s to you. Ryan: Well, Keith. Thanks so much for having me on the show. Excited to talk about a little commercial real estate tech, a little about my business. So, my background is, you know, I really, primarily, my primary business is to focus on multi-family value-added opportunities. So, my core business is as real estate investor and working with investors to buy multi-family assets here in the state of Texas. The podcast, as you said, is developed, I guess, primarily, out of a passion and some curiosity. So, I found it to be, you know as an investor, a really great avenue on a weekly basis to really dig in to all of the, you know commercial real estate tech that is developing around us. And the podcast has given me an opportunity, you know, really, a calling card to knock on any door and talk to founders about their background and unique insight that they had in their background to lead them to found a commercial real estate tech company. And on the podcast, I’m really just able to, you know, dig in what their background is, what unique insight, talk about the solution, how it benefits and impacts their users. And then try to suss out, really, just their insights from their work, about how they see the overall real estate market and that changing, and the impact of commercial real estate tech. I think the big driver for before the podcast is, you know, number one is I’m an advocate for my investors. So, I feel like it’s a priority for me to really be able to have a broad view of all of the technology that is, really, just starting to make an impact. But, I believe in the next three to five years, would dramatically shift the way that a lot of business in real estate gets done. So, I wanna make sure that I’m not flat-footed and that I’m being an advocate for my investors and paying attention to all the real estate tech that is transforming how we do business. I think.. Keith: You know, I, you’ve, again, being a listener to I think your last two episodes. I think you do a great job of listening that kind of feedback, and getting really down to the founder’s course to both your entrepreneurial side as well as your passion. Specifically, of this CRE-tech space. So anyway, I enjoy and I encourage my listeners to download it, become a subscriber, and listen cause it’s really, it’s a great listen. So, let’s dive in and my first question Ryan is that you know, where in, when I say we, I mean you and me from the marketing side are in the super-exciting space of what we call CRE-tech/prop tech. But, there are tons of applications found in the market. So, if that big data applications and, or you know spaces service as a business, virtual marketplaces and leasing tenant focus platforms, private management, augmented reality, and others. Clearly, some are getting more ink than others in space as a service comes to mind. But, as an investor and an advisor, I’m curious in your perspective. What are the exciting areas, that maybe somewhat under the radar right now. So you know, trying to bring somebody into a no-tell where we work. Okay, no big deal. Lots of money’s going there. That’s just aping what everybody else is doing. But, what are the areas, you know, applications that you think have the potential for real disruption, will attract early adopters, and in the next few years, where should the savvy investor who really wants to be part of the space looking to allocate money? Ryan: Well, first of all, I think that there are a ton of really interesting across, you know, like you said teantt project management. There’s a really, really quite a few interesting, you know spaces to play in CRE-tech. I think, as I think about the next two or three is we’re just so early. Especially regards to adoptions, it seems to me like the folks that are focused on data and that could be a cross-spaces as service, virtual marketplaces, leasing tenant project management and that stuff. The folks that are taken a data first enabled to monetize that early, enabled to give users actual data to make decision for that real estate investors, for lets space users, you know building owners. It seems to me like those folks are probably to the best start because there’s a value they can charge users afforded data. But, the collection of that data also gives them flexibility as they grow out, you know, the solutions that are provided to end-users. Keith: Yeah, we see for example both in CRE and also this residential real estate is, you know, a lot of these companies are multi-generational families that abound, you know, especially in the big cities, right. So, they own a lot of the office space, they own a lot of residential real estate, and they’ve been making money in this space for a long time. And as a result, the little more buttoned-up conservative, unless, willing to be early adopters. And we found with our clients, is that the case to be made at least initially, is surely an economic play, right. So, this is how you gonna be more efficient and save money. But, you know, how, what do you see is being the most partner-compelling arguments to, you know, CRE-tech as CRE-owners in order to get them to kinda take that first leap of faith into some of these, you know, applications and areas. And it could be, you know, big data which is maybe, there is some would have, you know, an easier, a leap of faith from data, the argument for efficiency and economic savings probably easier than making, also, I realized much more quickly. But, how do you advise your clients, or what do you see your founders in terms of being able to, you know, circumvent or achieve some of those obstacles? Ryan:Well, I think that from a founder’s perspective, you know, I think the venture community has great channels into, you know, big, you know, big brokerage. I would just definitely in avenue to get widespread adoption across a numbered users and geographies. I think that a lot of the bug development companies have their own adventure arm that you know, co-investing with the venture firms or looking to, you know, incubate and grow their own, you know, own kind of tech. So i do think that there are great opportunities with the right venture partner or being able to sit with the right investment or development company to help kinda scale the platform out. So. Keith: So, how are you looking for money for for example. It's not just about the money, but the strategic value that these investors can bring in terms of opening up new channels and helping with initial adaption? Rayna: Absolutely, the faster to market in adaption. I think is what you see in the re-work examples. They are just trying to raise the biggest, the best and have amass the monopoly. I think that the fastest routes to market, the more channels that you have to be able to deploy the product, the better your chances for success. Keith: Yeah that’s a great segue to the next topic I want to discuss, which is basis of service. And companies like re-work, and notel raising money on previously unthinkable valuations. I have a 2-part question. So, clearly, there is some type of bubble forming, and this not the first tech-vertical or general investment vertical to experience a bubble and there’s a lot of money-chasing deals and we work in (notel) just based on evaluations are clearly benefiting from all that money that’s on the sidelines looking to invest in this space. So, it’s 2 questions. You know, it’s not new what we work in (notel) are dealing, right. So, we just been around for a long time. Yet, we are left behind in the dust. These newer companies are gobbling up market share and their valuations are significantly higher. So, what’s been the drivers of their growth versus what we’ve seen in the past? And the 2nd question, Ryan, which I know comes up everywhere. Which is, you know, we work in (notel) have experienced, any other companies by the way just keep referring to these two, but they’ve experienced this growth in a real estate environment in which the market is just fantastic and also experiencing above all, right. What’s that gonna look like when there is an inevitable downturn. That’s what real estate is historically, so it’s not gonna continue and values are not gonna continue to appreciate and as I understand their business model which is, you know, leasing up a lot of space and being able to upsell that to tenants. What happens when, you know, values go down and their existing tenants can go lock in space for much cheaper prices. So, 2-part question: drivers of growth versus the history of the space as well as what it’s all gonna look like during an inevitable downturn? Ryan: Yeah, those are good questions. I don’t think anybody can accurately predict. But just some thoughts. I think, you know, running we were.. Keith: The beauty of being a podcast, of being a prognosticator, is that they only remember when you’re right and when you’re wrong, no one cares. So, that’s, you know, we can say whatever we want. Be Nostradamus, right? Ryan: Right. Well, if we were on video, everybody would be able to see me in my wizard hat. Keith: (Laughs). Exactly. Ryan: My answer here. I mean, (Ryan), we were cause undertaking the company’s taken a name as an approach to spending, investing heavily on growth, in hopes that profits will follow. I think, in the most likely scenario, is that, the thing that’s been driving growth in valuations for these companies will ultimately will come to roost. You know, right now, we’re in a growth at all cost negative gross margins. I think that we workers gotten so big that we’re seeing a lot more access to their data and, you know, right now, their focused on growth in a winner take all mode similar to some other tech companies we’ve seen at Silicon Valley. You know something , the ultimate challenge, so that goal is that if you can grow to a large size and create a market monopoly. Then, over time, you’re able to, you know, raise prices because you’ve got some sort of walk-in with those customers. I think the challenge right now in the current environment is that there’s so much private capital out there and so many entrepreneurs willing to take on big dogs. It would be a re-work at this case but people with. I think you need value proposition in a co-working space. So, on a venture capital people chasing, I don’t see right now that there is a monopoly in place. And then those companies are public, so you know valuations that can be tricky. Just a tricky area when we talk about private money. So, the question will be if there is a downturn and we’re not in a profitable place and that money dries up. How do you sustain growth or shift on a dime with your users to a profitable model. Keith: Yeah, for sure. I do, you know, so you mention Amazon and Amazon first of the 15-year run and they probably are the exception to the rule in terms of being able to early on stake-out they wouldn’t call a monopolistic position but certainly, 800-pound gorilla type of corporation. But, if you look at ride-sharing. So, a company like Uber tried to do that but the market was so large. The problems of executions are great and the amount of so much money on the sidelines willing to go into that space. Left has been able to significantly cut into their business over last few years with no one inside there. It seems to me also, the spaces service industry. The various entry are really just raising the capital. I mean, I don’t know there’s much secret sauce in doing that except for being able to sustain the losses initially and go gobble up property. So, it’ll be interesting to see how that shakes out and what it all looks like in a number of years but I know everybody in our industry is watching that closely and that will be interesting as we go forward. Ryan: Yeah, totally great I think. I definitely think the spaces services creating a value for large enterprise and small businesses alike. It’ll be up to those organizations to find a profitable, sustainable, long-term business model, which is yet to be proven. So, I think that there will be some, I think that there’ll be winners, I think that there’ll be losers. I think that there’ll probable even a few that rise to the top and are able to sustain there long-term. Keith: Alright. Moving on. Entrepreneurs and startups and certainly marketing agencies, we love the buzzwords. Alright, so, you can raise money and you can throw out terms like artificial intelligence or augmented reality or blockchain or cryptocurrency and figure out how to present your business plan and I think companies or startups are hoping that investors will follow that with investment. So, blockchain is a bit, is a buzzword that is being thrown around, our industry, the CRE-tech industry. We do a lot of work and energy and I thought blockchain is a fantastic application of blockchain platforms with application in the energy markets because energy in general’s becoming a lot more distributed and decentralized and blockchain is a fantastic application for industries that are going in that direction. We’ve seen a number of companies over the last 6 to 12 months that come to us and claim to have some type of blockchain application real estate whether that’s for raising money, whether that’s because it can cut out some of the soft-cost involved in transactions, whether it’s because of blockchain application will make shrink the timeline for these transactions. There’s a number of reasons why blockchain could be a good application in the real estate industry. Curious what your thoughts are as to what those applications are? Are you seeings things that right now are more substance and hype? Do you think at this point just more hype and people throwing around the word? What’s your take on all that? Ryan: I think there’s a lot of hype, I mean, blockchain is really just a lot of copies of a gigantic cell spreadsheet. So, I think that there’s some interesting possibilities for blockchain. Clearly, to the number of hands that have touched a transaction to potentially cut out intermediaries. I think that there are some regulatory things that need to happen as those boundaries get pushed. I think that it’s a move in the right direction but whether it’s blockchain, artificial intelligence, a machine learning, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that are tackling that technology and trying to integrate it into their business and or their philosophy. When you talk to the technologist about where we are with those technologies and what they’re capable of doing, there’s somewhat of a sentiment that, yeah, the baseline is there but today they don’t function as they’re being promised or advertised as. So, I think that is commercial real estate technology is playing catch up to a lot of technology innovations from, maybe the past 15-20 years and that started to really grow inside of commercial real estate maybe in the past 5-6 years. I think that this group of entrepreneurs is in the right place and on pace or the slightly behind fintech or other spaces where they’re trying to develop the technology to truly make an impact. Keith: Yeah, we’ve spoken with a few companies recently who feel that blockchain and cryptocurrency solution will enable owners and CRE owners to have opportunities for liquidity and to bring in partners or investors in a way that they can’t with the current financial and legal infrastructure in real estate. So, that’s what, from what I understand from these companies, they think they can be deploying those solutions relatively quickly. It’s a proof in a pudding. Ryan: Yeah, I mean. Title company, all kinds of things, potentially make an impact or just we’re not there today. I think, we’ve got smart entrepreneurs that are working on solutions and are really trying to develop that technology to make it viable. And, where we are today versus where we’ll be in 5 years, is one of the reasons I have a podcast or I’m on this show, talking to you about it because I’m very interested in watching those developments and understanding how people are leveraging the technology and using that technology to change the way we work, live, play.. Keith: Yeah, so let’s talk about play. Another great segue, is Ryan, you’re a great host. So, when you’re the guest, you can do my work for me. That’s perfect. I wanna talk about apps and platforms and features that companies now are offering to enhance the tenant experience. It seems like a very millennial thing. So, in my company, we’re always kind of our executive team is always discussing. Alright, so, how do we make millennials happy, keep them productive, make sure that we’re able to retain them? And, I started my business 15 years ago, I wasn’t really having that conversation. It was more around, let’s just create professional development opportunities, make sure paying them fairly, and treating them with respect. But now, they want things that are gonna enhance their social experience, logistical experience. Work is now just not about work but it’s responsibility of companies and now it seems like maybe a building owner’s as well to provide a home-like experience or social experience, cultural experiences within the 4 walls of the workplace. Companies like Comfy, I've seen HQO, Office App, Equium. Again, they’re going out there and trying to convince owners and landowners that their responsibilities transcend just a physically-built environment. What’s been your experience in speaking either with your clients or with founders about the receptivity towards this? Who’re gonna be the early adapters? Is this just kind of like a fad right now but, we’re gonna eventually go back into haywork is work? What do you think on that? Ryan: I think that broader society is just moving towards more experiences whether that’s the bloomers who are moving out of houses then looking for less kind of ownership responsibilities to give them opportunities to travel, to go and do, to hop on an RV and go across America. Keith: I’ve got a 19-year old so we’re having these discussions which give me a little me more grey hair than I had prior. Ryan: (Laughs) And you know the 19-year olds in the same boat. How do I create more experiences, driven by a very different and very visual world with Instagram, Facebook, Social. It’s a ‘hey, what experiences are you having?’ And I think cause it’s less driven by the material. When I think about the specific applications that are going after a different experience in a work environment. I again think it comes back down to the channel. I think that the broad offering, well I guess, the appeal to many users will be more applicable if it serves out more as an amenity that people are able to choose from a la carte or a part of a package. Kinda like a TV dinner. Say ‘Hey, wanna be able to have access to all of these different applications to be able to create this experience in our work environment.’ I think that somebody’s applications are very niche. And so, if they’re not paying attention to the channel or how they’re partnering with other applications to create that experience could potentially be an uphill battle. But, yeah, I mean I think that experience-driven is what is driving re-work or notel or the other kind of space as a service. I think that when IBM is taking re-work space, it’s a very clear communication to the market that experience is valued and IBM’s one of all those technology companies out there so, it’s not just the startups, the millennials that are focused on creating that experience for their employees. Keith: Yeah, that’s a really good point. So, a lot of our listeners are themselves founders and entrepreneurs. I thought maybe, we’d just end, Ryan, with just your observations of the common denominators between the companies and founders that succeed, those that don’t. That really can be anything from leadership skills to how to manage money, to operations, to figuring out audience, marketing. Whatever the case, but I got a thought that your advice would be compelling to the people listening. Ryan: Yeah, I think that those with a good product and user experience. I think about some fintech apps, like Robinhood. When Robinhood comes to mind, it’s like very easy to use, it’s very visually appealing. So, I think that applications that are focused on great user-experience. I think that have some sort of data or value that they’re able to charge customers from Day 1 increase sustainable profitability. And I think that just have really low overhead, low volume kinda revenue targets to keep them accountable to grow. I think that they’re gonna have, those that start with that business model will have early adapters that are potentially more forgiving of the product, that are able to receive feedback, to really shape the product, to listen to customers’ demands and pay attention to their roadmap in a unique way that keeps them from over-building or steering the roadmap in a direction that is actually not a demand or want on their customer base. Which is, back to my earlier talk, was those that are due to a really good job of aggregating and creating actionable data, will be able to build off that data in a meaningful way, and create a roadmap that is really impactful for their users. Keith: That makes sense and I think for every founder and businessman and entrepreneur, what Churchill always said to his people, ‘Keep buggering on KBO.’ Just gotta stick with it, right? And, there’s gonna be lots of ups and downs and challenges. But, if you believe in your vision and you believe in your product and believe in your ability to execute, then you gotta keep going. Certainly, until the bank account says zero. So, with that Ryan, I think we’ll end there. Was there anything else that you wanted to add or tell our listeners? Ryan: I guess the one thing I would add is I am co-hosting a commercial real estate tech event in Austin on October 25th. We’ve got a great panel of tech founders that includes Michael Mandel with ComStak, Arie with WiredScore, Ryan Turner with Refinery, and Doug Shenkman with Tenax. As well as a panel of venture capitalists from Fifth Wall, Navitas, and Metaprop. So, it would be a great event downtown Austin with food and drinks and some great founders and venture capitalists to give you much of the same conversation about the state of the world of CRE Tech and the state of the market, and what’s coming up. Keith: And I will be there. So, if that’s, if you wanna scream that from the rooftops as well, enables you to add one more person to the event, feel free. Maybe, if you tell enough people, my mom will come as well, if I’m gonna be there. But, Ryan: We’d love to have your mom. Keith: It’s an exciting event, I will be there. I’m gonna be travelling from New York to Austin for it. And, goodluck with that. I guess, I’ll see you there, Ryan. So, thank you for being our guest today. And just again, for our listeners, Raising Your Antenna is a podcast dedicated to bringing on venture capitalists and founders who are transforming B2B technology spaces including today’s CRE (Commercial Real Estate) technology. Antenna Group which is the primary sponsor of Raising Your Antenna, is a digital marketing and public relations firm which services companies from startups all the way to Fortune 100 companies that are in the B2B technology space. So Ryan, thanks again and look forward to seeing you in Austin. Ryan: We all look forward to it. Thanks, Keith! Keith: And another episode of Raising Your Antenna is in the books. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode and look forward to connecting again next week. Raising Your Antenna is a weekly podcast hosted by yours truly, Keith Zakheim, that features the movers and shakers, and key influencers of the B2B technology industry. Our guests are leading revolutions and disruptions in the mobility, clean energy, healthcare, and real estate technology industries. Raising Your Antenna’s brought to you by Antenna Group, a full-service digital marketing and public relations agency that focuses on the B2B technology industry. Please be in touch with me on Twitter (@czakheim) with any feedback about this podcast. And check out Antenna Group at www.antennagroup.com if your organization is looking for really smart and good-looking marketing and public relations partner.
31 min 35 sec
We are excited to have Andrew Savage of LimeBike with us in the studio, fresh off of their investment by Alphabet and partnership with Uber. LimeBike is at the forefront of addressing the “last mile” issue: 60 percent of trips people take in vehicles are under one mile and 40 percent of these trips are under 2 miles, yet our cities have been built around making those trips by personal automobile. We know those trips aren’t efficient, aren’t good for the environment and create tons of congestion. Tune in for Andrew’s view on the “last mile” and more in the mobility space. The relationship between mobility technology companies and public transit agencies: "We have a very large program in Dallas, we’ve been working with DART, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, in the Bay Area we’ve been working with BART and Caltrain, we think there’s an incredible synergy between the work that we’re doing, which is the sort of microtransit, and the work of mass transit. And bringing those two things together, we really think we can solve the urban problem of the first and last mile." What’s driving the popularity of electric scooters: "Electric scooters are really interesting, we have a charging program where in many markets, up to 80% of our scooters are being charged in a crowd-sourced way from people within the community, so we will pay people to pick up the scooters at the end of the night, we’ll have an app for that side of the business, and we’ll pay them to be what we call “juicers”, and they go home, plug in 1, 2, 5 or 10 scooters and then redeploy them with our guidance and guidelines the next day, so we, for a major part of our operation, will be able to use folks within the community and actually that’s additional resources in the community’s pockets as well." Safety and rideshares: "Safety is a top priority for us. We have a lot of information on our product in our app and website on how to operate scooters and bikes safely, wearing helmets, choosing the right place to ride. I think an important conversation that we have with city leaders is, how can we give you data so that we can show you where protected lanes would be most beneficial, and how can we show you where people are turning left and turning right in the community where you actually could add infrastructure improvements to make riding and scooting safer." Andrew’s journey to Lime as an entrepreneur in the cleantech space: "I did do a stint on Capitol Hill where I was working on energy and cleantech issues as well as in communications, two years during the Bush administration and two years during the Obama administration, so very fascinating times. I spent the beginning time of my career working both in politics and in government and then shifted over to the cleantech space working as a Chief Strategy Officer for a solar company and I came into this current position a little bit by chance. I was actually looking for positions in solar and stumbled across Toby and Brad, who prior to starting Lime were thinking about what kind of team do we need to put together to make this a success. We jumped in together, I moved out to the Bay Area from Vermont, and here we are." LimeBike and Uber’s strategic partnership: "The Uber partnership is particularly exciting because what it will allow us to do is access and be available to far more people, more ubiquitously in cities across the US and increase internationally. As we expand internationally across Europe and other parts of the world, it’s more exciting because people can now go on the uber app and decide whether they should take a car or a scooter, what we’ve found is that if you’re downtown in the city and you open up Google Maps and look at the drive time of a mile and a half trip, you’re actually going to find that being on a bike or scooter is much faster than a car. So we are really excited for this partnership because we think people will realize how valuable it is, how much lower cost it is and how efficient it is and the environment implications as well." Andrew’s vision for smart regulatory action within the transportation industry: "We view the idea of saying “you can put X number of scooters or bikes in the community as sort of an absolute number”, as really a backwards approach. You never see that regarding cars. So let’s cap the number of cars in a community before we cap the number of bikes. We are nowhere near the need, or nowhere near the saturation of what we would need in the community to solve the problems, so either no cap or a dynamic cap, and what that means is if we have bikes and scooters being widely used, being used multiple times a day by people in the community, let’s not cap it until it gets to the point where there are enough." "We actually do like minimum numbers of fleet size, because without a minimum number you really can’t operate an effective and efficient system. You won’t have the operations staff on the ground to be able to run a good program, so we do think a minimum makes more sense than a type of cap. One other thing we work with cities on is performance standards around operations and our response time, those are all things we can do, we actually work proactively with a number of 311 system within cities, so that we could tap right into their systems and be as responsive as possible, so it’s not that hard to think about what are responsible regulations, and we think cities are going to get there." The role of transportation in increasing economic equality: "The equity component of what we are doing is a critical part of our mission and is one we’ve been able to really demonstrate work, so a perfect example is we’ve been in Seattle for a year, we’ve had a million rides in Seattle last year, we’ve replaced a dock-based program up there, and that dock based program was available like most programs only to downtown, the financial district, the wealthy neighborhoods or tourism locations. That’s not where most people live, that’s not where low income people live."
26 min 27 sec
Introducing Raising Your Antenna, a B2B tech podcast that explores the latest trends and news shaping the B2B technology industry. Hosted by Keith Zakheim, CEO of Antenna Group, the podcast features technology experts and thought leaders from across the cleantech, sustainability, life sciences, mobility, and emerging technology sectors. For the inaugural episode, we’re discussing all things energy storage with the incredible Pat Sapinsley, a renowned clean technology expert and industry thought leader, currently the managing director of Cleantech Initiatives at the Urban Future Lab. In conversation, Pat and Keith touch upon the origin of Urban Future Lab, Pat’s perspective on the cleantech venture capital landscape, and the implications of advances in battery technology on the storage industry and grid ecosystem. What Makes Urban Future Labs Approach to Startups Different: “One of the reasons we’ve had such great success is because we vet them so well coming in, we have a 93% survival rate since 2009 of companies we’ve incubated, that’s exactly the opposite of what happens in the startup world in the United States,” compared to 10-15% of startups on average." The Impact of Federal, State and Local Policy: New York As An Energy Storage Hotbed: “We are helped by a dollar commitment that the governor has made, NYSERDA is putting 260 million dollars towards this, 200 million through Green Bank lending, and 60 million for pilots that NYSERDA will pay for directly, so that’s going to push us forward to the goals we need to get too.” Pat’s Perspective: Energy Startups to Watch Brenmiller HighviewGo Electric Voltaiq What Does the Next Generation of Energy Storage Look Like? The Importance of Transparency and Analytics: “If you are a grid operator and you want to purchase one of these battery technologies, it’s very hard to compare Vanadium flow to lithium-ion because the metrics they’re giving are different.” Lithium Vs. Alternative Chemistry Batteries: “I don’t want to bet on one [alternative chemistry] but they are coming along. I see them get more and more mature and less expensive every year. There’s one out of Tufts University that is very promising right now and one out of MIT that’s also very promising. For these, it’ll be a few years, but in the meantime, we have things like Brenmiller and Highview
22 min 27 sec