Use your Melon; take commercial buildings from energy data to real savings.
Today's featured startup, Melon, is the first company to utilize Green Button data to make it simple to get an ENERGY STAR benchmark for a commercial building.
Melon recently won Overall Best Application 2nd prize in the US Department of Energy AppsforEnergy Challenge. Melon's first product takes GreenButtonData (utility bills) and turns it into an Energy Star score, helping customers understand how their energy use compares to their peers. From there it is quick and easy to reduce energy waste and save money, kind of like "Turbo Tax" for Energy Star. When a building manager supplies basic building information and energy usage, Melon delivers an ENERGY STAR score and next steps.
Melon’s application offers the over 1 million commercial buildings that are gaining access to Green Button a simple and affordable benchmarking analysis using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR web services.
Founded in April 2012, Melon believes that the ‘Green Button’ is a disruptive innovation creating unprecedented opportunities for energy savings. The Apps for Energy Challenge encouraged us to rapidly develop our first application. Read our interview with (newly married!) Founder and CEO, Craig Isakow.
What inspired you to start your company?
I wanted the opportunity to give building owners what they want - low cost, rapid payback energy savings and benchmarks. Thanks to disruptive technology of smart meters little guys have a chance to make an impact.
Tell us something unique about you and your co-founder(s)?
Well, I started the company two months before I got married on May 27th, and won the contest and $15,000 the week of my wedding. Quite a week!
Eliminating energy waste and saving customers money brings us true joy. Thankfully we found a healthy path to save people energy with Melon. Otherwise we might have to secretly go around unplugging appliances not in use.
What problem does your product or service solve?
In many cities building owners are now required to compute an Energy Star Score, we compute the score more quickly and at a lower cost than traditional providers. Then we make recommendations on how the owners can save energy without ever entering the building.
What are your startup's three biggest challenges to growth?
Expenses associated with starting a business, finding early pilot customers, and delivering compelling solutions.
How has Startup America helped you overcome these challenges to growth?
Helped us find low cost vendors and provided publicity through Twitter for @MelonBenchmarks which will hopefully lead to more early customers.
What Startup America Member Benefits have you used?
We have taken advantage of discounted LinkedIn, legal services, and business cards. As well as attended events like ..
Why should startups join Startup America?
You get great discounted resources and a network of folks who have your back.
What is the startup culture like in your City/State?
The startup culture in DC is great! It's emerging, passionate, and scrappy.