Columbus, OH is a place where people travel near and far to experience an electrifying atmosphere and support their football team. For many, part of the experience is enjoying delicious food, huddled around a TV rooting against their rival amongst a sea of other tailgaters. However, powering these extravagant tailgates usually means a loud generator producing a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. After spending a few game days trying to talk over the rumble of the generators, we thought there is no reason why we can’t support our team and be sustainable in the process.
To solve this problem, we put our heads together and came up with the idea of replacing gasoline generators with mobile battery packs. Batteries do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions and are completely silent. Problem solved, right? Well, not quite. After some conversations with experienced tailgaters, we discovered the high cost of batteries would prevent people from buying one themselves. Again, our team got creative and decided to offer a new service to fans where we would deliver the battery packs to their tailgate and pick it up when they head into the game, thus removing the cost barrier and adding convenience in the process. We call it, Energy Storage as a Service (ESaaS)!
As with any new project, we needed funding, so we submitted a proposal to the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State and were awarded a grant to launch our idea! The SI was very supportive and connected us with the key people in the university to help our initiative be successful. Shortly after receiving the initial grant, other groups started to take notice of our team’s passion for sustainability, and we received an initial investment from MegaJoule Ventures. Thus, Electrion was born!
While we believe Electrion can have a positive impact on the environment, we also believe in using our platform to educate future generations on the importance of sustainability. The goals of our education and outreach program include 1) introducing new concepts while building a foundation in areas such as IoT, sustainability, software, and energy, 2) helping students understand how their course-work applies to real-world applications, and 3) providing hands-on experience with software development and IoT. We believe in providing students a new lens through which to view the sustainability problems our world faces and inspire them to create their own solutions.
Sustainability is a team effort and it starts with everyone doing the “little” things. The next step for us is to raise series A funding to expand our capabilities and make Electrion a household name in sustainability.