Company Profile AQUAOSO

Company Profile AQUAOSO

AQUAOSO Technologies, a startup public benefit corporation headquartered in Sacramento, California, is launching a beta version of their online water trading program this summer. The AQUAOSO team is dedicated to improving the water industry, and is led by CEO and Founder Christopher Peacock. Their team has created an online water rights management and trading platform designed to provide transparency and insight into water data and the California water rights system.

AQUAOSO has observed that the current process for buying and selling water rights is inadequate because the existing tools do not enable sustainable water markets. Their system aims to reduce the cost of transactions and expedite the water rights transfer process, deliver solutions to solve existing and future water challenges, and provide greater accessibility to stakeholders. Sustainability in water usage is becoming a higher priority for both existing and new companies throughout California and the Western United States, and AQUAOSO quickly recognized the need for innovation. AQUAOSO combined their knowledge of water markets, advanced technologies, and big data to provide a unique tool for managing water rights in the future.

The early-stage system has already attracted attention in the industry. AQUAOSO was selected to participate in the 2017 Entrepreneurs Showcase Accelerator in Sacramento, hosted by Impact Venture Capital. Additionally, AQUAOSO was recently recognized as one of the top 10 ideas in the OpenIDEO 2017 Water Resilience Challenge. Although their goal to ultimately change the way water is distributed globally may seem ambitious, the AQUAOSO team is dedicated to put all their efforts into this technology and reshape our water management system for a more sustainable future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Madeleine is is a second-year Environmental Policy student at UC Davis. She played a leading role in researching the CleanStart Progress Report and is excited to be working with CleanStart to help Sacramento become a clean tech hub.

Sacramento’s green tech jobs, revenues up more than 25 percent in past two years

Sacramento’s green tech jobs, revenues up more than 25 percent in past two years

As reported by Victor A. Patton of the Sacramento Business Journal, the Sacramento region’s clean energy and green technology sector in 2016 reported all-time high numbers for revenue and jobs — and gains of more than 25 percent for both since 2014, according to a report released Wednesday by the nonprofit CleanStart.

Clean tech industry ‘on a roll’ in the Sacramento region

Clean tech industry ‘on a roll’ in the Sacramento region

As reported by Mark Glover of the Sacramento Bee, CleanStart Inc., the Sacramento-based nonprofit that works to foster the growth of clean tech companies throughout the region, said Wednesday that 94 area firms generated $3.2 billion in revenue in 2016.

What are reasonable expectations of crowdfunding?

What are reasonable expectations of crowdfunding?

There are lots of kinds of crowdfunding–starting with asking for donations to selling stock in your company.  Clearly asking for donations is going to result in a lot less money than offering a discount for pre-ordering a product or selling shares of stock.

There are a lot of sources of information on the success rates of crowdfunding, and much of it aggregates a huge number of campaigns across a broad range of approaches.  These tell you that somewhere between 25% and 40% of campaigns are “successful”–meaning they raised money, maybe not as much as expected, but something.  And that is a pretty good success rate.  The average raise in this aggregation is about $7,000.

You might ask why do people bother for so little money?  Because these statistics cover up the important details.  The vast majority of crowdfunding campaigns are asking for donations–for a big birthday party, for someone’s surgery, to buy desks for schools in Africa, for paying expenses for a school band to travel to a contest.  These typically raise only a few thousand dollars at most.  They don’t reveal what happens when one uses crowdfunding for business.

Results for businesses are better than those averages.  Donation-only campaigns for business are a little tricky because one will need to establish a pretty compelling story about giving money to a business for next to nothing in return.  Sometimes it is for a small reward like a shirt or coffee mug.  Sometimes it is linked to raising money for installing a product to benefit someone in need.  Sometimes it is a promise of a discount on the eventual product if and when it is finished.  In these circumstances it is possible to raise over $10,000 routinely, and $25,000+ is clearly possible.  The better the reward, the higher the amount raised.

Selling shares is even a more compelling reason to write a check, but can entangle one in a lot of requirements for reporting, disclosure, and limitations on the number and kind of investors from which money can be accepted.  It also requires a lot of work to make a compelling case.  But in these cases raising $1-5 million is common for successful campaigns.  The failure rate for these offerings is also higher than for the simpler donation campaigns.  

Compared to the success rate of trying to win a prize of $50-100,000 in a business plan competition, or looking for money from venture capitalists, crowdfunding can be a much better source of capital for a business.  That’s why people bother.  It is something that they feel is more under their control and has a better chance of success.  Crowdfunding also tends to focus a start-up on making the case to customers more than just to investors, something that could be much more important to long-term success.

Want to learn more?  CleanStart is stepping up to provide help to tech startups that face this money-raising conundrum with a new series of classes launching on June 20th. Leveraging Crowdfunding to Fuel Your Tech Startup

Thomas Hall
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.

CleanStart PowerUp! Progress Report Release!

CleanStart PowerUp! Progress Report Release!

CleanStart Progress Report Launch Party was a Success!

Last week’s CleanStart Progress Report Launch was a success.  Companies from all over the area attend.  

John Bissell talked about Micromidas becoming Origin Materials. We learned more about the sustainable Origins 100% bio-based water bottle and how they can save the world from 50 million tons of non-renewable PET. Origin Materials is now creating an 80% bio-based bottle with Nestle and Danone and received $40 million in investment.

 

Mike Hart introduced all the things going on at Sierra Energy’s campus. From their FastOX Gasifier being built to bringing the makers space Area 52 to life.  Mike gave us a peek at some of the obstacles and intricate systems Sierra Energy has had to fit FastOX into as Sierra Energy completes its commercial scale plant in Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County.

 

Arya Rashid and Joe Nguyen from Tenkiv answered questions on how they leveraged crowdfunding to raise money and increase Tenkiv’s visibility around the world. Not only did Tenkiv raise $50,000, they brought their solution to the attention of people around the world. They shared their key to a successful crowdfunding event –planning, planning, and planning!

 

The 2017 CleanStart Progress Report was also in the SacBee and Sacramento Business Journal.

Look to learn more about crowdfunding at our upcoming workshop on June 20!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thomas is the Executive Director of CleanStart. Thomas has a strong background in supporting small businesses, leadership, financial management and is proficient in working with nonprofits. He has a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from California State University, Chico. Thomas has a passion for sustainability and a commitment to supporting non-profits in the region.