On November 1 a new clean tech company came on the scene in our region. Ascent Analytics emerged as a spin-out from established solar installation and energy management company Infinity Energy in Rocklin. Infinity built a very useful software tool to shave costs and time from the solar installation process and believes the tool could be very valuable to the whole industry. Months ago, a chance discussion between Jack Crawford of Impact Venture Capital and Mark Stacey, one of the owners of Infinity, started a business exploration that has now borne fruit.
Start-up veterans John Meissner and Dan Becker will be at the helm of the new company. John will be the new CEO. He has been involved in launching new wind energy and other climate-saving technology companies for over a decade. He has a BS and MA in Aerospace Engineering from UC San Diego, and has spent most of his career launching companies or helping others to commercialize their innovations. Most recently he built MXV in combination with local company Momentum to help companies get their ideas out into the world.
Dan took his Kellogg School MBA and has been in the corporate venture world and working on strategy, financial
management, and corporate management with others. He was also one of the founding venture partners at Impact Venture Capital. He’s been around the block.
Ascent closed on its initial funding and now has money in the bank. It begins with a head start because the product is in use already, has a good track record, and Infinity will continue as a client. They see $1 million in first year revenue as they are assembling their team, getting their marketing outreach in place. They hope to scale quickly and have as many as 50 employees in the next couple of years.
They expect their software to be very popular, because the “soft costs” involved in installations—designs, permitting, work crews, financing—are already a burden much greater than the cost of the equipment itself. They see that a similar SaaS approach could be a big help to installing storage (stand-alone or in conjunction with solar), fast chargers at commercial and neighborhood sites, and possibly microgrid equipment.
Ascent will be presenting at our next Spotlight Investor Pitch night on November 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. It is a virtual event. Three other companies will be presenting as well. To learn more and to sign up to attend, go here.