A single query modified how Singularity considered its market

The startup says most corporations’ carbon footprint math is bogus

When Wenbo Shi began Singularity Energy, a carbon intelligence platform that today raised a $4.5 million seed round, he by no means thought he would focus the corporate on a greenhouse gasoline. However one dialog with a buyer modified the best way he considered his product and, finally, his firm and the kind of prospects it now serves.

“The journey was actually buyer pushed, to be trustworthy. After I began the corporate three years in the past, I wasn’t pondering of carbon in any respect,” Shi stated. “The primary concept that I had for Singularity was that we’d do clever management for batteries, for EV charging, for these varieties of issues. The target for battery management is all the time going to be, ‘How can I lower your expenses for the shoppers?’”

A number of years in the past, Shi and Singularity had that objective in thoughts when working with the Harvard Innovation Lab, which homes entrepreneurial sources for Harvard Enterprise College college students. The college was trying to pair a battery with photo voltaic panels on the constructing’s roof.

“Throughout one of many conversations, they introduced up carbon. ‘Are you able to truly think about carbon as a sign?’” Shi recollects them asking. The college needed to put in a battery not simply to economize, however to decrease the campus’s carbon footprint.

“I had by no means considered carbon as a result of I used to be like, ‘Oh, I’m an influence system man,’” Shi recalled. However after the dialog with Harvard, “then I used to be like, ‘Oh, that’s a really neat thought.’ If I understand how clear or how soiled the facility grid is, then to me it’s one other management sign. It’s an optimization goal, which must be fairly easy to combine with the software program.”

It turned out that incorporating carbon as a management sign modified the maths for Harvard’s battery undertaking. Shi had found that optimizing for price alone would enhance air pollution, a revelation that occurred after he began analyzing the grid’s carbon emissions on an hourly foundation versus the extra generally used annual averages.

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