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Startups make their pitch at Launch Alaska Demo Day
60Hertz is addressing energy poverty in Alaska, the Arctic, and the developing world with finance opportunities and operations for small-scale microgrids. Piper Foster Wilder, co-founder with Whitney Gantt, noted that Alaska has 12 percent of the globe’s microgrids at work.
This company’s goal is to offer turnkey microgrid operations for remote sites, from villages to remote camps. The company is led by the vision of reducing diesel dependence in rural Arctic communities for both humanitarian and economic reasons.
Can an Anchorage start-up lure renewable energy investors to rural Alaska?
Piper Foster Wilder moved to Alaska a couple years ago after working on renewable energy in the Lower 48. She saw a gap between the way renewables are viewed down south, and the way they’re viewed up here.
“There was nothing fringe-y, alternative or outside-of-the-mainstream about renewable energy,” in the Lower 48, Foster Wilder said. “This is the business of suit-and-tie wearing people, who are making a lot of money doing it.”
Startup Week 2017: Building Alaska’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Piper Foster Wilder had an idea. She’d been thinking about software to improve operations and maintenance in Alaska's remote powerhouses, and wanted to explore it with other creative, entrepreneurially minded people, so she signed up for Startup Weekend.
After two days of research and work, she stood in front of a crowd with her newly formed team and pitched Pinga, a culturally-informed Computerized Maintenance Management System designed for isolated microgrid operators in Alaska or the developing world.