Skip to main content

Goodr CEO turned her passion into a multimillion-dollar business

After learning that, each year, 72 billion pounds of food goes to waste in the U.S. while 50 million people struggle with hunger, Jasmine Crowe, a serial entrepreneur, felt compelled to do something.

So with donated spaghetti noodles and hamburger meat and lots of grocery coupons, in 2013 Crowe started feeding the hungry every Sunday out of her own kitchen in her one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta.

After feeding up to 500 people a week for years, in 2017, Crowe turned her passion to help into a business — Goodr, a food waste management company that connects restaurants with food surplus to non-profit organizations that can use the food.

“I had friends and family members that were experiencing hunger, [and] that really made me think I had to move forward,” Crowe says.

Building the business wasn’t easy — for one thing, investors doubted her company would succeed. But by 2018, Goodr was valued at $7 million, according to PitchBook, and now, the company is valued at $12 million, Goodr tells CNBC Make It. To date, Crowe has successfully raised over $2.7 million from investors, the company said.

“I’m really motivated by all the naysayers,” says Crowe. “As long as you’re going after something that you love, you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. That’s the biggest thing.”

Here, Crowe shares her advice on overcoming obstacles and building a successful business that you’re passionate about.

Know your audience and why they say ‘no’

Women-owned companies received just 2.6% of the total venture capital funding in the U.S. in 2019, according to PitchBook. And Black women and women entrepreneurs of color get even less, receiving just 0.64% of the total venture capital investment, according to ProjectDiane.

“I probably took over 200 meetings to raise the first million dollars for Goodr. I was told: ‘This sounds like a non-profit,’ ‘Hunger is already being solved,’ ‘Your team isn’t experienced enough and too young,’” Crowe, 37, says. “The fundraising for me has not been something that I’ve enjoyed. It hasn’t been easy.”

The turning point came, Crowe says, when she really thought about her audience.

“I realized I was speaking to cis white men that have never been hungry,” she says. “Of course they don’t understand what I’m building. They never experienced this problem before.”

So in addition to pitching that Goodr could help people, Crowe focused her pitches on numbers, like how much a business could claim in tax benefits by donating its surplus food and how much it would save in eliminating the cost of removing its food waste, she says.

“Learn all the objections and why people typically say ‘no.’ Once you learn that, then it becomes a lot easier to get to a ‘yes,’” she says. “Start to learn how to counter those objections.”

Read More…

SAP Startup Spotlight: Future Grid

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Future Grid.

Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Future Grid. He is dedicated to helping utilities around the world to integrate renewables at scale and thus decarbonising the grid. With over 20 years of experience in the energy market working for companies like AusNet Services, AGL in Australia, and the startup GridNet in San Francisco, he is well connected within the industry. Chris is a wine connoisseur, a coffee lover, and enjoys riding his bike. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Future Grid.

E-3 Magazine: What exactly does Future Grid offer?

Chris Law: Future Grid is a software that turns smart meter data into improved grid reliability, asset management, and customer safety. Our software creates new visibility into the health of critical yet ‘invisible’ electricity assets such as wires, transformers, and fuses in support of the transition to renewable energy. Using Future Grid’s software, utilities are empowered to manage the increasing shifts in power quality due to renewables. Utilities can then deliver safe and reliable electricity to their customers. That’s how Future Grid is enabling the renewable grid of the future.

How does your solution work?

Law: Future Grid is a software that works by creating a real-time feedback loop that updates key utility systems with real-time insights from invisible assets within the grid. The Future Grid software has been designed to integrate many different sources within the utility, including smart meters, to create a near real-time ‘map’ of grid assets and network health. Future Grid will then execute a range of real-time analytics and integrate the results back into key systems such as SAP, ADSM, and GIS for operational actions. We call this the feedback loop, as for the first time, utilities have the ability to take grid edge data from smart meters (and in the future DER) and feedback real-time insights to help inform grid operations and control.

Read More…

Deepgram raises $25 million to build custom enterprise speech recognition models

Deepgram, a Y Combinator graduate building custom speech recognition models, today announced that it raised $25 million in series B funding led by Tiger Global. CEO and cofounder Scott Stephenson says the proceeds will bolster the development of Deepgram’s platform, which enables enterprises to process meetings, calls, and presentations in real time.

The voice and speech recognition tech market is anticipated to be worth $31.82 billion by 2025, driven by new applications in the banking, health care, and automotive industries. In fact, it’s estimated that one in five people in the U.S. interact with a smart speaker on a daily basis and that the share of Google searches conducted by voice in the country recently surpassed 30%.

Read More…

Automated speech recognition gives CX vendor an edge

Sharpen, a vendor of a cloud-based contact center platform, offers an automated transcription service as part of its software package. It’s free, which its customers like, but a few years ago, Sharpen was getting complaints from customers that its transcriptions weren’t accurate.

“The transcription wasn’t great,” said Adam Settle, Sharpen’s vice president of product, who declined to name the automated transcription software vendor that the company used.

The customer wanted to use the service for keyword spotting, he said. But, he added, “searching for a keyword is kind of pointless” if the transcription is wrong.

The complaint sparked Sharpen to search for a new automated transcription vendor. That search eventually led them to Deepgram, an automated speech recognition startup founded in 2015.

A new vendor

Sharpen first became acquainted with Deepgram a few years ago, after seeing it demonstrate its automated speech recognition platform at a conference.

The platform, built on deep learning models, can come pre-trained on Deepgram’s library of calls. Users can upload pre-labeled speech files or label speech as they go, to further train and customize the platform.

Users can run the platform in the cloud or on premises and can access the speech recognition models through APIs.

Sharpen tested the products of numerous startups and big-name tech vendors before choosing Deepgram. Each had its problems, however. Some platforms, like the one from their first vendor, didn’t provide accurate transcriptions. Others, including systems from Google and Amazon, were too expensive, Settle said.

Some platforms “were eight times the cost without being eight times the quality,” he said.

Read More…

Predictive Trendspotting 2021: How To Genetically Sequence The Lifecycle Of A Trend

Hindsight may be 20/20, but with AI-fueled technology you just might be able to see into the future before anyone else. NWO is a U.S.-based startup piloting a predictive trends platform designed to capture the fast-changing voice of the consumer.

“We’re genetically sequencing the lifecycle of trends as they’re created and evolving. You can select any topic in world and immediately have a full report documenting how saturated a trend is in the minds of consumers globally, and by region,” said Sourav Goswami, co-founder of NWO. “It’s like talking to a human expert who can tell you when, where, and why a trend is growing, declining, or about to reach an inflection point with impact on your business.”

Among the recent early signals Goswami held up as proof of NWO’s prescience were reports predicting the resurgence of Bitcoin, the financial impact of locust swarm movements on sugar and cotton futures, and notably in the fall of 2020, a firestorm of online and offline behaviors around guns and tactical weaponry that constituted an “electoral powder keg” months before an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The startup is working with beta customers in product innovation, marketing, and supply chain management at companies in the United States and Europe, and has plans to move into Asia and the Middle East. While initially targeting consumer brands, Goswami said NWO’s offering cuts across any industry, such as logistics and supply chain companies.

Read More…

Pexapark is Changing the Game in the Renewable PPA World

We sat down with Pexapark’s Co-Founder and CEO, Michael Waldner! Pexapark provides the operating system for post-subsidy renewable energy sales. In this episode of energenius, Michael shares the latest trends in the PPA landscape, talks about the company values driving Pexapark to success, and discusses how Pexapark will help SAP’s utilities customers more efficiently manage their PPA contracts.

Customer Success

“Transitioning from subsidised to post subsidised markets opens up new risks. Companies now need to access new capabilities for energy risk management. We helped a large company and major investor in renewable energy with 2,000 MW installed capacity across different European markets. First we educated them on these new risks, structured and closed PPA agreements for them and followed up with our software solutions to help transform their organization to build up their risk management capabilities.”

Standing Out from the Competition

“The big difference is you no longer need to rely on an RFQ methodology where the price can become out of date by the time you are able to close. With our product, you can stay up-to-date every day with what the price should be for PPAs. You can follow pricing during your negotiations and spot deviations in pricing methodologies You get the same market pricing intelligence as utilities.”

Read More…

NET2GRID is Drastically Increasing Customer Engagement and Improving Energy Consumption Behaviors

We chatted with NET2GRID’s Founder and CEO, Bert Lutje Berenbroek! NET2GRID delivers a platform for utilities to gain powerful energy insights and run value-added services using machine learning algorithms on smart meter data. In this episode, Bert shares how NET2GRID has helped utilities see a 3,000% increase in engagement levels with their prosumers, discusses NET2GRID’s holistic model of the AMI service leading up to real-time hardware for premium insights and value add services, and talks about how NET2GRID’s cost-efficient and real-time data aggregation helps SAP utilities customers spotlight their prosumers, EV owners and gain greater consumer insights in order to enrich customer profiles for targeted marketing purposes.

Read More…

Using IoT to Uncover Inefficiencies in the Utilities Industry With Lemonbeat

We sat down with Lemonbeat’s Co-Founder and CEO, Oliver van der Mond! Lemonbeat offers a scalable end-to-end Internet of Things–enabling solution, building a seamless experience journey from device to cloud. In this episode of energenius, Oliver shares how Lemonbeat helps utilities smarten and scale their infrastructure with IoT, talks about how energy inefficiencies identified by Lemonbeat can help clients save 20–30% in energy-use, and discusses how Lemonbeat’s ability to smartly gather data in the field complements SAP’s existing data management services for utilities.

Customer Success

“With the example of managing a smart boiler room in one’s home, Lemonbeat can help you easily save 20–30% of the primary energy, whether it be gas, oil, etc., without the loss of any convenience.”

Standing Out from the Competition

“We have built Lemonbeat in a way that it can really grow from a very small system to a very large system in a seamless way. IoT makes it possible to uncover inefficiencies. But to uncover them, you need to make those solutions cost-efficient and scalable. With Lemonbeat, you can uncover the inefficiencies and remotely adjust them.”

Working With SAP

“What we are offering is quite complementary to what SAP is offering. It’s a very good fit- we have almost no overlap, so technically speaking, there is an interface where we are meeting. We are taking care of whatever happens in the field so that we get the data, and SAP can take care of what is actually done with the data.”

Read More…

How Future Grid is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Reality

We sat down (on Zoom) with Future Grid’s Co-Founder & CEO, Chris Law! Future Grid enables the renewable grid of the future to deliver safe and reliable electricity. In this episode of energenius, Chris shares about the direct impact Future Grid makes on customer safety as well as its bigger-picture impact on a sustainable future, talks about how Future Grid enriches SAP data to help utilities customers turn smart meter data into improved asset management and grid reliability, and discussed Future Grid’s evolution from a small consulting business to a leading software company.

Customer Success

“One client had incidents on their network where customers were shocked and injured by faults with electricity in their homes. They worked with Future Grid to improve reliability and safety for customers, proactively detecting these incidents using smart meter data, often before the customer was aware that the issue was happening.”

Standing Out from the Competition

“We realized that there is a lot of talk about the customer generating their own electricity, but there was little acknowledgement or understanding of the adverse impact it was having on the energy ecosystem, particularly in terms of polls and wires. Future Grid uses data so that utilities can install more renewable energy into the grid and manage these new technologies and ecosystem players in a sustainable way.”

Working With SAP

“What SAP does for our customers is help specifically with asset management and ERP. Future Grid is using a new kind of data to enrich that, so utilities can better manage the renewable transition and its safety. The outputs of what we produce goes into SAP systems, so we can leverage solutions to create better outcomes for customers on a global scale.”

Read More…

Efficiently Manage & Optimize Distributed Energy Resources with FSIGHT

We chatted with FSIGHT’s CEO, Emek Sadot! FSIGHT offers state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software solutions that allow the energy service provider to predict, optimize and trade energy on behalf of the end user. In this episode, Emek shares FSIGHT’s critical role in effectively managing distributed energy, explains the changes that occurred resulting in end-users actively participating in the energy transition, and discusses how FSIGHT’s solution brings value to SAP customers and contributes to the greater good and a more sustainable reality.

Customer Success

“We just ran a successful pilot with a very large European utilities company, and we improved their forecasting efficiency and results by 2x. We are in the process of closing a deal with them, and will actively pursue other utilities based on this success story.”

Standing Out from the Competition

“We realized that one crucial component is missing in the energy transition: how to manage these distributed energy resources in order to make the grid sustainable and allow the energy reseller and the end-user to save money and be greener. FSIGHT addresses the void of how you manage and optimize these resources across the board for the benefit of the end-user, the benefit of the utility, and the benefit for all stakeholders.”

Working With SAP

“FSIGHT brings innovation, creates value, and quickly seizes new market opportunities through our technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning. In order to scale and replicate our solution, we need the right partners. SAP brings a global presence and large customer base, and we find a spark in SAP’s people, its agenda, and in the music.”

Read More…

In Their Own Words: The 7 Startups Leading the Energy Transformation to a More Sustainable Future

With forty five of the fifty top utilities companies in the world running SAP solutions, SAP is a leading force in helping utilities light the way as the world transitions to a more sustainable, renewable, and digital energy reality. Through SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s latest accelerator program, SAP.iO along with SAP Utilities business unit has been working closely with seven selected startups to create new integrations and joint offerings for our utilities clients.

Here is your chance to meet the seven startups and learn about their customer successes, how they stand out from the competition, and the value they bring to SAP’s utilities clients.

Read More…

AI Plus IoT Are Among The Most Important Ingredients In Pandemic Vaccine Cold-Chain

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) technology may be the biggest disruption to the industrial refrigeration industry since the invention of the first commercial ice-making machine two centuries ago.  

In this second year of a modern pandemic, startup Youtiligent has developed an AIoT-based technology to help companies keep vaccines cold across complex distribution supply chains. Moving far beyond sensor-based temperature monitoring, Youtiligent’s promise is to securely capture real-time electric power anomalies in onsite commercial refrigerators, allowing distributors to take action before vaccine spoilage.

“Sensors that capture when a product’s temperature has decreased below the acceptable degree range are not effective when it comes to distributing something like the coronavirus vaccine,” said Avichai Belitsky, co-founder of Youtiligent. “We combined AI with IoT technology to deliver real-time alerts for cost-effective predictive and preventive maintenance. Organizations can act faster in making data-driven business decisions based on what’s happening in real-time, such as sending in a repair technician, before it’s too late.”

EKG for cooling appliances

Based in Israel, Youtiligent is piloting its offering with healthcare organizations in that country. Belitsky also expected high interest from refrigeration manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical and other institutions with clinics, pharmacies, and research labs, such as hospitals and universities. The startup continues to serve customers in its original target markets that include the food and beverage and retail industries.

“This is what we call ‘EKG for appliances,’ tracking electric current across compressors, engines, and pumps that power any cooling machine, whether it’s making ice cream to be sold the next week, or cooling expensive chemicals that researchers safely store and use over many years,” said Belitsky. “Every machine action has a unique fingerprint, and being able to track each one with algorithms yields valuable, actionable insights.”

Read More…

SAP Commerce Cloud Dresses up Digital Storefronts

COVID-19 has caused disruption across the global economy, forcing companies to alter tried-and-true business processes and meet customers where they are. 

With in-person interactions no longer the default option, companies are investing in digital commerce sites for business and consumer transactions.

SAP Commerce Cloud is aiming to make it easier for businesses to open these digital storefronts and customer engagement platforms to support B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer sites all on a single platform, said Paula Hansen, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for SAP Customer Experience.

Read More…

AI for Leaders: A Look at SAP.iO Grad Cultivate’s Leadership AI Coaching

Cultivate was initially founded through Samsung NEXT’s ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ accelerator program. In 2019, SAP’s early-stage venture arm, SAP.iO, participated in the AI company’s Series A funding where it raised $8 million to grow its go-to-market team and product offerings. Since then, Cultivate has accumulated a total of $10 million in venture capital and partnered with multiple leading academic institutions to further its mission of a digital leadership platform.

Leveraging AI for Leaders and the New Digital Workforce

Cultivate was founded with the vision of empowering next-generation leaders through an AI-based leadership development platform that supports them in improving their teams’ employee experience. The platform uses the latest techniques in Machine Learning (ML) and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to derive social insights from digital channels to help leaders realise their full potential.

According to Joe Freed, co-founder and CEO of Cultivate, the company aims to address a leadership development gap to help managers self-evaluate their digital communications with insights on their own behaviours. He comments:

“Managers are overloaded with email and chat, but they still have to be managers of people. When it comes to things like well-being, burnout, inclusion, and engagement, a lot of how you can influence your team can be through digital communication. But we don’t have a lot of tools to help us with this.”

Enterprise leaders who opt-in to the AI coaching platform get access to a digital coach that scans and analyses the words and the metadata collected from various digital communication channels such as Office 365Google SuiteTeams and Slack. The Cultivate AI for leaders then delivers personalised, continuous and easy-to-execute actionable leadership insights to managers themselves, helping them strengthen their workplace relationships and ultimately improve the employee experience.

According to Cultivate, a manager using the digital leadership coaching platform can also give feedback to the Cultivate AI to adjust the feedbacks being generated based on the context of their relationships with their team members.

Companies using the Cultivate AI for leaders include:

  • SAP
  • Qualtrics, an SAP-owned company and leader in XM technology
  • McKesson Corporation, a global leader in pharmaceuticals and health information technology
  • BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world
  • PwC, considered one of the Big Four accounting firms
  • SamsungNEXT, a ventures and innovation group within Samsung

At SAP, the Cultivate platform was deployed at an initial small pilot. After confirming that the AI’s feedbacks were highly beneficial, the SAP team did a larger roll-out to approximately 250 sales managers, where 79% of those eligible to participate chose to do so.

Today, SAP has deployed Cultivate to over 500 managers. The German multinational company reports that 96% of managers have remained engaged with Cultivate since the initial roll-out.

Read More…

SAP.iO recherche des startups AgTech & GreenTech pour ses deux nouveaux programmes d’accélération

SAP.iO Foundry Paris lance un nouvel appel à candidatures pour son programme d’accélération de startups orientées agri-business. Cette 6ème promotion de l’accélérateur de startups de SAP retiendra 6 à 10 pépites tech et Agtech pour son programme de 10 semaines débutant en avril 2021. Les startups françaises mais aussi européennes peuvent candidater dès aujourd’hui jusqu’au 31 janvier 2021. Un autre appel à candidature est ouvert aux startups Greentech Françaises pour ses programmes de Berlin et Munich.

Lire la suite…