Listen Here

| |

Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Dan Forman, CEO & Co-Founder of Copper Labs, an energy technology company that’s raised $13 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Early AI Ventures: Dan’s journey began in 2001 with an AI company aimed at creating adaptive desktop agents for a programmer with a degenerative health issue, highlighting his long-standing interest in solving real-world problems with technology.
  • Utility Data Innovation: Copper Labs enables real-time data insights for energy and water utilities, transforming outdated systems that rely on monthly data to provide immediate visibility and control, crucial for modern grid management.
  • Marketing Strategy: The company employs a “respectfully provocative” approach, challenging traditional smart grid solutions and advocating for more efficient, real-time data utilization to address modern energy needs.
  • Regulatory Engagement: Copper Labs actively engages with regulators to promote their cost-effective and innovative solutions, emphasizing the importance of regulatory influence in utility market dynamics.
  • Overcoming Market Resistance: The company faces significant pushback from established meter vendors but leverages their unique, cost-effective solutions to shift the narrative and drive market adoption.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Building relationships with key utilities and demonstrating tangible success through case studies, such as with National Grid, has been essential for scaling and gaining market credibility.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Innovate with a Purpose:

Focus on solving real-world problems that resonate deeply with users, as Dan did with his early AI company and now with Copper Labs' utility solutions.

Challenge the Status Quo:

Don't be afraid to disrupt traditional markets with innovative approaches. Copper Labs' "respectfully provocative" marketing strategy has been key in differentiating their solutions.

Engage Regulators Early:

In highly regulated industries, engaging with regulators can provide strategic advantages and help navigate complex market dynamics effectively.

Leverage Strategic Partnerships:

Building strong relationships with industry leaders and securing credible case studies can significantly boost market adoption and trust.

Persistence in Piloting:

Success in enterprise markets often requires enduring through multiple pilot stages and proving value before achieving large-scale adoption.

Recommended Founder
Interviews

Omar Abou-Sayed

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Vaulted Deep

Omar Abou-Sayed, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Vaulted Deep: $8 Million Raised to Build the Future of Carbon Removal

Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies

CEO and Co-Founder of Accure

Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies, CEO & Co-Founder of Accure: $18.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Battery Intelligence

Chris Hare

CEO of PRTI

Chris Hare, CEO of PRTI: Over $25 Million Raised to Transform America’s Billions of Waste Tires into Valuable Commodities

Alisa Valderrama

Co-founder and CEO of FutureProof Technologies

Alisa Valderrama, Co-founder and CEO of FutureProof Technologies: $10 Million Raised to Translate Climate and Weather and Financial Risk with Unprecedented Accuracy

Iain Cooper

CEO of SeekOps Inc.

Iain Cooper, CEO of SeekOps, $23 Million Raised to Build the Future of Emissions Monitoring

Khaled Hassounah

CEO & Founder of Ample

Khaled Hassounah, CEO and Founder of Ample: $290M Raised to Build the Future of EV Batteries

Arvin Ganesan

CEO of Fourth Power

Arvin Ganesan, CEO of Fourth Power: $20 Million Raised to Build the Future of Energy Storage

Manik Suri

Manik Suri, CEO and Founder of Therma: $30 Million Raised to Build the Cooling Intelligence Category

Martin Kosak

Head of Marketing of Sensoneo

Event Marketing Mastery: Martin Kosak on Sensoneo’s Success at Trade Shows

Virginia Klausmeier

CEO and Founder of Sylvatex

Virginia Klausmeier, CEO and Founder of Sylvatex: More Than $15 Million Raised to Build a Better Class of Sustainable Materials and Drive the Green Revolution

Ben Christensen

CEO of Cambium Carbon

Ben Christensen, CEO of Cambium Carbon: $5.5 Million Raised to Build a new Category of Sustainable Wood

Quentin Scrimshire

CEO and Co-Founder of Modo Energy

Quentin Scrimshire, CEO & Co-Founder of Modo Energy: $20 Million Raised to Build the Energy Asset Benchmarking Category

Doron Myersdorf

CEO of StoreDot

Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot : $200 Million Raised to Power the Future of Electric Vehicles

Antoine Welter

CEO and Co-Founder of Circu Li-ion

Antoine Welter, CEO & Co-Founder of Circu Li-ion: $8.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Battery Upcycling

Zak Lefevre

CEO of ChargeLab

Zak Lefevre, CEO of ChargeLab: $20 Million Raised to Build the Operating System for EV Chargers

Allen Kramer

Co-Founder & COO of Crux

Allen Kramer, Co-Founder and COO of Crux: $27 Million Raised to Power the Future of Sustainable Finance

Sid Jha

Founder & CEO of Arbol

Sid Jha, Founder & CEO of Arbol: Over $20 Million Raised to Build the Future of Climate Risk Management

Liz Gilligan

CEO & Founder of Material Evolution

Liz Gilligan, CEO & Founder of Material Evolution: $19 Million Raised to Build the Future of Sustainable Cement

Kentaro Kawamori

CEO & Co-Founder of Persefoni

Kentaro Kawamori, CEO of Persefoni: $114 Million Raised to Build the Climate Disclosure & Carbon Management Category

Matei Stratan

CEO of Ogre

Matei Stratan, CEO of Ogre: $2 Million Raised to Build the Future of Energy Management

Joshua Riedy

CEO and Founder of Thread

Joshua Riedy, CEO and Founder of Thread: $20 Million Raised to Power the Future of Energy Grid Maintenance

Matt LeDucq

CEO and Co-Founder of Forum Mobility

Matt LeDucq, CEO & Co-Founder of Forum Mobility: $423 Million Raised to Power the Future of Zero-Emission Trucking

Elizabeth Muller

CEO and Co-Founder of Deep Isolation

Elizabeth Muller, CEO and Co-Founder of Deep Isolation: Over $22 Million Raised to Build the Future of Nuclear Waste Disposal

Michael Belenkie

CEO and President of Entropy

Michael Belenkie, CEO and President of Entropy: $300 Million Raised to Spearhead Efficiency and Innovation in the Carbon Capture Economy

Josh Knauer

Co-Founder of Reseed

Josh Knauer, Co-Founder of Reseed: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Carbon Credits for Farmers

Kameale Terry

Co-Founder and CEO of ChargerHelp!

Kameale Terry, Co-Founder and CEO of ChargerHelp!: Over $20 Million Raised to Build the Future of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Gary Ong

CEO & Founder of Celadyne

Gary Ong, CEO & Founder of Celadyne: $5 Million Raised to Power the Future of Green Hydrogen Production

Curtis VanWalleghem

CEO of Hydrostor

Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO of Hydrostor: $322 Million Raised to Build the Future of Energy Storage

Astrid Atkinson

CEO & cofounder of Camus Energy

Astrid Atkinson, CEO of Camus Energy: $20 Million Raised to Build the Future of Grid Management

Tim Weiss

CEO and Co-Founder of Optera

Tim Weiss, CEO & Co-Founder of Optera: $17.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Carbon Management and Accounting

Javier Marti

CEO and Founder of Divirod

Javier Marti, CEO & Founder of Divirod: $7.6 Million Raised to Build the Google Maps For Water

Michael Witte

CEO & Co-founder of Workrise

Michael Witte, CEO & Co-founder of Workrise: $750 Million Raised to Power the Future of the Energy Industry

Allison Wolff

CEO of Vibrant Planet

Allison Wolff, CEO at Vibrant Planet: $34 Million Raised to Build the Future of Land Management Restoration

Thibault Castagne

CEO and Founder of Vianova

Thibault Castagne, CEO and Founder of Vianova: $8.8 Million Raised to Build the Go-To Operating System for the Mobility World

Troy Carter

CEO and Co-Founder of Earthshot Labs

Troy Carter, CEO and Co-Founder of Earthshot Labs: $11 Million Raised to Power the Future of Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration

Joselyn Lai

CEO & Co-Founder of Bedrock Energy

Joselyn Lai, CEO & Co-Founder of Bedrock Energy: $9 Million Raised to Power the Future of Geothermal Energy

Kenneth Herschel

CEO and Co-Founder of Viggo

Kenneth Herschel, CEO and Co-Founder of Viggo: Nearly $6 Million Raised to Build the Future of EV Charging Infrastructure

Gary Lewis

CEO & Managing Director of Resourcify

Gary Lewis, CEO of Resourcify: $15 Million Raised to Build the Future of Recycling Management

Ali Javidan

Co-Founder of Range Energy

Ali Javidan, Co-Founder of Range Energy: $9 Million Raised to Build the Future of Electric Semi-Trucks

Greg Newbloom

CEO and Founder of Membrion

Greg Newbloom, CEO & Founder of Membrion: $23 Million Raised to Build the Future of Industrial Wastewater Treatment Solutions

Greg Fallon

CEO of Geminus

Greg Fallon, CEO of Geminus: $12 Million Raised to Help the Industrial Sector Prepare for the Energy Transition

Kaitlyn Albertoli

CEO and Co-Founder of Buzz Solutions

Kaitlyn Albertoli, CEO and Co-Founder of Buzz Solutions: Nearly $6 Million Raised to Build the Future of Infrastructure Inspection