In the midst of the hustle-and-bustle of today’s modern world, we desire quick and accessible means to help manage our daily routine. Through an innovative app, Sweep Energy allows users to monitor and diagnose equipment directly from their fingertips.
Chico State’s Center for Entrepreneurship serves as one of six hubs in the BlueTechValley: Central Regional Energy Innovation Cluster. Each hub is tasked with identifying innovations in water, energy or agricultural technologies in order to connect them with resources such as the Valley Ventures Accelerator and CalSEED funding program.
Here, we share one of BlueTechValley’s success stories, Sweep Energy, founded in 2016 by Agustin Roland and Tamba Balde. The app works by utilizing a miniature Wi-Fi enabled equipment monitor that detects electrical input from your equipment, and monitors for changes through high-resolution energy signatures. All insights into the performance of your equipment are shared with the online monitoring service for later review.
“Sweep Energy started as a student project to develop an energy-monitoring technology,” Balde said. “As we started to develop it, we found that there was a strong application with agriculture. We dove into market research. After interviewing potential users, we realized that the technology exceeded agricultural needs alone, and had the potential to serve as a tool to connect businesses.”
The team joined BlueTechValley after being recruited by Benjamin Francis, the project coordinator of the Valley Ventures Accelerator at Fresno State. As a BlueTechValley accelerator, Valley Ventures strives to promote growth in startups focused on innovations in water, energy, or technology.
“The Valley Ventures program was pretty thorough in bringing entrepreneurs, investors, and potential clients to speak with us,” Balde said. “It gave us a good idea of how we need to be investing in three things: approaching investors, selling ourselves, and selling our value proposition to customers. It also reminded us to engage with customers and copyright regulations as well.”
Balde also shared the greatest thing he’s learned since becoming involved with BTV.
“On the sales side of things, you have to be extremely relentless,” Balde said. “You have to try to talk to everyone. You are constantly finding new people to service to put your product in front of.”