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EnergyHub kicks off Gowanus Breakfast Club 

Laura Kier

September 23, 2015

Last Thursday, we hosted our inaugural Gowanus Breakfast Club meet-up: a monthly morning get-together for tech and creative professionals at EnergyHub HQ in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We invited NYC startup employees, independent tech workers, and entrepreneurs to join us to chat about their work and hear about cool projects from local innovators over coffee and pastries from Runner & Stone.

EnergyHub’s Co-Founder and President, Seth Frader-Thompson, kicked off the session with a short introduction to EnergyHub before handing the audience over to Angelique Mercurio, Founder & CEO of EnerKnol. EnerKnol is an energy policy data and analytics company whose platform makes it easy to obtain real-time access to regulatory information pertaining to the energy industry. They’re also the company behind the annual New York Energy Week event.

Angelique talked about how EnerKnol’s system makes it easy for energy-industry stakeholders to locate and track the information they need. She explained that while all of the information contained on the EnerKnol platform is publicly available, much of it can be difficult to access. She noted that the U.S government has been very supportive of her company’s work because, in a fragmented system of local offices, even they have trouble getting the information they need across the fifty states.

Afroze Khan, a Senior Engineer at EnerKnol, noted that users can sign up to receive email updates when a relevant filing or release is added to the system, and that the system is updated continually, ensuring that every piece of information enters the system as soon as it has been made publicly available. In the past, he said, many EnerKnol users had to employ outside consultants and law firms to help them dig through the vast amount of regulatory information available, costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. Through EnerKnol, they’ve been able to replace these expensive outside services with a low monthly fee — and the information they’re getting is much more comprehensive and reliable.

Our second presenter was Stephan von Muehlen, Co-founder of Poursteady. Poursteady is a machine that makes it quick and easy for baristas to deliver a premium pourover coffee experience to customers. Stephan talked through the laborious process typically involved in creating the perfect cup of pourover coffee. He noted that if the person in front of you in line at your neighborhood coffee shop overs a pourover coffee, it usually takes three to five minutes to create and brings the line to a screeching halt while the barista goes through steps including measuring coffee and water to the gram and inspecting the bed of coffee grounds post-pour.

Poursteady addresses this problem easily, and in a way that provides value to everyone involved:

  1. Customers get better coffee and spend less time waiting.
  2. Baristas can service more customers, faster, without sacrificing coffee quality.
  3. Coffee shop owners can sell more coffee with the same staff.

Poursteady started shipping its first batch of machines to independent coffee shops in the U.S. a couple of months ago and is set to begin wholesaling in Asia and North America by the end of the year. Stephan said the machine’s interface is “dirt simple,” but allows baristas to create a cup of coffee with the same precision and customization as a hand pour. Asked whether there were concerns about customers wanting the full experience of ordering a pourover coffee and watching a barista make it by hand, Stephan said, “People want to see that once, and then they want to go back and get a cup of coffee.”

We had a great turnout for our first event and are grateful to our speakers for their engaging discussions of the problems they’re solving with technology.

Interested in joining us for a future Gowanus Breakfast Club event? Join the Meetup group to be notified about upcoming dates and speakers.

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