Miriam Tuerk anticipated it might be like this. Musing about during the last of her meetings while on Clear Blue Technologies's Asian Roadshow this April, she smiled and said: "It hasn't been easy, what we've done, and to be where we are now, is fitting for a company like ours."
Miriam's presence in Asia, while on the sidelines in Hong Kong on Friday evening, rendered those words strangely prescient. What an almightly change of fortunes. Miriam knocked on doors when there were nobody talking about IOT and Smart off-grid power, during the time she built her company together with her husband John Tuerk, in their garage. Flash forward 8 years on and Clear Blue is now on the World Stage, presence in 34 countries, 20 US states, 8 Canadian provinces, valued at CAD20mil and about to be listed on the Toronto Ventures Stock Exchange.
Miriam likes to say you need sana follia (craziness of the good, healthy kind) in order to achieve great things. To some though, her meetings with Facebook, Aviva Ventures, Capitaland and HNWIs in Singapore and Hong Kong and the interest that followed were just crazy. It brought back memories of when Armas Markkula Jr was introduced to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Armas Markkula was the 2nd CEO of Apple. Steve Wozniak credited Armas for bringing in venture capital and credit facilities.
Those type of introductions were behind Miriam now. She now boasts over 200 individual investors arranged by Haywood Securities and Cannaccord in Canada, who invested C6.8mil in total at C0.80 per share. She is looking for C2.0-C6.0mil prior to her listing in May.
Miriam Tuerk strikes me as being statesmanlike. She almost always finds the right words and has an acute sense of responsibility; she doesn't go looking for any investor, but only the right investor that can bring her the right connections to rapidly expand her Power Generation and Control business. Miriam invariably makes sure her team can deliver first. And now that she is assured, these few days in Asia are just cumulation of her hard work.
John Tuerk, Clear Blue Technologies co-founder, said to Miriam a few years ago: "The future will see infrastructure like street lighting and security systems being powered ably by renewable power, without the need for lengthy and expensive cables, because of devices like this." And he goes to hold up an LED fluorescent lamp that he was going to install in Miriam's kitchen."
"Oh no, you are not going to put that in my kitchen." exclaimed Miriam 8 years ago.
Miriam's emotional response was understandable. Power, even as early as last decade, were wired, inflexible, expensive infrastructure that was used to power up everything we see. John predicted back then a Power Revolution was coming because of devices such as LED (light-emitting diode) lamps. These devices are cheaper and more energy-efficient, which made the cost of wiring that final kilometre all the most costly and redundant. Many devices today can now be powered by a single wind-mill spinning on top, or a single piece of solar panel installed locally, eliminating the need for cables which can be up to 20-25% of the entire cost of installation.
This lamp costs the Canadian Government CAD 7-8k, instead of CAD 30k as previously quoted if run on cables.
Who are some of Clear Blue's peers
According to Facebook, Clear Blue's partner for the Telecom Infra Project, Miriam and her team are unique and own their space. Facebook, through the TIP, is adding another billion people to the Internet, and after a lengthy sourcing period, they have selected Clear Blue Technologies to be their solutions provider, to develop and install Smart OpenCellular Power Management systems to People in Remote Areas.
Here are some companies operating in the iOT space.
S2E Technologies - a consulting company working with majors like Canadian Solar to co-develop solar projects across the globe.
Braingrid- A designer, manufacturer, and marketer of advanced digital communication devices that enables IOT for the Cannabis industries.
Internet of Things Inc - an IoT software and solutions provider. The company is mainly focused on accelerating IoT-based technology companies. They are working with New Hope Group in China to install and implement IOT solutions to 600+ factories and businesses.
BeWhere Holdings Inc - their flagship product is a Bluetooth-enabled beacon that is easily mounted on everything from pallets to portable equipment, and can transmit metrics such as location, temperature, exposure to light, vibration and acceleration in real time and to any Bluetooth enabled device.
Healthspace Data Systems Ltd - software provider to inspection facilities (such as restaurants) that require certification by government agencies to operate into the 21st century.
Photon Control Inc - they makes optical sensors used by Original Equipment Manufacturers in computing, energy, healthcare and other device-oriented segments. Their optical sensors capture metrics such as temperature, pressure, flow, location, and luminosity.
Patient Home Monitoring Corp - the company acquires other companies that offer home-based chronic care treatment throughout the United States to patients with heart, lung, and sleep conditions as well as diabetes and and targets cross-selling of the various products of acquires to each other’s client databases.
Clear Blue's Flagship Product
Clear Blue has 2 Patents that are sealed and stamped, and has 3 more coming. The 2 Patents are both at the forefront of incredulity and innovation. The first is Clear Blue's Smart Off-Grid technology, which is the industry's most advanced control and management system for off-grid applications today. The Controller comes equipped with a communicator which sends data related to power to the cloud, which is picked up by the user to monitor power status for any devices connected to this Controller. The Controller is easily integrated into any OEM product or with Clear Blue/Illumient products. Based on a colour statuses, user (and I've seen it for myself) will find reading power readings as easy as amber, green and red.
The second is Clear Blue's Predictive Performance Analytics Algorithm integrated with Weather Forecast. User will be able to see, from the dashboard, a forecast of power being consumed over the next few days, based on the forecast of weather over the same period, to know exactly what to do with any connected device should signs point to increased consumption required.
First-mover's advantage in a high-entry barrier market
One meeting with Capitaland in Singapore showed how much interest there is in smart off-grid and iOT. Capitaland, with 700 properties around the world and Asia's largest property developer, can use smart off-grid to power up devices that surrounds the boundaries of their properties, such as CCTVs, street lighting, security systems, pollution sensors, WiFi hotspots and Pedestrian counters.
Clear Blue's success will be riding on how fast they can move in today's market. Already working on REIDS, an NTU-driven Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator - Singapore (REIDS) project, which will be the largest hybrid microgrid test and research platform in the tropics, Clear Blue needs to demonstrate how they will capture territories wide and fast. Projects such as REIDS and TIP, and potential clients such as Capitaland, will add considerable devices to Clear Blue's control systems.
How well Clear Blue will perform in the upcoming RTO, and the fact that they already have accomplished 90% of their sales target for 2018, left them (and us) with the conviction that this team is only just beginning. That is why it wouldn't come as a surprise if Miriam were to come back to Asia later this year to seek funding because they have secured a multi-million dollar project somewhere. Clear Blue's time will come, and Miriam said she wouldn't have a problem should they have to add significant scale to their operations now, because what they have is extremely "plug-and-play", something that you can do it if you wish to.
It sounds indulgent but its not. One of the remarkable things about Miriam's accomplishment is that she did all this while holding 2 jobs and raising 2 girls whom have now become young adults. A recent grandmother, Miriam has ran and advised Startups before and worked in a Private Equity. She is the best Advisor anyone can have at Clear Blue.
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