This was my second Power Plant event, and once again I found the density of interesting green types per square foot to be much higher than the average marketing fest. Even better, their presentation format gives their four featured presenters just 3 minutes and 20 seconds each to wow the crowd. Which leaves plenty of time to shmooze. Armed with a NatureLand Organic Ale, I navigated the venue (the ever-interesting Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre), listened to the four presentations and came away freshly energized with a wealth of green business talent and ideas.
Saul Good Gift Company – Saul Brown, a long-time Green Briefs associate, (he helped my consulting company, Unicycle Creative, source some very unique pens), introduced the crowd to his particular warm fuzzy brand of corporate recognition. It’s not all small cookies, however. Saul also showed off some sweet recycled packaging he helped develop for the distribution of Olympic bibs. Nice to see a genuine local spin-off from that multi-billion dollar shindig.
Pulse Energy – David Helliwell did a good job of condensing a large corporate mission in his 3 minutes of fame. Otherwise I would have had no idea from their name that they actually specialize in developing software for tracking and optimizing energy efficiency in buildings. Pulse also boasted an Olympic connection, as they developed on-line tracking for the energy use of all the venues for 2010.
At VenueEnergyTracker.com you can see the energy performance of each of the 2010 buildings, expressed as charts that let you see how the power consumption varies over time. They also show you what the usage would have been without involving ‘sustainable practices’, (though it isn’t really clear what those are) What is clear are the advantages of the Pulse system for customers that operate building(s), and the clear potential for this company to grow. The Pulse Energy business card has an interesting positioning line that asks ‘Does your building have a Pulse?’ David could have worked that branding into his presentation to better explain the name, but it was obvious from the reaction of the room that the Pulse concept is alive and well.
Resilient Consulting – Mary Sturgeon introduced her company with a reminder that collaboration leads to better results. She then challenged everyone in the crowd to ditch their regular event dependents and connect with new people. Which it appears everyone did. Mary could have used a mnemonic of some kind for her company, though. I would have liked to come away with a better idea of their actual business model.
James Hoggan – Vancouver’s premier eco-PR guy took the anchor spot, closing the show with some statistics that came too fast for my beer-addled fingers to record, but nonetheless left everyone in the crowd with a sense of the growing gap between public awareness and appreciation for our current climate crisis and the woeful inadequacy of our institutions to address it. His basic premise was a quote: “If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. And it will be bad.” The DeSmogBlogger and author’s most inspiring words for us beleaguered sustainability types: “You are not alone..”
The rest of the evening was spent chatting with companies like Climate Smart – a group that helps small business track and improve their carbon emissions, URDevelopment – who wants to bring a Euro-style zero-emission go-kart racing circuit to the Lower Mainland, and GoodEnergy – a software-based research company that lets individuals track their behaviour for ‘lasting positive change’.
Stay tuned for possible follow-ups on these sustainability up-and-comers. In the meantime, if you’re interested in meeting a bunch of inspiring and energetic green types, Power Plant is worth getting out to. If only to show you how effective a 3-minute business presentation can be.
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