Most U-M graduates don't end up going into the garbage business. How did you and your partners end up running a start-up focused on waste streams and landfills?
I'm going into the clean energy business.This isn't the sexy way to go into the clean energy business.
If you look at all the food that's wasted in the U.S. alone, it's an untapped market. There's a lot of opportunity for development in this area, while there is a lot of competition in other forms of renewable energy.Organizers of business plan competitions always point out that these events provide more important value than just seed capital, such as connections made and business plan work. Has that been your experience?
Absolutely. The competitions are one of our greatest opportunities to advance the business quickly because we get rapid feedback. If we're wrong about an assumption, they are very honest with you. They do not pull punches.Dug Song, a well-known local entrepreneur, said that there is too much emphasis on perfecting business plans and not enough on actually building the business, such as finding customers. What's your opinion on that statement?
It depends on how much you need money. The funding that can come from business plan competitions is really valuable and allows you to support the underlying things of your business plan.Lots of local start-up incubators have emerged over the last decade. Would you guys be able to pursue ReGenerate if you didn't have TechArb and its resources?
It would be a lot more difficult.