(from left to right: Tuttle, Norwood, Hurt, Sugar and Vander Ploeg)
Innovative Home Energy Monitoring Solution wins McDonalds SXSW IoT Challenge and named Best in Show by Capital Factory for Austin Hardware Start-ups
Since being named a “DEMO God” in 2014, CURB CEO Erik Norwood has gone from pitching his advanced home energy management product to angel investors to shipping on Amazon Prime. On the first day of Austin’s annual South by Southwest Interactive Conference, Norwood set the tone for an ambitious community of local and visiting entrepreneurs. The presentations in this innovative environment brought to light a number of new use cases for CURB’s monitoring hardware and software. The newest? Monitoring fast food restaurants’ energy usage in real time to identify potential equipment failures and comparing restaurants’ consumption patterns against one another to reduce costs.
CURB was one of nine companies selected from more than 80 applications to showcase their product in McDonald’s SXSW Pitch Competition. In the Internet of Things (IoT) category, McDonald’s objective was to find new ways to use technology to reinvent the traditional restaurant experience at scale.
The event was moderated by Greg Sugar, McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Digital Business Development. The Internet of Things (IoT) category featured a panelist of three judges: Silicon Labs’ CEO Tyson Tuttle, Bazaarvoice’s Founder Brett Hurt and McDonald’s Vice President of US Digital, Julia Vander Ploeg. Presenting companies were each given 5-10 minutes to present their products and were then challenged by the judges with pointed questions about their products and market strategy.
“The purpose of the McDonald’s McDigital Pitch competition is helping companies grow their business by working together.” Said McDonald’s Chief Digital Officer, Atif Rafiq “We’ll definitely be taking a look at CURB’s offer to do a pilot program within our restaurants.”
Almost immediately after being named the winner of McDonald’s IoT challenge, CURB kicked-off Capital Factory’s Best-of-Austin presentations in the Hardware Startups category. The event, moderated by Gordon Daugherty, Director of Capital Factory’s Accelerator program, showcased a diverse group of local hardware startups. The panel of judges comprised UnaliWear’s CEO Jean Anne Booth, PCH Lime Lab’s Co-founder Andre Yousefi, and Rick Yang from New Enterprise Associates. Similar to the McDonald’s competition, companies were given a short time to demonstrate their product and answer panelist questions. Other exciting hardware companies that took the stage included Gray Matter – an impact sensing sports mouthguard, Trago – a personalized hydration product that monitors water intake, Peeple – an internet connected peep hole on your front door, and Gest – a wearable device that brings gesture interactions to a whole new level. On Monday, Capital Factory announced that CURB won Best in Show.
Norwood’s senior staff will be meeting with members from the McDonalds team in the coming weeks to begin laying groundwork to install CURBs in a number of McDonalds locations as a pilot program. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to work with a company as big as McDonalds and with so many locations,” said Norwood. “We’re very interested to see what the data tells us about how to optimize their operations and replicate those savings at scale. I expect we’ll be able to leverage these learnings globally.”
Curb, Inc. designs and sells the most powerful and intelligent integrated hardware/software system for visualizing and managing energy in residential and commercial buildings. Customers can easily identify energy usage patterns, control appliances and optimize behavior for cost-savings. CURB is currently being sold on Amazon (http://amazon.com/curb/) and is establishing distribution channels with a variety of solar companies and electrical equipment manufacturers. To learn more about CURB, visit https://energycurb.com. Partnering and purchasing questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.