You may have already heard about this week’s Top Gunner; Josh Henry of GO Lab recently won the Season Finale of the Big Gig Pitch-Off! GO Lab is a research and development company that has created an eco-friendly, wood fiber, insulation board. Started by the founders of GO Logic, an energy efficient architecture and construction company, they saw a need for a product similar to the one GO Lab has developed and an opportunity to benefit the declining pulp and paper industry in Maine.
What’s the one thing that you want everyone to understand about what you do?
I guess the one thing I want people to understand about what we do is that, like a lot of things in our society, the way we design and construct buildings is changing rapidly. Buildings are going to consume a small fraction of the energy per square foot that they consume today. GO Lab is researching and developing building products with that future in mind.
What was your inspiration for starting your company?
Our sister company, GO Logic, is a national leader in the design and construction of high-performance, energy efficient buildings. There are products that GO Logic needs that it cannot get its hands on, either because they do not exist or are manufactured abroad and too expensive to import. We know of a lot of companies in the US and Canada that are in the same situation, and there are more every year. Energy efficiency is the future of all building markets and we think the time is now for developing and commercializing the products that will make building to stricter building codes easier.
Who has been helpful in getting your business off the ground?
The Maine Technology Institute comes right to mind. We got our first Seed Grant from them about a year ago and they have been instrumental with helping us submit grants for SBIR funding. Mike Bilodeau at the Process Development Center at UMaine has been a great resource, as has Pat Strauch at the Maine Forest Products Council. They both introduced us to a number of people that introduced us to a number of other people, and some of those connections have been crucial.
What do you hope to gain by participating in Top Gun?
Because of the relatively short length of the course and my lack of (business) experience, I was just hoping to understand some of the basics of fundraising, pitching, marketing, etc. so that I did not make any major missteps. I think I have learned a lot more than that. I have definitely picked up useful tidbits along the way, but I would say the development of other participants has probably been the most interesting and inspiring part of the experience so far.
If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.
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