ChargeNet has built a software platform that integrates and optimizes EV Fast Chargers and solar and energy storage with point-of-sale systems at restaurants and retail locations.
Tosh Dutt, Founder & CEO…
We’re an early-stage, pre-revenue startup focused on electric vehicle charging, specifically for fast food, restaurants, parking lots, and retail spaces. Our innovation is optimal control of EV chargers and the ability to use restaurant operation data to charge at lower cost while generating more revenue for owners.
You have to integrate solar and batteries to be able to support the energy demand and the stress it puts on the grid, so we’re creating a modular solution that’s hardware agnostic and gives our customers the option to have us deliver the infrastructure, or to procure the infrastructure themselves through their existing procurement relationships.
It gives us the opportunity to say “Hey, we’ll take all these things, integrate them, and get them to make more money for you than if you did it individually with software that was designed for one particular technology.”
Where the grants come into play for us is that we’re trying to validate our technology, and we’re trying to get certain aspects of our solution developed a lot quicker than originally planned because there’s immediate need for it. Getting grant funding puts us in a position to scale faster and get a featureful product on the market a lot sooner.
There’s a lot of focus from the California Energy Commission on EV charging infrastructure, and a lot of money that’s been earmarked for these types of technologies. Even with the amount of players that are in the market, my understanding is that there’s still a challenge in spending the money because there’s so much of it. At the same time, they don’t want to just spend it on anything. They have very specific areas that they want to spend on.
In the experiences that I’ve had, grants are a bit of a black box. Certain agencies have very clear judging criteria, and others have none at all. You have to be hyper-focused on what to deliver, how to deliver it, how to say it, how to frame it, and how to present it, and that’s not necessarily something we have experience with.
Just looking at the five-page abstract that we got assistance with through OpenGrants and Momentum, the way I would have written it would have been completely different than the way it ended up. The result of that is that we scored well compared to the rest of the folks applying. Now we have confidence in that resource to pursue the full application and have a fair chance of getting awarded the funding. It was a good experience.
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