Energy Startup Grows with $3.1 M Investment


Logan Soya’s (MBA ’13) startup, Aquicore, received $3.1 million in funding from D.C.-based incubator 1776 in September. Since 2012, the company has expanded to provide services to more than 500 building across the United States.

Logan Soya’s (GRD ’13) energy analytics and management start-up, Aquicore, is gaining traction in the technology industry.

In September, Aquicore became the first recipient of a D.C. incubator’s seed fund fully valued at $3.1 million. The incubator, 1776, provides business networks, mentorship and funding for startups.

In October, city news website DC Inno nominated Aquicore as one of its finalists for the “50 on Fire,” an annually compiled list of the top 50 companies achieving urban innovation.

Aquicore specializes in energy management for large commercial buildings. By providing real-time data about energy use in the building, Aquicore’s management system informs its clients about when and where to reduce energy waste.

Soya, who currently serves as Aquicore’s CEO, founded his company in 2012 as a first-year MBA student at Georgetown. He recounted that his education at Georgetown as an MBA student helped him launch the business, which now employs about 30 people.

“Going to Georgetown afforded me a great network to communicate my idea with which I would not have been given any access to without it,” Soya said. “Secondly, it exposed me to a number of individuals who … gave me a great understanding in how to articulate my message.”

Just like any other start-up, Aquicore struggled in its beginning years to understand its customers and communicate its mission to potential investors, according to Soya. He added that a limited budget and resources also made growing the company difficult.

Currently, the company provides services to more than 500 buildings across the country, including hundreds of public buildings in D.C. Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative Director Jeff Reid said Aquicore has shown an outstanding performance in identifying the needs of customers and providing innovative solutions, which many entrepreneurs struggle with.

“From the very beginning, his [Soya’s] company proved that they can add value. … They have already proven they work,” Reid said. “The challenge is how fast they can grow and what will happen when other competitors try to enter the market.”

Andrew Stein, a venture associate at 1776’s seed fund, pointed out that Aquicore possesses a competitive edge against similar companies in its ability to produce higher returns for customers and its contribution to environmental sustainability.

“Aquicore’s customers absolutely love the product,” Stein said. “They’re mostly sold as a pilot but that pilot allows them to break into a larger portfolio of property owners.”

Other criteria that 1776 considers in selecting the recipient of the seed fund include adaptability to the changing dynamics of the industry, the presence of a strong revenue model and a distribution plan, as well as the founder’s expertise in the industry.

According to Reid, Soya actively participated in the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, also known as StartupHoyas, during his time as an MBA student. Soya received mentorship and feedback from faculty members, entrepreneurs-in-residence, competition judges and classmates.

More recently, Georgetown students have worked at Aquicore as interns. Soya himself also has come back to Georgetown as a guest speaker in various classes.

Soya said Aquicore will continue to grow and expand while refining its products. In addition to opening a new office in San Francisco to complement Aquicore’s office in D.C., the company is working to add new product features in the next few months.

While Soya said he is satisfied with Aquicore’s growth, he added he is still aiming for bigger goals.

“As a passionate entrepreneur, you always have to think about the next adventure, the next big leap forward,” Soya said. “But for me, personally, I don’t know if would consider myself as a success yet. I have bigger ambitions … that I’d like to achieve before I consider myself as successful.”

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