Windlab Systems - A Global Wind Energy Development Company

Today we showcase the story of an exciting venture, from Canberra, Australia, Windlab Systems - A Global Wind Energy Development Company, co-founded by Dr. Keith Ayotte and Dr. Nathan Steggel.

In a recent email-based interview with us, he gave insights into how he is managing and juggling. This is what he has to say in his interview with us:

• How long it took to launch
6-12 months from idea to launch. Several years of IP development prior

• Stage of Venture
Windlab was formed in May 2003 with 2 FTEs and 2 part-time.
As of March 2009, we have 22 staff across 4 countries (Oz, South Africa, Canada, USA).

• Which Market Segment
Wind Farm Development

• Customers
Financial Institutions; Electricity Asset Owners, Operators and Retailers.

• Targeted Age Group
We are not a consumer service provider. Our customers are large institutions

• Users Using Service
Again, we are not an end-user service - we work closely with large institutions with a mandate to provide clean energy to their customers

• Marketing Technique
Approach individually

• Measuring Success
Business Model with partners built on success fees - we get paid as projects progress through the success stages

• Monetizing/Revenue Model
  • Consulting - fee for service
  • Partnering on wind farm development - paid success fees as projects progress
  • Pure wind farm development - see projects for development margin at some stage of development e.g. Financial close
• Main competitors
Other wind farm developers e.g. Epuron and Wind Prospect in Australia.

• Technology Stack used
WindScape wind mapping technology was developed at CSIRO by the founders and is now 100% owned by Windlab.
RaptorNL and turbulence models developed at CSIRO and in-house.

• Database
N/A - ?? - we use GIS systems with SQL to store large amounts of data about individual projects

• O/S
We mainly use OSX (Mac) for the computations and most of the post-processing. All of our number-crunching machines are Intel Macs (quad Mac Pros and Xserves). Windows XP and Vista are used for the GIS work, which is a substantial part of the workflow.

• How Much Money is Used/Reqd.
The Company needed to order $1-$3 million to set up and develop a business model in the early years.
Has required additional funding to expand and progress the business model

• Main Barriers
Expansion capital

• Advice For People
  • Seek cash early and often
  • Get good legal advice for major deals and try to get larger partners/clients to pay for it as part of any term sheet
• Your Education/Professional Background
Both founders have PhD's

• External Funding
External funding has come from Epicorp, inQbate, Angel Investors, Blue Cove Ventures and Innovation Capital

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