All of this background investigation led to an in-market test called Aquify. The team identified and
reached out to prospective customers for further investigation into pain points and potential
interest in our range of solutions. We found that they cared most about intelligent solutions
focused on monitoring, tracking, and managing their infrastructure in order to identify problems
before they arise.
The team attended several trade shows with the initial goal of understanding the problem more deeply.
We spoke with potential customers, participated in panels and workshops, and refined the solutions
accordingly. When we went to the next round of trade shows with a minimal booth and basic product
brochures, we got a swell of interest from MOU officials who dropped by our booth and signed up to
learn more about two of our products. So, we doubled down on those.
The team focused on a few municipalities in the greater Chicago area that showed interest in entering
a paid pilot with Aquify. This was no coincidence as this was the service area of ComEd, one of
Exelon’s utilities. With a proposed business model and go-to-market strategy in place, we were well
into Seed III.
In July of 2019, 18 months after the initial launch of the opportunity area, Aquify was ready to
pitch Exelon’s Growth Board. With defined strategic, financial, and hiring plans, a pipeline of
prospective customers, and a signed paid pilot generating $250,000 in initial revenue over a 5-year
contract, the presentation was a success: Exelon’s Growth Board offered the team $4.3 million in
funding for an 18-month runway, sending the Aquify team to execute on their plan.