Almost four years ago, I closed the doors of my first startup, Psykler, after out-licensing our technology to a company I believed would take our psychometric profiling technology to the next level. Handing over the keys to Psykler was painful. However, there were some benefits to stepping away.
Building a new business with a great team is incredibly rewarding and, at times, draining. The reality is that startups are all consuming. They extract as much energy, conviction and passion as can be mustered, and when my journey was over, I needed time to recharge and enjoy time with my family. After all, if the journey was easy, the world would be populated by countless millions of successful founders and thousands of Elon Musks.
I then returned to my pre-startup work helping business leaders and their organizations achieve their growth objectives. I adore advisory work because it is semi-entrepreneurial and frequently connects me with incredible people. Advising also lets one focus on spotting the “right” organizational problems and co-create solutions to unlock growth without the distractions, biases and trade-offs that face leaders on the inside. It’s just plain fun. But after my batteries were re-charged, I greatly missed the unparalleled excitement of pure creation.
It took me two years to find an opportunity that offered the right combination of purpose, people, disruptive potential, market opportunity and a scalable business model. As is often the case, luck played a key role. I am passionate about working with entrepreneurs and, since taking my first job as an advisor to entrepreneurs in 1999, it has been my pleasure to support many on their start-up journeys. It was in the role of advisor that I met my co-founder Grant Jobb and, unexpectedly, found myself in the ice business.
Grant is the inventor of a technology that radically reduces waste in the process of making ice. Until recently, I didn’t know that up to 50% of the water that goes into icemaking is dumped down the drain. What’s more, ice-making actually involves both cooling and heating cycles that consume vast amounts of energy.
Worst of all, ice is made centrally and then trucked over great distances to individual stores. I had never considered the lunacy of putting millions of tons of frozen water on trucks at great environmental cost.
Grant’s solution makes ultra-premium ice while eliminating 100% of water waste, reducing energy in production by over 30% and taking thousands of trucks off the road. For me, it was love at first sight. After validating the concept with senior leaders in the food and retail industries, it was clear that this idea had legs and the potential to become a game-changing business.
Relocalize was born on January 1, 2021. I am thrilled to be the co-founder and CEO of the company. Now the real adventure of making better, greener ice begins. See you at your local grocery, gas station and convenience store soon!