Author: Anna Mammedova, BSU student
Question: Let’s start with your story. Tell me a little about yourself/education/work experience.
Answer: My name is Rob Monteith, I’m a founder and CEO of Advanced Renewable Concept Industries, abbreviated as Arc Industries. I received my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and my post graduate degree in renewable energy engineering from Loughborough University in England with a specialization in ocean energy. Before starting my business, I worked as an environmental consultant for Sustainserv company in Boston, MA.
Q: Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
A: I started Arc Industries in 2016, the company is currently based in Bridgewater MA. We are research and development company for renewable energy solutions. As of right now, our main project focuses on a new type of wind turbine designed for small to medium scale deployment, commercial and residential areas. Newly designed wind turbines have the capacity of 15 kWh, they are meant for low altitudes such as top of rooftops. They are 6 ft tall, 6 ft in diameter and equipped with proprietary technology for bird/bat avoidance. The product is also designed to mitigate an environmental impact by having a zero-waste supply chain and full recyclability at the end of product’s life cycle. There are a couple of other projects that we are working on including open ocean biofuel production, artificial intelligence, and concentrated solar.
I chose this line of business due to my passion for sustainability and environmental protection. I’m attracted to renewable energy particularly because of its potential to solve numerous issues as it relates to our environment.
Q: How do you think your company helps its clients?
A: The biggest way we help our clients is through lowering their electricity costs. Our current alpha units are at or below current market price for electricity. As our manufacturing improves, we are looking forward to even lower rates for our products.
Q: What excites you the most about your company?
A: I think the biggest thing is making an impact and leaving a positive mark on this planet. We are part of the system that tries to reduce greenhouse gases by taking the whole electricity grid from fossil fuel standpoint to renewable energy generation.
Q: How do you market/advertise your business? What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
A: At this point, the best marketing strategy for us is a person to person, as well as referrals. We have a targeted network of higher education institutions that we are in contact with, which based on our research might be interested in what we have to offer. In a future we are planning to establish the same network with larger commercial organizations that have appropriate real estate to house purchased product. The reason for targeting middle to large organization is the power capacity of a single unit, meaning it’s more profitable for us to sell hundreds of those to a single client (university) rather than selling unit by unit to each household separately.
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A: First of all is our energy generation capacity is higher than those of competitors, we limit our environment impact, while other companies might not take that into consideration. We preserve the whole ecosystem with the avoidance technology for bird strikes and bat strikes. So, we are really looking at our business from wholistic standpoint, rather than just selling wind turbines for the sake of selling.
Q: What’s your vision for near future with your business? What would you like your company to be?
A: We would like to really lock down a higher education market, making them our recurring clients, as well as scale up to commercial market introducing our product to big size companies.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
A: The hardest part was to obtain licenses, as well as patterns. It’s a very lengthy and expensive process that requires a lot of time and commitment. Not a lot of people know but it’s challenging to find lawyers that are knowledgeable enough in our industry to guide you in a right direction. I would also say manufacturing wasn’t easy as well, the hardware we are making requires a specific design so it’s always more difficult to deal with it rather than say developing a software.
Q: If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
A: I probably would have focused on a single project rather than multiple at the same time. I would have joined business accelerator program sooner. They were quite effective in connecting us with the right people.
Q: What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020/being a business owner?
A: Being a business owner in general is very challenging. As an owner, if you don’t push, nothing gets done, you are a driving force behind the company. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing, nothing will go forward. From a 2020 standpoint as it relates to our industry I would say the political atmosphere has been a large roadblock when it comes to renewables, a lot of environmental regulations are being rolled back and current administration pushing coal and natural gas instead of looking towards the future.
Q: Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc.) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A: It hasn’t really affected us that much at this point since it’s a lot of person to person business. But I foresee it having a big impact when we start going into residential sector, because unlike the higher ed sector you are talking one-off sale and you want customers to come to you, rather than a company going after each of them individually.
Q: Increase or decrease, step away and be more a manager, passive owner etc.? What’s your style of managing the company?
A: The actual product is my design so I’m very hands active owner from every aspect of the business whether it relates to manufacturing, marketing, customer service and everything else.
To contact Advanced Renewable Concept Industries:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Arc-Industries-795533997283123/