By Bart Bohn, startup advisor, Pecan Street

Congratulations to SAYA, a provider of a smart water meter for residential and commercial buildings, on the recent announcement of securing installations in 500 homes in The Heights community in Chino, California.

SAYA participated in the 2018 cohort of Pecan Street’s PLATFORM program, a Department of Energy sponsored program to provide independent technology testing services for early stage distributed energy resources, water efficiency and energy efficiency technologies targeting the residential and light commercial sectors.

The PLATFORM program tests these technologies in real-world settings to confirm product performance so startups can provide results to prospective customers or investors to reduce the perception of technology risk. Pecan Street also estimates the environmental impact of the product to further assist in customer acquisition and to open up new funding channels from environmentally oriented foundations.

Pecan Street is currently accepting applications for the 2019 PLATFORM cohort.

“We are using the impact metrics everywhere,” said SAYA CEO and founder, Sanjay Poojary. “Customers and investors are very interested in understanding the environmental impacts of their choices.”

In addition to the new installation, SAYA recently secured a grant from the Walmart Foundation using Pecan Street’s environmental impact report. Because water production and transportation requires so much energy, SAYA’s water conservation technology also has significant climate benefits.

Saya’s unique product capabilities really help it stand out in the water meter sector, and now with proven performance and impact metrics, Saya is poised for significant growth. We’ll continue to work with SAYA to support additional engagement with potential investors and customers.

The magnitude of sustainability challenges being tackled by technology startups requires massively more investment than is available from angel and venture capital investors. So, the early success of quantifying impact unlocking foundation funding, is significant given the relatively larger funding potential of foundations.

SAYA’s success is a great example of how PLATFORM’s value proposition – supporting sales process and unlocking new sources of funding – can help 2019 cohort members.