(Photo: Daniel Badran)
By Susan Belknapp, California Business Journal.
Win-win-win-win … WIN. That’s how CEO Daniel Badran defines his Tampa, Florida-based company’s value proposition. With innovation as its true north and mutual benefit for all involved as its mission, Minimise USA is expanding its worldwide presence by opening its newest offices in San Diego.
Minimise is a wholly-unique energy-management and conservation-services concept that gives entire system upgrades and services to the client with no upfront costs. This is called the No Capital Outlay Plan Agreement (NCOPA) or “en-cope-a.”
Substantial savings from the solution – or energy efficiency as a service (EEaaS) – makes it a reality that truly requires no capital from the client. Minimise’s large-scale project – converting all energy systems at Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa – is the largest EEaaS project in the world. Hillsborough County is the 7th largest school district in the U.S., spanning an area larger than the state of Rhode Island with 400,000 more people. The solution is definitely capable to handle the size and scope of California opportunities.
“We say it is win-win-win-win-win because it is,” Badran says. “It’s a win for the client, for Minimise, for the funding partner, the community and the environment. There is never a loan. There is never a lease.”
The concept was the brainchild of Badran. Diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2009, he initially beat it. When it came back in 2011, he lost his voice box. The after effects were devastating and he was rendered mute. Many surgeries later, he regained some capacity for speech again but felt like he hadn’t “lost his mind” when he lost all ability for conventional communication. Nonetheless, with a career spent in sales, not being able to talk “made me question what I could offer.”
“That’s what I used my entire life – action and emotion from my ability to speak and I no longer had that,” he says. “So I had to evaluate and ask myself the hard questions about how I could go on and find a product or service that could sell itself.”
He had been working with energy-sector in England as far back as 2008, where he was building a network of international companies/partners. Determined to find a way back both professionally and personally, he sat down at an old laptop and started plucking away at the keys to sketch out a financial model. The original draft was about seven pages and has gone through many iterations since.
The current model would not have been possible even five years ago, according to Badran, because the technologies they now leverage either didn’t yet exist or simply were not developed enough at that time
“Machine learning, artificial intelligence, real-time cloud computing, edge computing, I could go on and on,” he says. “These are now part of our vocabulary but I found them by being the ‘Leonard Nimoy of the energy-conservation industry’ – I went in search of.”
His searches took him as far as China, the Netherlands, South Africa, Peru and throughout the U.S. What was the best monitoring technology? Who makes the best retrofit lighting kit? He found partners across the globe and pulled together all the threads. The solution isn’t just centered on renewable-energy technologies but also energy management, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, water management and LED lighting. Badran ties it all together with change management to make sure behavior change becomes best practice and everyone keeps finding ways to save.
Minimise’s initial project was in Tampa, working out of three hotel conference rooms. Two months later, the company occupied a 125,000 square-foot building with semi-trucks rolling in all day. “I defy anyone to find any part of the model that isn’t a capital W.I.N.,” he says. “The combination of Minimise’s NCOPA, and our partners’ technology and engineering create an ideal, one-of-a-kind, customized solution for clients that cannot be replicated.”
Additionally, Minimise is the only company known in its sector to offer clients prepaid savings. Utilizing technology to predict what the savings will be a creates a pool of money, a currency of sorts, that not only pays for the solutions over time but prepays the client a portion of the savings upfront. This goes a long way to fund other initiatives within schools, large and small, otherwise underfunded or unfunded. For example, Minimise was able to hand Hillsborough County Public Schools a first savings check of a little less than $2 million six months after the completion of the first lighting installations. Another fee of approximately $3.3 is due to get prepaid in the short term.
Originally, the company’s first pilot testing was done in California, so launching the new office feels like a homecoming. With the sixth-largest economy in the world and a huge voice in favor of renewable energy, the company now has two coastal hubs, with access to major ports to get the solutions to market, worldwide. Industry experts River Brown and Monica Simone are partners in Minimise West and have been tapped by Badran to run the San Diego office.
“If I give all the tools at no cost and only profit from the savings we both share, everyone wins,” Badran says. “If I can measure the energy so accurately that I can predict future savings, I can share those savings with the client up front so they can use them in other parts of their business or organization.”
It is those two ideas that are disrupting the energy-efficiency industry. Additionally, the once-mute entrepreneur whose health issues are far behind him but at one time had prevented him from traveling, has now flown 900 flights with over 2.5 million actual miles since developing the NCOPA and can speak using self-taught natural speech known as “esophageal speech.”
“You can call it sheer will, but I believe it to be divine intervention that has allowed me to be able to talk again and have others understand what I’m saying.”
With this win-win-win-win proposition, it’s hard not to listen.
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