If It’s Technology, It’s Pivotal: Part 1
Find out from exhibitors at the Pivotal Technology event in Long Island what leading-edge technologies will be game-changer for business now and in the future. We discuss current groundbreaking technology in biotech, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and the impact of the changes we are seeing due to the rise in the use of social media, and the increase in the number of technology-based startup companies.
WHAT OUR EXHIBITORS HAD TO SAY
Dave Plaskow: Hi, I'm Dave Plaskow and we're broadcasting live from EisnerAmper Pivotal Tech Event here on Long Island, the center of the Tech Universe today in Westbury. Tell us who you are.
Phil Rugile: Phil Rugile, I'm the Director of Launchpad Huntington, a co-working and event space in Huntington, which is proud to have EisnerAmper as sponsor.
DP:What brings you to Pivotal today?
PR:Because Long Island, as a regional economy, needs more focus. Events like this are really helpful in making that happen. It's something that Launchpad Huntington focuses on greatly with EisnerAmper. So when EisnerAmper came to me and said, we are going to do this thing, it's going to be in Westbury, it's going to be bringing people from the city, it's going to be really showcasing what's going on here, I said, sure, we're in.
DP:What's the most groundbreaking technology that you feel was introduced in the past few years? And the flip side of that, what do you look forward to seeing in years to come?
PR: I would say that some of the advances in areas like biotech, bio informatics, for example, some amazing stuff going on with DNA that a lot of people aren't aware of. Pharmaceutical is another huge sector. But on the flip side of that are a bunch of really cool small startups doing interesting social media things, some great work going on with 3D technologies. For trends, I'm seeing more and more on the 3D side, more innovation on social media and then the sciences, of course, are just constantly going to revolve.
DP: Are there any particular elements of your business that you feel are ripe for disruption?
PR:The way people work, the way people collaborate, within an organization or within a co-working space is changing so rapidly and it's heading in the right direction, but we're not there yet. There's a lot of pain points. I was just reading an article recently that signified that although more than 60% of America is using open co-working spaces, the productivity levels have dropped 15% because of it—because we haven't quite figured out how to do that right yet. So in terms of disruption, that's an area that would greatly benefit from some innovative thinking.
DP: Phil thanks for your time today and enjoy Pivotal.
DP:We're pleased to have Pia with us, Pia why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, your company, what your company does.
Pia: I'm Pia, I'm a product engineer at Clearvision Optical. We are distributors of eyewear. I head up their 3D lab and 3D initiatives into manufacturing for eyewear as well as our prototyping.
DP:What brings you to Pivotal?
Pia:We're here to showcase a couple of our products as well as showcase what we do day in and day out. We have our 3D printer to show a little bit of what our prototyping looks like. We're going to be showcasing our Pogo Track eyewear, which is a camera-ready eyewear that you can put onto your temple and actually record live video and take pictures.
DP:What do you think was the most groundbreaking technology introduced over the past few years?
Pia:I'm really a big fan of Facebook’s Wi-Fi drones. I don't know if you've heard about them, but they are little drones that are flying and beaming Wi-Fi down to remote spots to connect the world. So even remote places like Africa can get Wi-Fi and connect with people in New York.
DP:Pia, thanks for giving us a few minutes and enjoy the show today.
DP:We are pleased to have the folks from Reefill. Gents, why don't you tell us your name, what you do, what brought you here today?
Andrew Betlyon:My name is Andrew Betlyon, the Creative Director at Reefill
Jason PesselJason Pessel, the CEO of ReefillPatrick Connorton:and, Patrick Connorton, the COO of Reefill. And that's with two E's—the extra E for ecofriendly.
DP:What brought you here today?
Andrew Betlyon: We're here to exhibit our product and show people what Reefill is. It's a network of water refill stations around Manhattan where people can refill their reusable bottles with cold-filtered water on the go.
DP:What would you say has been the most groundbreaking technology that's been introduced in the past few years?
Jason Pessel: I would say one that we actually take advantage of is similar to keyless entry. You see it in hotels, essentially using your phone to actually open your hotel door. We see that with Zipcar as well, using your phone to open your door. With Reefill, you use your phone to actually activate our stations.
Andrew Betlyon:That's what our focus on the bottled water industry is. Some people call it the biggest marketing scam of last century, and it's certainly ripe for disruption because what they're doing is selling you a product that comes out of your tap, for the most part, but you're paying $2, $3, $4 each time.
DP: Is Reefill appropriately capitalized to achieve your next few milestones?
Jason Pessel:We're on our way. We’re actually raising a seed round right now. We have a lead investor on Long Island, the Long Island Angel Network. So we're looking to close that round and the next in the near future.
Patrick Connorton: We are also crowdfunding now as well, and we’ve reached our initial goal of raising $30K to put stations all across Manhattan.
DP:Well Gentlemen, thanks for your time and best of luck. It sounds like a great idea.
AB, JP, PC: Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.
DP: Today we have with us, Paul and Linda from MindYolk. Tell us about what your company does, what you do for the company, what brought you here today. Linda, why don't you go first?
Linda:MindYolk is a 3D animation studio. We try to keep ahead of the curve on new technologies. Right now we're working on virtual reality and augmented reality. My role is more of a creative director role. I look at the big picture, how our clients fit into the marketplace, what goals they are trying to achieve, what kind of person they're trying to reach, and how best to reach those people.
DP: Paul, why don't you jump in. What do you do at MindYolk?
Paul:I'm the 3D animator. I've been doing 3D animation for 30 years. Mostly my career was started in Manhattan working for television and Madison Avenue. In 2007, I decided to start MindYolk and really we cater to a particular niche, which is the B2B, explaining complex processes, product, virtual reality. It completely takes over your mind and your brain's ability to know what's up, what's down, what's in front, what's behind. Augmented reality—a lot of people familiar with Pokemon Go, It supplements the world around us.
DP: Any elements of your business that are ripe for disruption; any challenges that you see coming down the pike.
Linda:The biggest one is constantly having to redefine myself. So, where I'm sort of crossing the bridge now from calling myself creative director to growth hacker, because it's not enough just to come up with creative ideas anymore. We have to really look at how to grow somebody's business, our clients business.
DP: Well folks, thank you for giving us a few minutes of your time and enjoy Pivotal today.
Paul:I appreciate it.
DP:We have Bob and Jessica from Sun Nation Solar Systems. Welcome Bob. What do you do for Sun Nations Solar Systems?
Bob:I'm a solar design consultant. I'm the one that folks contact when they want to go solar for the home business. I come up with the initial design for the home so they can offset their electric bill using solar electricity.
DP: And Jessica, What do you do for Sun Nation?
Jessica: I'm the director of marketing at Sun Nation. I've been there for about two years. I handle all of the social marketing, digital marketing, traditional marketing events and PR.
DP: What would you say is the biggest threat or challenge that your industry is facing?
Jessica:From a marketing standpoint that there is no such thing as bad solar, but there are some that are better than others. So I think there's a stigma right now. There's a bunch of national companies with a focus on leasing solar systems and power purchase agreements, and sometimes it's not in the best interest of the consumer. We do about 95 to 98% purchase systems because there's a federal tax credit of 30% that people are eligible for. It actually makes it way more affordable in the long run when people purchase their Solar.
Bob: Right now, solar enjoys favorable tax credit advantage.
DP: Expand on that if you could.
Bob:The federal and the state governments both provided tax credits here in New York and on Long Island to help pay part of the solar system, maybe 30-40% of the solar system and the rest can be financed through low-cost financing terms of 10, 15 or 20 years. So right now there's favorable treatment for solar and a lot of people want to go solar—residences, businesses and governments—because it does help mitigate people's energy bills and is good for the climate.
DP:Well folks, thank you very much for your time and enjoy Pivotal.
Bob & Jessica:Thank you so much. Thanks for having us.
With us now is Jeff Handler from ETS. Jeff, welcome.
Jeff Handler:Thank you very much.
DP: Jeff, tell us what your company does and your role in the company. What brought you out here today?
JH:Our company’s ETS. Energy technology savings is our middle name. I’m the founder and president. We were created by owner developers of class a multifamily buildings in the northeast about four years ago. We are an engineering technology company that is enabling owners to leverage the value of IoT, internet devices and big data coming off their buildings, enable property management for mobile applications, have insights and manage buildings, and operate their buildings more efficiently and at a lower cost.
DP: What do you think is the next frontier for the Internet of things? What's the Internet of things 2.0?
JH:Well, 2.0 is this concept of taking this rich available data. People call it big data, but you have to find relevant data and be able to sift through that data in a relevant way and have insights and react to those insights in real time. Now, there are different levels of that. There's some level where we want to have human interaction to set thresholds you don't want. The building can be intelligent and set a threshold on its own, or it can learn from the building in terms of when things are occupied, who's inhabiting it and then make its own determination and do it in a more artificial intelligent way.
DP:What piece of technology makes you say wow?
JH:The intersection of person, place and time that's happening right now because of IOT and connectivity. Think about it. I can walk into a boiler room in a big multifamily complex, a 40-story building. I'm a maintenance guy, right. The building knows I'm there. I'm a person that's in a place where the building senses me because of my mobile device or I have some type of wearable device. It knows the time of day and what's happening. It might be time to change a set point in the mechanical equipment or maybe there's a leak and it knows I'm there and a builder can now talk to me as a person and help me take action. It's a big deal.
DP:Great. Well, Jeff, thank you very much for your time and enjoy Pivotal today.
JH: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
DP: With us now is Camille from MakerBot Camille. Welcome.
Camille: Thank you.
DP:Tell us about your company, what you do for your company, why you're here today.
Camille:MakerBot is the leader in desktop 3D printing. We believe that there's an innovator in everyone. Everyone should be able to bring their ideas to life very easily at a low cost, and that's the solution that we provide. We provide desktop 3D printing for educators, professionals or anyone who's looking to bring their idea to life.
DP:What do you do for the company?
Camille:I'm manage the northeast territory, so I support all of our resellers. I'm here with PC University today. We partnered with Sunrise Stem Camp because they're going to have a variety of our 3D printers at their summer camp to promote STEM initiatives.
DP:What brings you to Pivotal today? What are you hoping to get out of the event?
Camille: We were just looking to expose everyone to the technology. STEM education is really important today. The reason why I believe it's so important is that 65% of the students who are in elementary school, by the time they enter the workforce, that job hasn't been created yet. So how to prepare them for that unknown future is by giving them access to technology that will give them skill sets that are going help them in any field that they choose. A 3D printer is one of them. It teaches them problem solving. It teaches them to be creative and teaches them to be collaborative with other people, which will help them in any field that they get into.
DP:As far as the 3D printing industry, what do you think the biggest challenge or hurdle will be in the short term, let's say one to three years.
Camille:To be the design software, because a 3D printer will print the 3D sculpture that you made. Now the issue is that not many people are affluent with using 3D design software to be able to draw the things that come to mind. So the biggest hurdle right now for it to become commoditized is for everyone to be able to bring their idea to life using their own software instead of downloading. So once software companies make it as easy as Instagram to become an artist, you will see more people using 3D printers at home because they're able to design something with a couple of clicks of a button.
DP:Camille, thank you very much for your time and enjoy Pivotal today.
Camille:Thank you very much.
In this EisnerAmper podcast, attendees of the Pivotal Technology conference in New York discuss their business involvement with technology and the tech sector and challenges of product development and cybersecurity.