Dispatchr to Use Grant Funds for Building Capabilities for Pilot
Arlington announced that it awarded $225K to five Arlington-based startup companies as part of the Arlington Innovation Fund Catalyst Grant (AIF) Program. The Catalyst Grant Program is a tool to help increase funding for early-stage technology startups through technical assistance and non-dilutive, co-investment grants ranging from $25,000 – $50,000.
Dispatchr Technologies, LLC, a Cleantech company that develops software to reduce the energy costs and carbon emissions of cogeneration plants—power plants that recycle exhaust to heat nearby buildings, is one of the grant recipients. We spoke to Harry Shapiro, Founder and CEO, to learn more about Dispatchr and its growth plans.
Tell us about your company and how it will innovate your respective industry?
Harry: Dispatchr has invented a new type of optimization software that enables cogeneration plants (a type of power plant) to instantly reduce their energy costs by $500k-$2M+ per year and CO2 emissions by 5-10%+. What especially excites our customers is that our software achieves this without any changes to their equipment or plant output.
Put differently, Dispatchr unlocks “free money” for these facilities without requiring the enormous upfront time, capital and risk of traditional hardware-based efficiency solutions.
Fighting climate change is also a cornerstone of our mission, and our software is designed from the ground up to help our customers reduce their CO2 emissions. The cogeneration industry is currently struggling with the challenges of decarbonizing in the context of an increasingly volatile and expensive electricity market. Our groundbreaking technology helps customers navigate this dilemma by reducing emissions in a way that both (a) is financially responsible and (b) reduces both operational and financial risks.
How will grant funding from the Arlington Innovation Fund impact your growth plans?
Harry: Later this month, we are launching our first pilot program in a major cogeneration facility, with an additional launch planned in the coming months. We plan to use the Catalyst Grant to invest in (a) supporting our pilot programs and (b) building additional capabilities for these initial customers. These first implementations are critical springboards for our future growth, and the Catalyst Grant will enable us to invest further in them and scale faster.
How long has your company been in Arlington and what made you choose Arlington as a place to do business?
Harry: From when we first launched Dispatchr, Arlington has always been the obvious choice for our headquarters. First of all, the quality of life here is superb. There is a wonderful mix of both nature and urban amenities, and Arlington is an easy commute from both DC and the Virginia/Maryland suburbs, which enables us to recruit across the DMV area. This is a critical advantage, since our business model relies on hiring the absolute best technical talent.
Another great advantage of Arlington is that it is much more business-friendly than other major tech hubs. Take the Catalyst Grant program, for example – this is not something I’ve seen offered anywhere else, and it shows how serious Arlington is about supporting startups. Both our company and our team members also benefit from Arlington’s much lower taxes and cost of living relative to other tech hubs.
The impact of the Catalyst Grant Program does not begin or end with Harry and Dispatchr. Arlington also awarded grant funding to four other Arlington startups: Freely Payments, LLC, GenLogs Corporation, Phalanx and Seamless Transition.
Applications for the second cohort of Catalyst Grantees are now open and close on March 10, 2024. For more information about the Arlington Innovation Fund and/or to apply for the next round of funding, please visit www.arlingtoneconomicdevelopment.com/aif.