ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business today announced that its Social Venture Fund, the nation’s first student-led impact investing fund, has participated in a bridge financing round for Powerhouse Dynamics, a cloud-based provider of enterprise energy and asset management solutions. Powerhouse Dynamics secured Series A financing from a diverse group of early stage venture capital firms and angel groups. This marks the student-led fund’s fourth investment.
The Social Venture Fund makes early-stage investments of up to $100,000 in sustainable and innovative, for-profit organizations that deliver financial returns and place the generation of a significant social impact at the heart of their mission. It is managed by Uday Rajan, professor of finance at the Ross School of Business and by a team of 30-35 MBA students, many of whom are pursing dual-degrees with education, environment, health, law and public policy.
A team of seven students led by Sid Roy, MBA ’14 and Will Kletter, MBA/MS ’16, sourced the deal and conducted in-depth due diligence on the company.
“Our ability to leverage the expertise of our Erb dual degree members was immensely helpful in the due diligence process and speaks to the unique value that the Ross program can provide to Powerhouse Dynamics and cleantech firms moving forward,” said Roy.
Kletter adds, “Our decision to invest in Powerhouse Dynamics was largely driven by the management team’s demonstrated ability to effectively deploy its patented technology in a large and growing market. With enormous opportunity to deliver value to customers in various market segments and a quantifiable social impact, Powerhouse emerged as an excellent company for the Social Venture Fund to support.”
Powerhouse Dynamics’ SiteSage platform is a resource and asset management system for small commercial facilities that helps business owners manage energy consumption and improve business operations. Powerhouse’s primary value is helping its customers reduce their energy use, which also provides a strong, quantifiable social impact in terms of reduced carbon emissions and air pollution. Systems have been installed at restaurant and retail chains and other commercial accounts, including a full roll-out across all corporate-owned Arby’s and numerous pilot projects and smaller roll-outs.
“Throughout this process, the Ross students have demonstrated a keen understanding of our business, coupled with a broader sense of the market dynamics that create opportunity for Powerhouse’s solutions,” said Martin Flusberg, CEO, Powerhouse Dynamics. “We look forward to partnering with the Social Venture Fund team and anticipate future opportunities to engage their consulting and research expertise on various growth strategy-related projects.”
To date, the Social Venture Fund is the only university impact investing fund with active investments. Along with the Wolverine Venture Fund and Zell Commercialization Fund, the Social Venture Fund completes the Ross trifecta of student-led venture funds managed by the Zell Lurie Institute. Together, these funds immerse 90 graduate students, from multiple disciplines, in experiencing all aspects of venture capital investing.
About Powerhouse Dynamics
Powerhouse Dynamics is a privately held technology firm focused on using cloud-enabled controls and analytics to deliver energy and operational efficiencies to its customers. Thousands of locations, including restaurants, convenience stores, retailers and others, use its SiteSageTM platform to reduce operating costs by centralizing control, analysis and management of energy-consuming equipment. Engineered specifically for smaller facilities, SiteSage features powerful analytics delivered via a simple online and mobile interface. The system continuously improves efficiency by controlling major loads, monitoring power consumption and performance of individual pieces of equipment and tracking gas and water usage. Advanced analytics deliver actionable intelligence via diagnostics and alerts, and SiteSage’s enterprise-wide benchmarking helps identify stars and underperforming assets. To learn more about how Powerhouse Dynamics’ customers maximize energy and equipment maintenance savings with minimal staff effort, visit www.powerhousedynamics.com.
About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School’s three student-led investment funds, with over $6.5M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments, and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at www.zli.bus.umich.edu.
About the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. At the Ross School of Business, our mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.
The Ross School is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the Full-time MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Entrepreneurship, BBA, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers non-degree, open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.