Tommy Linstroth had steered about 100 construction projects through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) certification as first a real estate developer and then a consultant, but, despite his deep expertise, the process never seemed to get any easier.
“It was always like banging your head against a wall,” says Linstroth. “The time consumption, the lack of information, the terrible tools to get it all done — and there wasn’t anything that made it all easier.”
His clients and colleagues echoed the pain point, and since he couldn’t find a good solution, in 2014 Linstroth set out to build his own tool to solve the problem. After working with developers, raising a small amount of funding, and doing further customer discovery, in 2015 Linstroth went to market with Green Badger, a full-service, cloud-based platform to collect and streamline all LEED documentation.
The Green Badger app allows a contractor or builder to walk through a construction site documenting specific items that contribute to LEED certification, and the platform generates reports that can be filled out and shared amongst team members to eliminate messy, tedious spreadsheets. Green Badger even has a database of thousands of products used in building that help meet LEED certification that can be selected and documented within the platform.
Once the process is complete, the platform aggregates all the information you’ve fed into it and spits it out into one comprehensive report that can be submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council. Linstroth likens it to Turbotax.
Linstroth estimates that Green Badger has helped facilitate about 150 projects with about 60 customers — 85 percent of those are contractors, with the remainder being consultants or private users. The platform is ideal for commercial projects or large residential complexes, rather than single homes. Pricing is per project and determined by duration.
And last week, Linstroth further validated his success at Geekend Pitch Circus in Savannah, an event sponsored by the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) that chose six rising startups to pitch in front of a panel of judges and an audience. The judging panel included the executive editor of the Savannah Morning News, a fellow startup founder, venture capitalist investor, two professors, and innovation expert.
Linstroth took home the prize, $5,500 in cash and in kind services. “It was great to see justification that what we’re doing is important and impactful,” says Linstroth.
What’s more, he says winning in his home town of Savannah was a particularly proud moment. Savannah has a small but growing tech community, according to José Mallabo, the ATDC startup catalyst based in the coastal town. “We have a lot of different pockets within Savannah that could incubate and nurture the tech economy,” Mallabo said in an interview with Hype last year.
Post-Pitch Circus win, Linstroth is turning his attention to growth, sales and funding. He hopes to land a big enterprise client this year that will bring ongoing projects to the platform. He plans to expand his current team of four. And he’s looking to raise a seed round of half a million to do it all.
“We want to hit a million in annual recurring revenue, and that’s going to take some focus,” he says.