From One Startup to Another: Making the Most of this Moment

Longtime Greentown Labs member Darryl Pollica shared his experience navigating the impacts of COVID-19 with the Greentown community at our March Town Hall. Pollica, who serves as the President and CEO of Ivys Energy Solutions and as a Community Board Member on Greentown’s Board of Directors, is getting creative with how his team can strengthen Ivys’ product and business while physically distancing. He shared insights into Ivys’ tactics, a note of hope, and an invitation with the Greentown community:

“I really miss walking around Greentown and seeing everyone’s faces—getting a coffee, having a chit chat through the hallways. I truly miss that social side of Greentown, and I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy.

I thought it would be helpful to share my experience, just to give one perspective in this time of uncertainty. With physical distancing in full effect, our team at Ivys Energy Solutions has embraced a fully remote working approach. This has impacted us in several ways. One way is that we are building our first hydrogen station destined for Australia, which is actually grounded in Pennsylvania at our partner’s location due to shipping restrictions. We also have two SimpleFuel units, similar to what you see outside of Greentown, that are currently getting installed and commissioned in Japan, which traditionally would be done by our staff. 

Ivys Energy Solutions’ SimpleFuel hydrogen refueling station.

This is really a trying time, figuring out how to manage those business operations when you’re really stuck. 

What I wanted to share with you is that although the times are challenging, I think it’s important to look at upsides of what you do control, and the ways to take advantage of these crazy times. So for instance, the station that’s stuck in Pennsylvania, we’re doing extended factory acceptance testing on it, and evaluating performance at all of these edge use-cases. This should be the most reliable and robust hydrogen system available, we hope, based on the edge testing program that we’re implementing. So was it planned? Not really, but we had the opportunity, so we said let’s take advantage of that opportunity.

Over in Japan we have two units, and normally I would be standing there and getting the job done, probably in a quicker fashion. But what’s interesting there is it’s forced us to focus on our product documentation, our installation drawings, our service manuals, things of that sort, which we have had to develop at a greater depth so that the project team in Japan could take the ball and run with it. I think that’s just an example of how we’re going to come out of this experience with a far more superior product record, product documentation, and hopefully more reliable products. 

So despite the circumstances, I think it’s important for you all to remember that you didn’t get to Greentown and start these businesses by sitting on your thumbs. You know how to hustle. My suggestion to you, or my challenge to you, is to really think about your individual business and how you can take advantage of this moment in time, to come out of it with all gears turning faster and accelerate out of this gate like it’s the start of a race.

The Greentown team is here to help you in this novel period. I hope everyone’s doing well, and I’m really looking forward to seeing you all soon!”

Want to learn about Darryl Pollica and Ivys Energy Solutions? Read more here!

Greentown Labs remains committed to supporting startups as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19. To learn more about these efforts, follow us on Twitter or check out our blog.