Entrepreneurs are always on a mission. To overcome the multitude of challenges along the way to building an enduring, impactful business requires commitment to the mission, whatever that might be. In some cases, it is building products to make lives or jobs easier or more fun. Or just more efficient. It may be about being at the vanguard of an exciting new market, or deriving satisfaction from creating something from scratch, literally with your own hands. It usually is embedded into an ethos that founders instill into the very fabric of the most successful companies from the earliest days.
We at Accel, look to back the most aspirational entrepreneurs who are on a mission, and are undaunted by the obstacles placed in their way (both professional and personal). Hopefully, we do a good job in supporting and assisting those entrepreneurs in circumventing those obstacles (some could say, our mission).
Occasionally, we have the great privilege of working with entrepreneurs in a unique circumstance because their mission is deeper, grander and more far reaching than most, not only because they pursue with a passion all the elements of building a great business, but also because they believe they can make a greater and more seminal impact, to people and world in general.
Dan Yates and Alex Laskey are such entrepreneurs, and today marks a tiny step in their ongoing journey to achieve their mission. This Friday, their company, Opower, begins life as a public company. For many, the IPO may mark the culmination of the effort. For the team at Opower, this is just the beginning. Opower is a tremendous inspiration, accomplishing in a few short years what most technology businesses yearn for but never achieve. Much is due to the hard work of the phenomenal team that Dan and Alex have assembled. Yet we have witnessed how this team is driven by even more — the impact they have made and will continue to make on some of the most complex and challenging issues of our time: energy independence and the environment to name two. Almost no topic is as heated or controversial as energy, and almost no market larger. The science of Opower is one of the few things that actually generates real results — measurable, noticeable, meaningful. As an example: last year, the reduction in energy consumption by US consumers which resulted directly from Opower’s energy efficiency solutions was enough savings to power the city of Miami for the year. That’s a whole city off the grid. Even bigger things are still to come.
The Partners at Accel wish Dan, Alex, and team Opower even greater success in the years to come, and look forward to supporting them and their mission in any and all ways we can.