Earth Advantage Institute spins off CakeSystems
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Former Earth Advantage Institute Executive Director Sean Penrith will serve as CEO of spin-off CakeSystems Inc.
The nonprofit Earth Advantage Institute announced Thursday the spinoff of a for-profit green software startup built around its home energy audit software.
The new company, CakeSystems Inc., will be run by former Earth Advantage executive director Sean Penrith.
David Heslam, former program manager for Earth Advantage's Energy Performance Score, was tapped as the organization's new executive director. Efficiency advocate Earth Advantage provides training and runs building certification programs.
CakeSystems meanwhile will commercialize software technology that's been incubated at Earth Advantage for the last four years.
Penrith describes CakeSystems as a Turbo Tax-like utility for home energy efficiency upgrades. The software brings with it some 15 national clients and what Penrith characterizes as "a couple of million" in revenue.
While Earth Advantage Institute will continue to advocate for its Energy Performance Score — what the institute calls a "miles-per-gallon sticker" for building energy efficiency — which is battling for market share against similar rating systems.
By spinning off from the nonprofit and becoming independent from the Energy Performance Score, CakeSystems will be able to go after a much larger market for home energy audit software.
"We heard from a lot of potential clients that they loved the software program," Penrith said. What they didn't like was being required to choose one efficiency rating system over another. CakeSystems will still support the EPS, but it can also be used with other rating programs.
CakeSystems will seek around $2 million in startup capital and will start with a core team of about five employees who will come over from Earth Advantage Institute.
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