Fugitive methane is a big problem, accounting for roughly 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalent. Bear Givhan, CEO and founder of Earthview, is trying to stop accidental emissions at the source, using hardware-enabled methane detection. Unlike existing methods that involve drones or aircraft surveillance, Earthview’s approach allows for 24/7 monitoring, ensuring that no methane leaks slip through the cracks.
In this episode, Bear discusses the perseverance required to build a successful startup and how he thinks Earthview can help shape the energy transition:
- A commercial pilot by trade, Bear started his career flying low-level research missions for NGOs and government agencies. Through that work, he became aware of the large gap in the marketplace when it comes to fugitive methane emissions monitoring.
- Bear’s company provides the oil and gas industry with robust and reliable detection capabilities, which he believes will be a key technology as we move through the energy transition. Since hard-to-abate sectors are likely to continue using fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, reducing fugitive methane will be integral to keeping GHG emissions low.
- Bear insists perseverance is key when creating a business. Having a strong team that understands how to work through rough patches and believes passionately in the company mission is vital to success.
- Earthview is starting small, planning to work closely with 10-15 high-interest clients. The company is building a market that does not yet exist, and therefore will need to evolve with customers to understand needs and craft a better product.
[00:00:00] Peter Perri: And we are live today on Energy Superheroes today, we have Bear and he started Earthview to create a better way for industry to monitor air quality. We’re going to talk to Bear today about he was how he was able to start Earthview. It’s always hard to start a company in the energy sector.
He was able to pull it off. And we’re also gonna talk about why perseverance was the most important mindset for him and making Earthview successful Bear. Welcome.
[00:00:27] Bear Givhan: Hey, Peter. Thank you so much for having me on here. Really excited to
[00:00:30] Peter Perri: get into this today. Yeah. Good stuff. So entrepreneurial journey, talk, talk to that a little bit.
[00:00:38] Bear Givhan: It’s a journey that’s for sure. And starting a company for me has been the most challenging and rewarding and stressful and awesome thing. All rolled up into one. It’s hard to describe the amount of emotions until you actually are just in it. The the relentless pace of kind of what we’re doing, the importance of the issues we’re trying to solve it all.
It’s all very motivating. And it really it really helps me get up in the morning and it’s pretty much the only thing I feel that I can be doing it’s beneficial to the world. I, I’m, I’ve never been in a typical nine to five kind of guy, and this is definitely not that. So yeah, it’s been a truly just it’s like getting a business degree with a fire hose almost so it’s and that’s every day.
So it’s been awesome.
[00:01:23] Peter Perri: Very cool. Take me back to the beginning. W when did you start the company and what were some of the challenges that you faced in the early days?
[00:01:32] Bear Givhan: Oh, man, that’s such a great, it’s such an interesting question. And, I’ll tell you when I was first researching how do you do this?
Like, how do you start a company? And there’s just not a lot of info on it. There’s not a lot of kind of guys to say, okay how do you get that first bit of money to do your idea? How do you. How do you sell someone on some of that’s just an idea. We started in late 2019, which is, we all remember the world was a much different place rumblings of a Corona virus in China, which is coming out.
We’re thinking, man, it’s not going to be a big deal. And it was and that was step one. Okay. Perseverance right. Is we have a global pandemic. Our main industry, the energy industry is barely able to turn on their lights because I oil is traded negative 20 natural gas is dollar an MCF.
So the questions of do we have a product? Do we have a market for our product? So it took a lot of faith to just jump in and keep going. And we decided that, Hey, we think that this is going to rebate. We don’t think we’re going to have, a pandemic forever. And we want to be positioned to come out of this and be able to help the industry reduce their emissions.
So that was a really challenging part. Just understanding how do you do this? And, I would say having co-founders is essential, right? It’s we all bring our own skills to the team and it’s near impossible to. Start out a company and then scale it, which is one person. So having some other people in the foxhole with you really helped us all persevere together.
So that was huge early on with just the, the comradery, the fun-ness of getting our first units out in the field to test them and now, and then it just snowballed and I don’t think we could stop it, even if we want it to
[00:03:15] Peter Perri: no that’s absolutely true. And I concur with you about having great co-founders every company that I’ve started and I’m working on number four right now is of course I’m all, I’m a little bit older than you.
So I I’ve got a few years of an advantage, but every company that I’ve worked in, that I’ve started, I’ve had great people along the way to help. What do you think makes a great co-founder? What do you look. So
[00:03:39] Bear Givhan: with co-founders right. It’s it was pretty natural with how our group got together.
Number one, we’re all very talented in our own silos, right? So we bring, top tier skills to the team and we could function. And when we didn’t have anyone else for, two years. So we were able to do all the things that, that needed to be done from a scientific standpoint, from a technical standpoint.
Sales and marketing standpoint. And really the main thing that we have that I think is so important. You got to have it, it’s just the passion for the problem you’re trying to solve. Cause it’s not, in, in Peter, maybe you can maybe you’ll appreciate this analogy, but I feel like starting a company is almost like learning how to play golf.
You’re out there just hacking away and hidden shots left and right. And every now and then. You get a nice shot and that’s what keeps you going. So that passion is what keeps the team together and what keeps us going. And that’s really the only thing that matters is, do you, are you passionate about the problem?
And of course, do you have the kind of the technical skillset to help us get it off the ground?
[00:04:44] Peter Perri: Yeah, you absolutely have to have that passion and the perseverance. I love the analogy to golf because man, you get out there and it’s like, when you do hit that good shot. If that’s what, that’s, what absolutely what keeps you coming back and you just get beat around on most of the shots you take, but love golf for sure.
Phenomenal sport and lot of relationship to this. So you mentioned a problem you’re trying to solve, talk about that problem and why it’s so important and why you have passion for it.
[00:05:12] Bear Givhan: The problem we’re trying to solve right, is, is methane emissions specifically. We’re trying to help the U S energy.
He U S Canada, but really the global energy industry, better monitor, measure and understand methamphetamine. And I think an important overarching question to ask is why methane? Why does methane, why is that important? Why should we care about it? And the answer to that question is, methane is quite a potent greenhouse gas.
So when compared to carbon dioxide, which is our main greenhouse gas that everyone’s familiar with, methane is 84 times more potent over a 10 year life. So the warming effect of each methane molecule is 84 times. That of what a CO2 molecule is now, methane will not stay in the atmosphere quite as long as CO2, but as you can see that’s irrelevant because we’re getting massive, a warming effect in a very short time span.
So methane represents the low-hanging fruit in oil and gas represents the greatest opportunity to reduce those emissions because. The operators don’t want to admit the environmentalist. Don’t want to admit the regulatory agencies don’t want anyone admitting investors don’t want it. And typically when you are admitting there’s something wrong that you can fix.
So that’s where we come in, right? We are 24 hours, 365, continuous emissions monitoring. And if there is an incident, we’ll let you know, not only would we let you know that there’s a leak, we’ll let you know where we think it’s coming from on your facility and how much.
[00:06:51] Peter Perri: Gotcha. Yeah, it is a huge problem.
And of course, when you hear methane, the first thing that came to my mind until I dug into this problem was of course cows, right? So I’ve never said the word cow farts on the show before, but I’m going to say it here for the first time. That’s what I thought about when I heard methane, but then when you dig into it, you realize that it’s a lot more than that.
And that there’s an enormous amount of emissions coming out of the oil and gas in this. From methane. So specifically how has your problem, or how has your solution different in solving this problem? I’ve seen satellites, I’ve seen sensors, I’ve seen drones even talk about your solution and why it’s different from others.
[00:07:33] Bear Givhan: absolutely. You mentioned some of the other methods that we use to monitor methane and. You know there. So we’ve been able to use aircraft to a pretty high degree. So former job, like I, I was able to fly research aircraft for three years, looking at methane emissions from dead horse, Alaska down to off the coast of Mexico.
So I’ve seen a lot of different emissions from a lot of different sources and where our product is different. So if we just take a step back and look at emissions across the oil and gas value chain, Yeah, we need to ask ourselves two questions. It’s where the emissions coming from. Is it upstream?
Is it midstream? Is it downstream? And then of those sub sectors, is it a specific type of facility? Is it a compressor station? Is it your typical upstream production facility? Like where are the emissions coming from? And. The answer from multiple decades of research and many different papers. I’d be happy to send out.
I can’t sign them off the top of my head, but the general consensus is that methane emissions can happen anywhere. It’s not related to volume of production. It’s not related to age a facility. It’s if they can happen all the time and time is the other one they can happen at any time. There’s no. There’s no correlation between we have more missions in the wintertime versus the summertime.
It’s completely random. So that in my mind leads us to we need to watch this all. We need to watch everything all the time. And now that gets into that gets really expensive because you can’t have an aircraft operating 24 7. You can’t have drones flying beyond line of sight. You can’t have 50, $60,000 point sensors.
You need low cost hardware that can scale out to all of these locations and start detecting these big emissions because they happen all the time. And so that’s where our solution comes in. We’re 24 7, 365 hardware, hardware enabled methane detection is is really our unique,
[00:09:35] Peter Perri: gotcha. And you deploy that hardware at industrial facilities or places where methane would be likely to methane emissions would be likely to occur? That’s correct? Yes, sir. Gotcha. You mentioned you, you flew planes.
[00:09:49] Bear Givhan: I did. Yeah. So I’m a commercial pilot by trade. I’ve got somewhere around 2000 hours mostly doing a lot of low level research flying for various NGOs.
Government agencies and major operators and they, yeah, I did that job from about 2016 to 2000, roughly 19.
[00:10:07] Peter Perri: Oh, super cool. Now you, so you went all over the place. Do you ever get any problems with the, on an aircraft where you had a safety concern?
[00:10:17] Bear Givhan: Oh man. One that comes to mind is we’re out flying.
Over the Bering sea. So we had just taken off from Nome, Alaska. We’re out doing some survey work for NASA, looking at permafrost, looking at methane emissions as they related to permafrost melt. So we were doing these pretty epic loops through, Northwest territories of, Yellowknife, Canada, all the way over to know and down to fair bank.
So we’re really seeing the whole state, I it’s truly a part of the world that I never thought I would get to see in depth, but Yeah. We were taken off from Noam and getting some pretty serious ice on our wings. And yeah, that was definitely a not a not the most fun moment.
Cause you’re looking out the window and you’re like I can see the bearing. See, it looks really cold. My wings were icing up. My, my anti ice is running full blast and it’s still building. So fortunately we were able to actually get through that the layer of clouds. It’s not, I’ve never busted through the clouds because really you’re when you’re up front fly and it’s you’re in the cloud.
I It’s dark, right? You can’t see anything it’s, lights doing weird stuff, then you just bust out and it’s just like a flood gate of open with. So it’s just, it was one of those glorious feelings ever. I knew we were safe, because the ice was gone in about two minutes, once that sun hit it.
So that was one that comes to mind. We could talk for hours on, on flying stories, but yeah, that one
[00:11:34] Peter Perri: stands out. That’s awesome. So when you face a life and death situation it’s like compared to entrepreneurship if that’s a lot worse, right? So you in entrepreneurship, the worst thing that can happen is know the company runs out of money, but in a real life and death situation, It’s that’s a whole nother level of problem.
If things don’t work out the way you want it to, it certainly adds,
[00:11:59] Bear Givhan: It’s certainly, it’s kinda yeah. We could get some ice and it’s life or death. And that’s the trade in the, entrepreneurship where we don’t have to worry about that. No company life or death, which kind of makes, things, a little less pressure, but.
[00:12:11] Peter Perri: So I’d be crazy if I didn’t ask how’d you get the name there?
[00:12:16] Bear Givhan: Ah, so Bear is actually my middle name. And it comes from my grandmother. So it was her maiden name. So it’s a family name. And then my first name is Frederick. So I’ve just always
[00:12:29] Peter Perri: now super cool. Of course you think Barry, you think Bear Bryant, the famous court coach from a university Alabama, and a lot of people argue who’s better with.
Vera Bryant and the current coach, Nick Saban. What do you think?
[00:12:41] Bear Givhan: I they’re both such so funny enough. So my, my, my dad’s side of the family where Bayer comes from they’re all from Alabama, which is completely not related to Bear Bribe, but I’m sure you’ve been on it. That’s a great question.
And it’s, to me it’s gotta be. You know what he’s done at multiple programs? I think people forget about the LSU title that he won back in 2003. So to build two different programs from the ground up, now I could be forgetting the Bear Bryant did the same thing. Pardon me on that.
But yeah, just Nick Saban, to me, it’s just the way he puts these systems in place. It’s actually, you can bring that kind of what he does, but his football program that you can really apply that back to how you run your business. He’s got a system that works. I think we’re all trying to find systems that work within our, whatever our organization is.
And I really admire that. So Nick Saban, if I had
[00:13:26] Peter Perri: to pick, I can’t argue, and his famous saying is trust the process, right? And guys are phenomenal. Football coach and also at T. And I think that’s one of the things that makes him so great is it’s about that process that he puts in place.
So one of the hard things about a startup of course, is you don’t have any processes in the beginning, so you’re trying to build it out and get those in place. Can you talk to that sort of how you’ve put in place systems and processes to make your company go beyond just the technology that.
[00:13:58] Bear Givhan: Yeah. And that’s, we’re going through that right now. Those are there, as we say, we’re we’re transferring out of the garage phase even though, as I sit in here, the garage
[00:14:06] Peter Perri: yeah.
[00:14:07] Bear Givhan: It’s so the challenges that come with that is, okay how do we actually operate our product?
How do we approach, approach it when a node goes down, how do we talk to our clients? Like, how do we How do you know, how do we get all these systems? And the other side of that too, is when you’re in the startup entrepreneur, when you’re in it, when you’re trying to get a company going, you really can’t afford to spend time developing SLPs that may not fit, might not be applicable a month from now.
So that’s the challenge of, we haven’t really worry too much about it because we know that. This will be formalized in a year and it’s likely going to be much different from what it was right now. So we just, we’re adapting and we’re learning, we’re taking as much info as we can from our, our really experienced guys out in the field that are helping us install all the way back to our scientist and our customer success people which is, me at the moment.
So we’re really learning that right now. And it’s just another. Another very challenging part of the of growing a company. Cause you’ve got to have,
[00:15:06] Peter Perri: you got to have a minute and it’s funny when the companies I started, it’s always like you work as fast as you can until the doors come off and things break, or one of the wheels comes off and then you try and fix that and then move forward to the next level.
It’s of course the business school mentality is you have everything planned out at the beginning, but in my experience that just does not work. Accomplished something and then fix what doesn’t work and then accomplish something else. And that’s why I love this word pivot that everybody’s brought to the forefront.
Now I was talking about pivot 20 years ago is basically you start and you move and then you move again and then you keep going. It’s more like kind of carrying a football, as opposed to saying that you’ve got this preplanned out path ahead of you. Oh,
[00:15:48] Bear Givhan: exactly. Yeah. I, of course I, it’s funny. I would love to, I’ve got like a 50 page business plan that I wrote before I got started and looked at it one time.
But that does not mean that the exercise of creating the business plan was not useful. It forces you to think about every aspect of your business because you will get asked those questions. Why would the industry want to buy your technology? They don’t want to know about.
You know why this doesn’t make them any money. Why would they want to have that? Like being prepared and being able to think about those questions from both an investor standpoint and a client standpoint is really valuable. But you’ll never read it again, you’ll get into it and you go that was completely wrong, but some of it was right.
It’s this early stage of planning. Yeah,
[00:16:35] Peter Perri: absolutely. And nowadays of course you have to have a pitch deck. It brings me to, the question of is how did you pitch investors and what investors have come into the business so far? Yeah,
[00:16:45] Bear Givhan: I have a theory that it’s probably hard to raise a hundred thousand dollars than it is to raise a hundred million dollars.
So getting that now, have you gotten to the a hundred million yet? I’ll let you know when we are there, let you know that theory proves true. In the beginning, you’re pitching an idea and you might have a prototype we’re, we have a hardware component, which adds a whole level of complexity to our operation, but it helped a little bit with investors because I can show up and say, look here, here’s the box.
And, here are the sensors and here’s how it works. And so they can wrap their head around it. And, our first two investors came from came from the. So an environmental consulting firm that saw an immediate need for a lower cost methane detection device for their clients that they have right now.
And then a a really savvy investor who invest in a lot of early seed stage companies, that was talking about, that was hilarious. Trying to pitch him during COVID. It was, he never turned on his camera during all of our zoom calls. So I never saw the guy for two years. No check to show them in the mail one day.
I’m like, oh I guess he’s got she’s investing. So that was weird, but yeah, pitch decks it’s making the first one was it was just like the biggest writer’s block ever, because it’s like, how do I articulate this entire vision of what I want to do with the company?
And eight slide eight. And now it’s, now that’s, you’re pretty fun now, I’ve probably got a hundred of them at this point, but yeah, that was the first round of investors we had were some really good kind of smaller street.
[00:18:11] Peter Perri: That’s awesome. Those are the best kind of investors to get.
I remember our first company, we, it was a, it was a.com company in the late nineties. And it was crazy because we had a lot of revenue coming into the business and our servers were not really supporting the amount of users we had on the site. And the first business plan was effectively a one page word document because we didn’t have time to put together a deck or anything like that, but it just showed like the hockey stick.
And because we have real revenue, we were able to get venture capitalists come in and do the deal. And it was like our form was terrible, but the reality behind the business was pretty good. And
[00:18:48] Bear Givhan: that’s a great point too. And that’s, being pre-revenue versus post revenue, that line.
That will open you up to some investors. They actually can’t invest in pre-revenue companies just based on their bio. So we ran into that a little bit, you’ll always run into talking to the venture capital firms would say this is just a little too small for us.
I’ve heard that. I can’t even tell you how many times which is fine. We’ll be a bigger deal at some point. That’s just the challenge of trying to raise money. And then the other side is how do you deploy that capital effectively? That’s really what matters is being able tell your investor, this is what we’re going to do.
This is the kind of objectives and key results that we want to get with this money, and then be able to show them that we accomplish that. And that goes into the next race, right? It’s Hey look, we accomplished eight out of 10 of our main goals and you should give us more money because we are a team that executes.
[00:19:39] Peter Perri: Absolutely execution is everything. I think when it comes to a team, because you have all these different types of teams, you can have an all technical team. You might have one technical founder, and mostly let’s say non-technical people, but if the team can work together and execute, that’s the biggest thing.
And in the end, that’s what an investor is paying for because a lot of these investors, they have a lot of knowledge about what the market is and what would be. Strategy, but the execution part, I think, is what they really pay for when it comes to a team
[00:20:08] Bear Givhan: It’s essential. Right?
I Ideas are dime a dozen execution is what what separates everyone? That’s the big dividing factor, right? Cause it’s the hard part. Yeah. I can sit here and think of ideas all day long, but to go out and actually execute on them, it takes years and times. You’re not sure if it’s going to work.
That’s the other, that’s the other challenging part about being in my position is you put so much time effort, money, and Peter, I’m sure you’re supposed to report company. You’ve got to feel this also when you put so much time effort, energy into something that you know will work, that it’s going to be huge, but you’re not sure.
You’re not sure that it’s gonna actually work. So being able to put that, that just can give you got to put more effort than your typical nine to five. No matter what, so it’s, how do you keep yourself putting that effort in, even when you have a BA you have bad days, clients are difficult.
Investors say, no, those days are going to happen. It’s just a matter of how do you persevere?
[00:21:04] Peter Perri: Yeah, absolutely. And we mentioned perseverance at the beginning, so that’s a great segue. Talk about perseverance, both with your company. With the investment process. Where are you guys now? Are you, have you gone through a couple of rounds and do you feel comfortable?
Are you trying to raise another round?
[00:21:21] Bear Givhan: Never comfortable and always always raving. For me the investment getting investment it’s like a ticket to come play in the game. We’re capitalized, now we can come and play where we can compete and really my goal with earth, you from day one, Was to build a great company.
And in my mind, a great company, you should make money. It should return value to the investors. It should reward our employees for their incredible work that it takes to build this. And we should build a solution to hard problems. Life’s short, let’s try to solve some hard problems here.
And I feel that Earthview is that’s pretty much our culture. How do we make this an awesome place to work? And then everything else stems from that point. But perseverance with investors, right? I think it’s just, it’s developing a confidence in your solution. I’m a hundred times more confident what we have now today than I was probably last year.
So that translates out to these in investor conversations. It’s just, it’s like sales, it’s just, you’re going to hear no, you’re going to hear the word. No, a lot more time. You’ve got to hear the word. Yes. And every time you hear that word, yes. It’s like hitting that golf shot straight down the fairway.
So it keeps you going, it gets more money in the bank. You got people that really believe in you. And hopefully you get to the point where you have more people wanting to invest and you can actually be selective about who you take. Because if that’s really important too, it’s just as important as getting good employees.
It’s getting good investors that, Hey, we’re an energy technology startup that doesn’t even exist in the categories of technology yet. So we’re creating a market right now and it takes time. And, unfortunately I don’t know when the market’s gonna go when, people are going to be putting these on every well pad.
I feel it’s right around the corner. We’re seeing signs, having an investor that understands that isn’t. And then, yeah. Just learning, being open to criticism. I’m, I may be the CEO entitled, but let me tell you, I answered everyone at this company, whether it’s my employees, my clients, my investors, I have multiple different bosses, even though I am the CEO.
And I think understanding that mentality really helped.
[00:23:22] Peter Perri: No for sure. That’s a fact. So are you guys out there in the market right now, raising money? Are you guys trying to appeal to investors?
[00:23:30] Bear Givhan: We are. We we are about halfway through a $2 million raise right now. So we’re looking for anyone interested in that, that kind of, that range right there, a series seed in that.
[00:23:41] Peter Perri: No. Very good. And have you experienced any challenges with the change in the market over the last, with the bear market coming in the last few months, have you seen any pullback from investors or is it pretty much been, you’ve been unaffected,
[00:23:55] Bear Givhan: So I’ve seen it in the tech world, valuations or which I grew with the valuations were a little inflated anyway.
But now fortunately for us since we’re more tied to the inner, to the traditional oil and gas sector, which is quite strong right now. And no real, there’s no real pathway to increase supply, right? So therefore demand is probably not going to go down. And therefore prices are likely going to stay hot and that’s a natural gas and that’s in boiling gas, which really helps our value proposition.
That we going to, we’re going to make you money. If you put my units out there, we’re going to catch a leak probably within the first month. Typically it seems what, and that, if that leak is a couple MCF an hour, that’s $30,000, you might’ve just saved and told the next time someone comes in to inspect it.
So our value proposition goes up. The energy sector is definitely not going to be shying away from environmental regulations from kind of the ESG side of thing. I think that’s here to stay. So I think kind of some of those macro kind of overall market pictures while yes, tech stocks are getting hit, but really from my perspective, it creates a huge abundance of talented engineers out in the market.
They want to come help us work on a great problem here at earth. So always a silver lining. But now. Earth, you should be in a great place to put your money. No matter what the macro market’s
[00:25:15] Peter Perri: doing that’s a tremendous attitude to have. And I, that kind of attitude is what wins in the end.
I, this is the third. Correction that I’ve been through of the.com bubble. And it was amazing. Cause I’m seeing the same thing happened now where when the.com bubble happened, you’ve got, you had a lot of people say, oh, that’s believe it or not, the internet is a fad. The internet is just like the fax machine.
And I remember a lot of these old school media guys came in and they fired a bunch of the young guns in these, in the early stages. Advertising companies have the internet. They brought in the old school guys. And then a few years later, those old school guys were all out and everybody was like, yeah, the Internet’s here to stay.
And we just got, we overreacted to the downside. Of course the same thing happened in the housing bubble. And now you’re seeing it with the with this sort of correction that we’re going through, where a lot of people are saying, oh, the ESG thing was just a fad. We’re going to go back to the old school.
It’s not going to happen. It’s a minor blip in terms of, I see that the next 30 years you’re going to have maybe a $50 trillion of new infrastructure put in globally in order to meet the demands of the new world of infrastructure. And it’s, I think that number’s probably conservative, so it’s a great time to be in the space.
And if there is a correction and it shakes out some of the pretenders, let’s say in the crypto space, I think there’s a lot of sort of BS. That’s gonna completely go away, but that’s just going to be more capital that’ll come into the, to the winners that are doing stuff that’s fundamentally.
[00:26:46] Bear Givhan: Exactly. And, that gets back to kind of the principles of earth use. If we want to build a great product that can really move the needle on reducing methane emissions and I do want to highlight, so I think that there’s been huge innovation in the using flare gas to mine, crypto.
I think that was so cool. I was like, man, I don’t know.
[00:27:06] Peter Perri: That’s super smart, right? Yeah. I have to agree with you on that one.
[00:27:09] Bear Givhan: Because it’s such a, it’s a great way to get flaring gas. Believe we’re just, it’s millions of dollars of gas, just flare it out. And so being able to put it to a better use now let’s say crypto crashes, right?
I think that same technology could still be used with maybe run server farms or. No, some other infrastructure, there’s a way we can utilize that gas to power other things that isn’t that better than flaring it out.
[00:27:34] Peter Perri: No doubt about it. And I think you hit the nail on the head that the server farms, because there’s going to be a huge w you know, we’re calling it now.
We actually, in our investment bank, we. Digital infrastructure, which effectively is server farms just into the infrastructure group overall, because it’s just going to be another type of infrastructure that everybody needs and it’s rapidly growing. So I think that’s insightful to use flare gas for something like that.
Agreed. Yeah. What I’d love to dig into is a little more of where you guys are. As a company are you guys actively selling products into the marketplace at this point? Are you still in product dev talk through where you’re, where you are in commercial life cycle.
[00:28:18] Bear Givhan: Okay. We are farther along than we were a year ago, as far as commercializing the product, but is it fully commercial?
Have I put a stamp on it and said, we’re done, no. And it’s hard to know and because the market’s our clients know that they, that this is important, right? They can see that, Hey, we need this. This is really cool. It can tell us where our leads are coming from. But then the other side of that how do we manage a hundred sites?
Like I can’t go through and look at alerts for a hundred sites and look at the dashboard. So we’re learning with our client and my strategy for commercializing. This has been to take baby steps, right? So work with, 10 to 15. Clients that are, have indicated strong interest and have strong sustainability goals and have a culture that’s willing to bring us in and understanding that, we’re a eight person startup right now.
No we cannot just create software out of the blue, into, in three days. So getting clients to understand where we are. And understanding, Hey, okay. Their hardware might go down for a few days, but they’re there on it. And they’re going to fix the issue. Essentially piloting our technology for free in order for us to learn from our clients, what they really want in a system like this, because it doesn’t exist and they doesn’t exist for them yet.
And you know what we, and so that has been a huge part of the past year is figuring out, okay, what do we need to get this thing fully commercialized? You think of it in a hardware and a software bucket. What enables our hardware to be low cost and scalable is the software that sits on top of it.
So they’re both really important, but for us, it’s, step one is we have to get our hardware to work in the field 24 7. And that means it’s got to work in Dallas, Texas, west, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado throughout the whole year and all the various environmental conditions. That’s challenging to get to that point.
And we’re really proud of the work we’ve done in the hardware. It’s actually, it’s pretty rock solid at this point. So that is about ready to be commercialized. And next step here is we’ll be building those with a manufacturing facility and then the software, that is always going to be changing and getting that ready.
If I had to put No kind of button that up and say, where are we on the product development life cycle, the group between beta and commercialization.
[00:30:38] Peter Perri: Gotcha. No that’s a good description. And you guys are building up both the hardware and the software inside your company,
[00:30:45] Bear Givhan: everything in our box, we have designed and built.
[00:30:48] Peter Perri: Wow. Yeah. So that’s a challenge, but ultimately if you’re able to get it right, it’s going to be better because your hardware will play perfectly with your software, right?
[00:30:57] Bear Givhan: And exactly, and the, and that was for us, we have a really, I your tech Saviano genius type who really good hardware and really good at software.
And, it made it really efficient for us to build this product, which is handy because if software doesn’t work with the hardware, hardware is not talking to the software. There’s only one person to point to. And, he knows his hands or there’s something going on. So that was really good for kind of the states to get us here.
And I like, we get to the next phase of the company, it’s going to take a different team and a different kind of, more processes, more standard operating procedures and all that will get put into place. But yes, the hardware was certainly challenging.
[00:31:36] Peter Perri: No, it makes sense. Cause it not only has to work, but it has to be, have a certain level of resiliency.
[00:31:41] Bear Givhan: outside. I It’s brutally hot in west, Texas, and it’s really called in Colorado in January. So hopefully we can like a hundred degree temperature range we’re trying to operate
[00:31:50] Peter Perri: in. No unbelievable. And how long do you expect that hardware to have to be able to last before, say you got to come out and change the battery or do maintenance on it?
[00:32:00] Bear Givhan: We’re thinking it’s going to be at least five years per box. They’re pretty solid at this point and that’s our target goal is five years. We haven’t existed for five years. So that’s, that’s my goal, but yeah, I’ll let you know. We have five years is the target for that the box is a whole.
[00:32:16] Peter Perri: Oh, very cool. And who do you guys think is, are your competitors in this space? You guys, I know there’s a couple of players out there. But I don’t want to give props to anybody that that isn’t really a real competitor. What do you.
[00:32:29] Bear Givhan: Now we’ve got some we definitely got some good competition.
I think there was about four of us in the low cost, continuous point since their game company out of Calgary. A couple of companies here in Denver actually, too. And the one that makes the news the most is I’m not sure if you’ve heard of project Canary.
[00:32:46] Peter Perri: Yeah, for sure. So the story there is the same, a venture capital firm that invested in my previous company called power phase that made an upgrade system for gas turbine plants that VC funds called energy impact partners out in New York, they, and they invested in project Canary, which is how I’m on the news feed or whatever, and saw a project Canary there, but I don’t know too much about it.
[00:33:10] Bear Givhan: They’re out there and they in project and a little different, they have both the, both their continuous monitoring hardware which I, I couldn’t tell, I’m not sure what type of actual technology they use to measure methane. And then they have their certification stuff.
So we don’t certify pads, right? We believe that certification should be done by. Non-biased third party. So we work with a few kind of leading certification bodies in that realm with kind of the methane intelligence, MIQ being the the main one. We have, definitely some some other folks in the space and we welcome the company.
[00:33:46] Peter Perri: Absolutely. And a good point on the third party verification that makes a lot of sense. And that’s, I think best practices across the industry, right? Is you want to have a independent third party validating, verifying certifying whether that’s the government or whether it’s a nonprofit, but you want some kind of non unbiased entity doing the validate.
[00:34:09] Bear Givhan: I think it’s so important because, I’m not sure Peter what your thoughts are, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the certified gas market in general. But I that’s another thing I don’t think that’s going anywhere either. And then if you start to look and see, okay as we start to kind of transition our energy infrastructure from away from coal and to natural gas, like that still leads a big question, mark, of, as a pilot.
Batteries are really heavy and it’s going to be quite difficult to get electric aircraft to where we have them nowadays, just the they’re so responsibly sourced oil, that could be a thing in the future. Talking to your Southwest, your American saying, Hey, look, we’re this aviation fuel is produced responsibly, the same market there, but like yesterday, I think it’s.
[00:34:56] Peter Perri: Yeah, for sure. I agree. A hundred percent ESG is here to stay. We’re going to need all solutions in order to get, to even close to net zero. I think even to get CO2 and other GHG emissions to stop increasing, we’re going to have to use sort of everything in our, all the tools in our toolbox and agree with you on the challenges around, let’s say electrification of airplanes.
We’re very bullish on let’s say next generation fuels. Whether that is carbon capture, whether it’s hydrogen, whether it’s some kind of bio fuel, whether it’s renewable diesel whether it’s all the above. I’m I’m not smart enough to say, to pick a winner within that segment, but I definitely think our entire infrastructure is based on.
And then to be able to just say, Nope, we’re just going to electrify everything and go to a, a centralized system where we send everything across power lines. People have been trying to do that for a long time. Now from the first day I got into the industry, it was, Hey, let’s take wind and solar and batteries and that’ll solve everything and it’s not going to solve everything.
You’ve got to have a balanced approach and I think you have to have fuel. And to your point, that means you’re going to have to monitor and make sure that fuel is responsibly produced sourced and it’s not emitting unnecessarily into the atmosphere.
[00:36:12] Bear Givhan: Exactly. And you know that the same, that same concept of, I guess that goes for hydrogen.
You can’t have hydrogen leaks. That’s hydrogen is also a potent greenhouse gas. I’m not sure in that thing, but it. A significant environmental factor if we leak hydrogen, so same problems. And I think really from our perspective, it’s getting realistic with what’s possible to cause, okay, we can’t keep burning coal.
We know that it’s the dirtiest fuel and, but we have all the resources to move over to natural gas, which is a much, much cleaner fuel it’s extracted. And the technology you’re looking at behind me, that, that is there to ensure that it is and that’s where earthy fits into this whole energy transition, which is now I, when I started earthy, I didn’t know what the energy transition was.
I didn’t know. We were, I didn’t know. We were doing that. See, I’ve been writing quite a bit too about just the macro market to play and here we are, and it’s actually a really cool feeling to get out on somebody’s path and be like, Hey we’re helping here. No oil and gas.
[00:37:14] Peter Perri: Absolutely.
And I think transition is the right word. And I think entrepreneurs get this intuitively is that if you’re trying to transition from something bad to something good, you have to do it one step at a time. You’re not going to just leap, frog all the technologies and automatically get into, meet the Robinson’s situation or the Jetsons.
Like you’re going to have to do it in steps. As you rightly point out the next step is to get rid of coal entirely and move to gas. And then at some point we can start to transition away from gas, but I think that’s going to be a long time into the future. And who knows, we may be able to just use gas to create hydrogen capture the carbon.
We may be able to use gas and make sure that there’s no methane. And that the, that that the Wells are responsibly created and maintained. So there’s definitely a place I think, for natural gas and I do see it as the most important part of the energy transition. And you can clearly see that in Germany right now, where rush has turned off the gas and what’s Germany doing they’re firing up their coal plants.
And so now the emissions are through. But what they won’t tell you is the emissions have been not so great in Germany for a while because they shut off all their nuclear power, which was a mistake. And they’ve overbuilt renewables, which what they don’t tell you is when the renewables aren’t working, then they have to use the, what we call it, the old dog gas turbines and fire them up in order to maintain the power grid.
Because electricity is something you can’t just have shut off for people. So we’ve gotta be smart about.
[00:38:46] Bear Givhan: We do. And I think that, you bring up a good point as electricity. We it’s only, we can’t just shut off for people. And, I’m a big admirer of Chris rider over there at Liberty energy and kind of his stance on energy poverty.
And I think he makes just a brilliant point of, Hey, there are two and a half billion people on this planet that had, did use less electricity per day that are referring to. So it’s okay, you’re so now we’re telling these people that they can’t benefit from coal, that our society has benefited from a hundred years to get to where we are.
And now we’re denying them that same, because it’s bad for the environment. I think that’s just such a, it’s, it really just, it makes me angry. It’s just, it’s like we’re missing all these people and then not to jump points here, but that solar panel behind me that has a lifespan.
That’s going to end up being recycled somewhere. So it’s not renewable. The sign is renewable, but the solar panels not and same with the window. So w what do we call renewable? And, it’s all marketing, right? We’re paid to believe that a window just sits out there and spends forever, and it’s just it’s not true.
And, it’s got to study geology in school, which was really eye-opening to understand. Everything has to be mined from her. And mining is a very fossil fuel intensive process, big, dirty. So that’s another thing where you have to balance there. It’s just. We’re sweeping a lot of stuff under the rug here.
I think that we’ve not go anywhere. It’s not going away
[00:40:14] Peter Perri: for sure. For sure. That’s right. And we’ve got to be really smart about how we look at the life cycle, GHG emissions of whatever technology we’re using, whether it’s a battery has lifecycle GHG emissions to it, and it has to be from the mine all the way through the recycle.
Location. If you will so agree with that completely. So do you have an oil and gas background? Do you seem to really have a good understanding of the oil and gas industry? How did you decide to move from being a pilot in order to get into starting Earthview?
[00:40:47] Bear Givhan: As I was flying the research plan out in the past, and I studied geology cause I wanted to be an oil and gas geologist.
And, know, I made a bunch of money felling in cars one summer and I was like, oh, so they and then I, know, I ended up working for a company that’s now pretty big in this space. But they were tiny off when I got there, just one guy in a couple of planes and it was like the coolest, I could not say no to that job.
He was like, you want to go fly my research, playing around with. Yeah, of course I do. I’ve always been into energy, right? It, from my standpoint, I love the geopolitics of energy, how did the Saudis and the Russians and the us, how do we all interact? And then through Earthview, I’ve been, I’m like, I get out and I get to talk to all these guys out in the field that are running these facilities and just trying to be a sponge and just learn as much as I can.
About how these facilities work where the emissions and what we do, we’re you just have to learn how they work. So just just, being in this space, I’ve managed to pick up. And in layman’s terms, I can at least not get myself over my head.
You talk to somebody petroleum engineers. They’re definitely much versed in this
[00:41:49] Peter Perri: stuff than I am. Yeah, no doubt. So you mentioned valet parking. A lot of people don’t realize how much money you can make and valet parking, not to deviate, but. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale and man, you could just really make a killing valet parking and bartending to jobs that are highly underrated to fund entrepreneurial activities.
In my mind, I, my my second company was when I was moved from the first to the second company. I bartended for awhile in order to. You know what we call it, stack cash, and then use that money to start the company, essentially. And those, the second company had no external investors. It was financed by my bartending activities.
Awesome. And drafted
[00:42:30] Bear Givhan: it. Must’ve been generating a revenue pretty quick on.
[00:42:32] Peter Perri: It was it was an e-commerce business. So it was it was pretty quick to to revenue it. But I ran it as a lifestyle business for 10 years and it, I was inspired by the book the four hour work week, if you’ve ever heard of that, it’s effect effectively.
Building a system and a process in order to generate revenue. But after 10 years it got a little tiring and I had the opportunity to move into the energy sector. And that was around 2011 and was able to get involved with a company here in Jupiter called power phase, which makes an upgrade system for gas turbine plants, and been an energy ever since.
[00:43:10] Bear Givhan: No, I love this industry too. I’m always blown away with just, there’s so much innovation and there’s so much, and I, one Peter, one kind of thing you touched on earlier that I challenge to circle back to was trying to pitch it, pitch this concept to, you’re talking about the marketing kind of how the internet was going to be a fad.
And some of the older guys in the organization thought that younger guys didn’t well, we see the same thing with our product, right? The older guys in the room are used to doing things a certain way and monitoring their emissions continuously with not in that way. But the guy is close to, my answer like why wouldn’t I do this?
This is awesome. More data, more problems, it’s good problems to know about, essentially you don’t want someone else finding that your tank is leaking before you do, because you might get fine. You can get fined in Colorado. I think up to 15, granted. For leaks going on.
So it’s real money. Yeah. Just I thought that was an interesting kind of similarity between what I’m seeing now and what you saw in the
[00:44:04] Peter Perri: past. Absolutely. And it’s going to continue where you see this innovation keeps happening and then event. I always say it’s like pushing a Boulder up a hill.
You just don’t know where the top of the hill is, but then once you get there that Boulder just flies down the hill. And nobody’s going to question it anymore. Of course we have to monitor. Of course we have to have the most environmentally friendly equipment that we could possibly have because it’s in everybody’s best interest to do
[00:44:30] Bear Givhan: it really is
[00:44:32] Peter Perri: so good stuff. So are you still playing.
Yeah. It’s funny. I haven’t been on a golf course about four years and it’s again it’s because of the entrepreneurial bug. It’s once you’re in the midst of doing that, you just don’t have the time to get out there on the golf course.
[00:44:50] Bear Givhan: You really don’t. And at least on the first company, like you’re always also, you’re the last to get paid, right?
So it’s you have your golf. I think I’d rather, try to have some dinner tonight rather than all next to yeah,
[00:45:02] Peter Perri: no, no doubt. Entrepreneurial poverty is a real struggle and it’s absolutely some people go through and you don’t realize it. I’m looking at it from the outside because the media of course makes it seem like it’s rags to riches, but I’ve yet to meet a single successful entrepreneur that just.
Really fast. It always takes years and it always takes longer than you think
[00:45:24] Bear Givhan: it does. Absolutely. We’re almost three years in and got a long way to
[00:45:30] Peter Perri: go. Yeah, no doubt about it, but that’s, that’s where that perseverance comes in and you’ve definitely got the right mentality to be successful.
No doubt that that you’re gonna, you’re gonna make it happen here. And it’s really been awesome having you on the show barracks. It’s exciting. Anytime I can talk to somebody that’s been through that entrepreneurial journey. My view is that really is what makes our country great. Is entrepreneurs that stick through challenges and keep going forward when other people tell them to stop.
So hats off to you.
[00:46:01] Bear Givhan: Happy. I really appreciate that. It’s, it takes a village right. To build a company. And I think that’s just a really important point is, yeah. I guess I get to go out and be the face, but I wouldn’t be able to be where I’m at without the, without our co-founders, without our two guys over in the shop, actually helping to build our units.
Everyone is, has a really important role in a startup and there no real time to waste on people. You can’t treat it like a nine to five, right? You have to have people that understand that mentality. And we’re, I’m so fortunate to have such a solid team that everyone gets that. And Sunday morning guys, we got to have a meeting, sorry.
[00:46:37] Peter Perri: No for sure. A team is everything. Bear, it’s really been a pleasure. I invite any investors out there that are watching to check out earthview.io and reach out to bear on LinkedIn or through the website, if you’re interested in getting involved in their round. And I think Earthview is going to be successful cause it’s got a great team behind it.
Of course I’m not making it. Financial recommendations here. I always have to give that disclaimer, but I love to meet great entrepreneurs who are really changing the world and helping to make the energy transition make it happen. So Bear is a pleasure having you on today and look forward to following Earthview as it continues to grow.
[00:47:18] Bear Givhan: Yep. Great to be on here.
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