Authors: Daniel Sanchez, Policy Associate, Capital Access Program Want to see a green industry poised for growth? Look no further than Seattle's home performance industry. On Friday, July 22, 2011, Green for All hosted its sixth Business Academy with the University of Phoenix and Home Performance Washington in Seattle, WA. This "Home Performance Business Academy" provided green entrepreneurs with tools, resources and networking opportunities to scale their operations and create jobs. At this event, national efficiency experts shared their insights on the home performance industry. From there, participants had the opportunity to apply these lessons, and identify the programs, partners and skills needed to grow Seattle's efficiency landscape. Highlights included:
- Jonathan Cohen of Imagine Energy in Portland, OR, who discussed how he became a home performance expert and grew his business into one of the most successful contractors in Oregon. Jonathan imparted his wisdom about marketing, business models, and how to take advantage of public incentives as a contractor.
- Shawn Collins, of the Opportunity Council in Bellingham, WA. Shawn discussed the successes of his "Community Energy Challenge" program for home performance upgrades. In particular, he described best practices for converting a lead to a sale.
- Virginia Leavell, of LiUNA in Washington, DC. Virginia talked about the promise of Community-Based Demand Generation and how contractors can work with local community organizations to catalyze demand for energy upgrades.
- Callie Ridolfi and Kellie Stickney, local Seattle entrepreneurs, who helped guide discussion among event participants.
Green for All's Business Academies support green entrepreneurs and small business owners, particularly those from low-income communities and communities of color. For more information about upcoming and past Academies, visit the Green For All Business Academies page.