2006 New Ventures BC competition Hydro Sustainability prize winner Energy Aware Technology is front cover news in the August edition of BC Business magazine. Energy Aware’s President and CEO Janice Cheam is profiled and interviewed in an article titled Is Small Business Bad for BC?.
Energy Aware was conceived as part of an entrepreneurship course at UBC, and Cheam admits that at first she never intended to turn it into a real company. Instead she applied for jobs at Vancouver’s biggest consulting firms upon graduating in 2006. But her early experiences with Energy Aware kept coming up in the interviews, and after a particularly in-depth three-hour session, she recalls, her interviewer pulled her aside and levelled with her. “When we did our one-on-one, he was like, ‘I don’t think what we can offer you is going to be on par with what you’ve already just experienced.’” It was a classic moment of self-discovery, and Cheam quickly called up her old classmates and convinced them to help build a real company.
In the well-written piece Cheam talks about Energy Aware’s early struggles which included two problems common to most new entrepreneurs: obscurity and lack of funds. Be sure to have a read.