Motiv Wins Popular Science Award!

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Technica is proud to announce, Motiv Power Systems’ electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) has been awarded a 2014 Best of What’s New Award in Green Technology from Popular Science. This award comes after a big year for Motiv, including deliveries of North America’s first and only all-electric garbage truck to the City of Chicago and the first production model all-electric school bus in the US. Motiv is backed by Magness Ventures and has received grant funding from the California Air Resources Board.

“For 27 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us – those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Cliff Ransom, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New Award is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners – chosen from among thousands of entrants – each a revolution in its field.”

The basis for Motiv’s win is the ePCS, a single platform that can electrify any truck or bus chassis with a variety of commercially-available battery packs and motors that are upgradable over time. The ePCS is installed instead of an engine and transmission on new incomplete chassis such as the Ford E450, as a ship-through modification. This process, common in the truck industry, is similar to a Compressed Natural Gas ship-through modification and means minimal changes between the fossil fuel and electric versions of the final vehicle. Existing truck and bus builders who already use these incomplete chassis can build and sell electric versions of their existing truck and bus models. Motiv currently partners with Trans Tech Bus to provide the electric version of its Class-A school buses, Ameritrans Bus to provide an electric commercial shuttle bus and Cumberland Servicecenter to provide the 30-ton electric refuse trucks to the City of Chicago.

“We’re thrilled to see our technology recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Motiv Founder and CEO Jim Castelaz. “Both the challenge of electrifying the trucking industry and the market opportunities are quite large. We’ve accomplished some impressive milestones this year in our goal to help fleets reduce their emissions. This award affirms that we are on the right track.”

Each year, the editors of Popular Science review thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year, breakthrough products and technologies that represent a significant leap in their industries. Best of What’s New awards are presented in 12 categories: Aerospace, Automotive, Engineering, Entertainment, Gadgets, Green, Hardware, Health, Home, Recreation, Security and Software. The winners are awarded inclusion in the much-anticipated December issue of Popular Science, the most widely read issue of the year.

SunPort Solar IoT Device Raises 160% of Kickstarter Goal for Total of $120,599

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We’re pleased to announce new SunPort Internet of Things (IoT) smart device surpassed its Kickstarter goal to raise a total of $120,599. Since the spring of 2015, Technica Communications worked with SunPort’s inventors to prepare the company for it’s Kickstarter campaign, as well as build exposure for the product over the course of the campaign. Over 1,676 backers helped SunPort reach its goal on August 20, and surpassed it to a total of 160% of its $75,000 goal by the time the campaign ended on August 27.

In addition to the funds, SunPort’s Kickstarter exposure has opened up new avenues for collaborations with a variety of Fortune 500 corporations, sustainability minded cities and NGOs to explore new applications for the SunPort. New plug-in device upgrades any wall outlet to solar energy using solar micro-credits based on the US Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program.

“The amount of support from our fans and backers has been overwhelming,” said SunPort inventor Paul Droege. “Less than 1% of Americans currently participate in solar directly, despite its popularity. With the SunPort the other 99 percent can consume solar energy, even if they can’t become producers themselves. Surpassing our goal shows us the demand for solar energy if strong, if people have an easy way to consume it.”

By plugging in a SunPort between any electrical device and any wall outlet, anyone can become a user of solar energy. It works with a smart phone app to track the energy used and refills the SunJoule microcredits when needed. The SunPort upgrades the grid energy consumed through the outlet by tracking the amount of SunJoule microcredits needed to match that energy use. SunJoules are microcredits derived from the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates program developed by the US Department of Energy. SunPort works with a non-profit called ReChoice to purchase the SunJoules, and those proceeds help fund new solar project given to other non-profits at no cost.SunPortPluggedWhiteTile

“The SunPort operates sort of like an ATM for solar energy,” continued Droege. “When you take money from a regular ATM, the bank’s system matches your cash withdrawal back to your account. Who held the cash before it arrived at the ATM doesn’t matter. You get your own money from the ATM, not because of the particular bills or how they got to the ATM, but because the bank’s accounting system matches the transaction to your account. In the same way, SunPort’s platform guarantees the power you use with it is real solar, not by tracking particular electrons or controlling grid power flow, but by matching your electricity to a real solar source using SRECs.”

Because it is impossible to differentiate the source of electrons flowing through the electrical grid, it is SunPort’s tracking platform that makes the solar energy available without the use of solar panels. By using a SunPort, users can increase market demand for solar by consuming standard electricity while automatically matching it to solar credits at the same time. While using the SunPort is not free, the cost of a solar upgrade is very small, due to the low cost and large size of SRECs. As an example, anything plugged in (up to 10 amps) can be upgraded to solar for under $2.00 a month. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign will receive one year of unlimited SunJoules to use with their SunPort devices, which are expected to be shipped in the Spring of 2016.

Funds from the Kickstarter campaign will help fund a consumer friendly user interface for the smart phone app, as well as gamification features to enhance user engagement and transparency features to add greater social and community visibility. Additionally, final safety testing and certification will also be funded from the proceeds of the campaign.

How to Sell Anything Without Having to “Sell” Anyone

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Use promo code “Friend” for 25% off this training. RSVP on Eventbrite at HERE

Early-bird rates end May 1st, 11:59pm PST

Success in any industry comes down to sales. Whether you’re selling products, services, or simply just yourself and ideas. Additionally, sales jobs are the most plentiful and a great way to move into a new sector, or the company of your dreams. No matter who you are, having solid sales skills are lucrative and the fastest route to building your dream career.

Yet, many of us avoid sales like the plague. We are completely unaware that selling is actually quite easy to do, when you know the right techniques and have the right prospective. In this workshop, you’ll go from struggling to secure sales, to being able to close anyone you want.

People actually don’t mind being sold to. We allow ourselves to be sold to all the time, just look at the advertising around you. What we hate is being sold to badly, i.e. the hard sell, or selling that does not relate to our values and desires. Many of us avoid sales, because we don’t want to be seen as imposing, or coming across as fake, or unauthentic. But life is about selling, yourself, your ideas and you or your company’s products and services.

As consumers become more sophisticated in their purchasing decisions, and competition continues to mount, hard sales practices are becoming a thing of the past. In the 21st Century, sales efforts that focus on matchmaking between the customer and the product or service are thriving.

In this two day course you will learn:

  • cutting edge sales techniques
  • neuro-linguistic methods to developing strong bonds with prospects
  • negotiation tactics that build win-win outcomes
  • a step by step guide to closing the deal every time
  • personal revelations regarding why you resist sales
  • Tips and tricks for overcoming fears around selling

May 16 9:00am-5:00pm

May 17 9:00am – 5:00pm

In this two day workshop, speaker Lisa Ann Pinkerton, President of Technica Communications and founder of Women in Cleantech & Sustainability, and international sales and leadership trainer Julien Adler will teach their time-tested techniques for winning in sales every time. This is a two day intensive training.

About the Facilitators:

Julien Adler

International Sales and Leadership Trainer

Since he was a young boy at summer camp reselling candy at a profit, Julien Adler has been a serial entrepreneur. In the thirty years since, he has experienced the highs and lows of the business roller coaster; as he built and sustained a range of companies from an autonomous college painting business to a multi-million dollar, international software development firm.

In the mid 1990′s, Julien began sharing his successful business strategies and entrepreneurial mindset to top professionals all over the world. As an executive coach, leadership trainer and speaker, he provides mental, emotional and business transformation results. He is a Master Hypnotherapist, Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programmer, Member of the American Board of Hypnotherapists and Lifetime Member Therapist with the International Association of Behavioral Therapists.

While most business coaches focus primarily on systems and techniques, Julien goes deeper to work within the realm of the subconscious mind. With his work, Julien’s clients discover how their minds are wired, as well as where their thought patterns are conditioned that often result in the limitations they experience. Julien helps his clients unlock new abilities and opportunities to make better decisions, increased leadership influence, higher productivity, greater financial success and much more. This ‘inner game’ work dissolves psychological roadblocks and frees up clients to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. Regardless of the business activity or industry, it is not uncommon for Julien to help his clients double their income within six months of working with him.

Julien resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Lisa Ann Pinkerton

Founder, Technica Communications, & Women in Cleantech & Sustainability

Lisa Ann Pinkerton is an international workshop leader, speaker and moderator. She teaches networking, leadership and sales workshops to share her skills to support technologies of the new economy. Lisa Ann is Founder and President of Technica Communications, Co-Founder and Marketing Chair for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association, and Founder of the US networking group Women In Cleantech & Sustainability. Lisa Ann also sits on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Fashion Week International and is a promotional and documentary filmmaker. Lisa Ann started her career as a broadcast journalist for nearly a decade. Her work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, PBS Television, and other US outlets.


5 Tools to Boost Your Crowdfunding Success

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At Technica, we are excited to be gearing up to help another client promote their crowdfunding campaign. Media attention and social media engagement are always economical and powerful ways to get the story of your campaign out into the world. However, there are a few more tools you can use to bolster your campaign’s presence on the web. These can be especially critical at the beginning when you need to gain momentum quickly and maintain it.

Ad Roll

Budget $500/month

Have you ever looked at a product on Amazon, then saw an ad for that very same product show up on another site you are looking at? This is what Ad Roll does. It follows users from your website to other sites, and if there is available ad space, it will display one of five ads you have set up. The better an ad performs, the more Ad Roll’s algorithms use it.

If you do nothing else, we’d recommend setting up Ad Roll. People typically don’t always contribute the first time they check out a campaign. Sometimes, they want to wait to see how things go, other times they are just plain busy. Ad Roll is critical to reminding people about your campaign and encouraging them to contribute if they have not already.

In a recent campaign Technica oversaw, our client spent $30/week for 37,889 impressions and 792 clicks over a two month period. Total spend was $389 or an average of about $.50 per click.

One thing to keep in mind is that the technical aspects of crowdfunding campaign pages often do not allow you to set up cookie tracking on the campaign page itself, which is how Ad Roll works. Instead, you have to set up Ad Roll to direct people to your website. There, a large call to action image and web button at the top of your site should point people to the campaign page.

Facebook Ads and Boost Posts

Budget $300 ($10/day)

Now that it’s a public company, Facebook is looking to monetize commercial activity on its site. Recently, Facebook announced its algorithms would no longer push promotional posts from a Page on to an individual’s news feed. Instead, it encourages Pages to boost their posts if you want people to see them in their feeds.

We recommend that you do a few different ads for your Facebook page at the beginning of the campaign. Depending on how many followers you have already, you may want to put up an ad that encourages people to follow the page. Before you start your campaign, you want at least 500 people following you. So, begin this activity as early as you can, and fill your Facebook Page with quality, engaging posts.

Once the campaign begins, you’ll also want to boost posts related to coverage you’ve received on the campaign, or any news about the campaign that you want people to know about. Additionally, pure call to action posts can be boosted to encourage people to contribute. This can be especially critical during the final days of the campaign.

Bloggers and Crowdfunding Support

Budget – $1000/campaign

There are a lot of sites out there that will help you spread the word about your campaign. Once your campaign begins, you will be contacted by many of them.

Typically for $500, these sites will write a few posts about your campaign and direct traffic to it. Additionally, more and more bloggers will ask to be compensated for writing about your product and sharing it with their large social media followings. The range for compensation can be from $50-$250.

In the past, Technica has experimented off and on with this option. We contracted with GadgetFlow in the past, which referred 275 people to a campaign page we worked on. Additionally, we’ve found the TriplePundit Podium platform to be very beneficial in increasing a company’s social media exposure around a piece of news, such as an article by the company or a press release.

However, overall you can gain more bang for your buck by reaching out to media journalists and bloggers who do not require your payment. These outlets typically have larger followings and their reporting is more non-bias, which will garner higher readership.

Reddit Ads

Budget $200

There are a few different ways you can advertise on Reddit, such as within some of the mobile apps and on the site itself. For most crowdfunding campaigns, banner ads are the most economical. Since Reddit has a very witty, web savvy community, make sure your ads are causal, conversational and clever. With Reddit, you really have to understand the community you are targeting.

In a recent campaign, Technica ran (for a completely unknown brand at the time) a $200 one moth budget that generated over 271,000 impressions and 756 clicks, with a cost per click (CPC) of $.25.

Reddit Ads

Anonymous Contributions

Budget $1,000-$10,000

This is a little secret that crowdfunding campaigns and sites don’t like to admit. Sometimes, it helps to boost a campaign’s funding with anonymous contributions of a few thousand dollars here and there. Many anonymous contributions could be purely organic, but every now and again there’s one from someone close to the company, for the specific purpose of helping to keep the campaign active, and growing. This can keep the campaign to the top of a featured campaign rotation on the crowdfunding site, and add credibility to the campaign, showing people are willing to invest large sums.

This activity can also help to ensure that your campaign meets its goal, if it looks like it might fall short. I’ve known campaigns to rally friends and family to contribute at the eleventh hour in order to make the goal, and then reimburse them after the funds have been delivered from the site. It’s not the most ethical of practices, but when all you need is a few thousand dollars to hit your goal, a favor from Uncle Bob can go a long way.

Each of these tools have their own strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the type of industry and campaign you plan to run, as well as your budget, some will work better than others. If you have a very limited budget, we suggest at least advertising on Ad Roll, and adding Facebook and Reddit into the mix if you can afford it. However, before you make any web advertising plans, consult with a PR team who can help you hone your messaging and deliver your story to reporters who will help get the word out to the masses.