Despite the slump in global oil prices, a few brave Louisiana-based companies are venturing out as startups in the energy industry. Their innovative ideas show promise, but hardly guarantee success in such a turbulent industry. Fortunately, they do not have to face the typical startup hardships on their own.
The four firms are supported by a program called ENERGYx, an accelerator initiative to boost entrepreneurship within the energy industry. The Idea Village, which manages the program, attempts to facilitate the growth of startups in Louisiana by connecting them with industry experts and investors.
The firms all focus on a niche within the energy market. Cleargistix is one of the firms in the program, and it focuses on providing software for field ticketing and workflow approval. The software is an efficient alternative to the typical processes which are normally done on paper. However, Cleargistix CEO Steven Toups notes that it can be difficult to persuade companies to change the way they do something.
“Our biggest competition is two things: paper and the way things have always been,” Toups said, according to NOLA.com. “People hate to change.”
Another of the firms in the program, L&M Environmental Response, is focused on helping companies become compliant with new EPA rules. The company’s founders, Margo Moss and Lee Lemond, are creating an app called NVIROleaks, which will measure methane gas emissions from pipelines and wells. Concerns of climate change have prompted environmental agencies, such as the EPA, to create new compliance standards for emissions. Companies with innovative, efficient products like NVIROleaks will be vital to the longevity of oil and gas companies.
Haring Laboratories, another company in the ENERGYx program, also focuses on emission reductions. Chris Haring, the company’s founder, is an electrical engineer who developed hydrogen systems that will improve engine efficiency and reduce emissions. Haring claims his systems can reduce an engine’s carbon emissions by 40 to 80 percent.
In addition, program participant Offshore Exchange, founded by Brittan Breaux, is attempting to streamline the management of logistics for offshore oil and gas companies. Breaux created a platform that serves as a marketplace and logistics manager for offshore oil and gas services. Breaux plans to enable a feature that will allow companies to share on logistics purchases. This feature should maximize efficiency by reducing the overall cost incurred by one individual company.