Alphabet Energy Appoints Lean Startup Expert Eric Ries To Strategic Advisory Board

Early-stage company with breakthrough waste-heat-to-power technology applies lean startup principles to shape strategic marketing decisions.

SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet EnergyInc., maker of thermoelectric materials for waste-heat recovery, has named Eric Ries to its strategic advisory board. Mr. Ries, a successful entrepreneur, has extensive experience helping startups make better, faster business decisions by applying a rigorous methodology, called the Lean Startup, to product development and customer identification. The appointment comes at an ideal moment for Alphabet Energy, which is engaging with customers as it executes its first pilot installations.

Eric Ries is the author of the popular blog Startup Lessons Learned and the creator of the Lean Startup methodology. He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup, which has more than 40 million users and 2009 revenue of over $22 million. An entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School and a frequent speaker at business events, he advises startups on business and product strategy using the Lean Startup approach. He is also the author of a forthcoming book, The Lean Startup, which will be published by Crown Business in September 2011, and in which Alphabet Energy is profiled as a cleantech example of a company establishing its product-market fit.

"We're really thrilled that Eric has agreed to help guide our product strategy as we continue to explore strategic marketing opportunities," said Matt Scullin, Alphabet's CEO and founder. "Alphabet's problem is not finding customers, it's finding the ones that will get us to market and scale quickest. By applying lean methodologies-with a few tweaks to make it compatible with customers of energy and industrial equipment-the Alphabet team has come up with a product that we believe has high marketability, and we've differentiated ourselves significantly as a result."

"What Silicon Valley has proved, time and time again, is that it takes more than building a better widget to attain commercial viability," said Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup. "Matt and the team at Alphabet Energy have taken an innovative approach that enables them to iterate quickly through product development, going much faster than is typical for their industry. This has led to many opportunities to optimize their product for a variety of target industries. I look forward to working together to find an accelerated path to product-market fit and the optimum go-to-market strategy."

Alphabet Energy's first product, currently in prototyping, is a simple, turnkey solution for the generation of electricity from wasted heat. Alphabet's goal is to become the leader in the potential $100 billion global market for products that convert medium- to high-grade waste heat into electricity, now part of an existing $75 billion/year market for energy efficiency and a $6 billion/year market for industrial equipment. The company is planning to deploy waste-heat-to-electricity generators that utilize exhaust gas as an energy source.

What are thermoelectrics?
>Thermoelectric materials are semiconductors that, when placed in a temperature gradient, generate electricity in the solid state-like solar panels for heat. Alphabet's breakthrough thermoelectrics can be used to turn heat directly into electricity in applications such as metals refining, cement and glass production, power generation, automotive, aerospace, and military. The company's proprietary, all-silicon thermoelectric technology is currently the sole approach coming to market that can lend itself to massive scale, utilizing abundant materials and existing, inexpensive manufacturing know-how. The output range of power generation from Alphabet's products can be from microwatts to megawatts.

About Alphabet Energy Inc.
Alphabet Energy is commercializing breakthrough, inexpensive waste-heat recovery products based on technology developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Alphabet aims to offer the most modular and scalable heat-recovery technology available, and to tap into the potential $100 billion market for the conversion of medium- and high-grade waste heat into electricity - offsetting as many as 500 million metric tons of carbon per year. Alphabet Energy won four awards at the 2009 Cleantech Open business competition: runner-up, National Prize; winner, National People's Choice Award; winner, California region Energy-Efficiency Prize; winner, California region Sustainability Prize. For more information, see and @alphabetenergyon Twitter.