Barrett Bilotta has raised hundreds of millions in capital for his energy company in the past year alone. Today, the company is in hyper-growth mode as they expand from the northeast into other parts of the country.
On the Dealmakers Podcast, Bilotta talked about building businesses in college, how the military prepares you for entrepreneurship, solar energy, and taxes as a profit center.He also discussed being one of the few companies out there growing their team this year.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Preparing For Entrepreneurship
Barrett Bilotta was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts.
From an early age he was involved in hockey as a goalkeeper. Something he says was instrumental in forging him to deal with the stress and environment he would later encounter as a business owner.
Coming from a long line of family members that served in the military, and having to find a way to cover his college tuition and degree in political science, he initially enlisted with the Coast Guard.
It seemed like a natural progression from his time in the boy scouts, and just a couple years after 9/11, a patriotic duty.
This transitioned into the National Guard and ROTC which offered a better deal for financing his college studies. On graduation, he was a commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army.
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Stint In The Army – A Learning Experience
The military also proved instrumental in preparing Bilotta for going into startups and business. He says that he learned systems, and how to get things done to complete whatever mission they were given.
He also learned how to listen to senior people with more experience, but then have the authority to direct his own team, and bring together people from all types of backgrounds to get things done.
Additionally, he learned how to get into a good daily cadence, and still be able to take on the new and unexpected things that are going to get thrown at you, while staying cool, calm, and collected in the process. Ultimately, to just grab the bull by the horns and tackle it.
During college, he had begun acquiring properties around the University of New Hampshire to rent out as student housing. Even though interest rates were 13%, it was the heydays of the subprime loan boom, and mortgages were easy to get. This provided him with additional income during these years.
After college, Barrett joined two friends in a tech startup. While it didn’t end up panning out exactly the way they planned, they were able to sell the company, and it led him to meet Ken Rubin, who is his business partner today.
His big takeaway from this first startup experience is to have a clear vision and strategy. Especially as a software company, they found clients always requesting new features and integrations. Being able to differentiate between what is really urgent versus important for the business is critical.
He also learned how not all capital is the same and to find investors that can bring a lot more value than just money. Everyone has money. Look for those that can add more guidance or other benefits. He says that could have made all the difference in the ultimate outcome of that venture.
In fact, while he describes the motivation, passion, and excitement of new things as a strength of entrepreneurs, some of his top advice for others today is to avoid that shiny object syndrome.
To beware of the double edged sword that it can be. You’ve also got to be disciplined and focused, rather than bouncing around.
After that first venture, Ken and Barrett teamed up to expand on his previous experience in real estate. That in turn translated into the redevelopment of a 225,000 square foot property in downtown Durham, NH. That development company, Madbury Capital, continues to thrive in that space.
However, when they were approached to lease their roof for solar, they found a whole new business.
Solar programs and initiatives were coming out, and new energy mandates were becoming law.
As they began researching and diving into the solar space, they found it more and more compelling. There was a lot of synergy with what they were doing in real estate development. A lot of crossover in the process, and an area in which they already had a lot of experience.
So, now with Agilitas Energy, they have moved into selling kilowatt hours instead of renting apartments or commercial space.
They’ve gone even further today in trading energy, and helping grids become more smooth and sustainable – which is no small problem given the huge push towards everything electric.
Going beyond New England, they’ve begun going national with a new project in Texas. The company is also planning to nearly double their team size this year to keep up with their business that has seen revenues rise by 400% a year.
Raising Funding For Agilitas
2022 was a big year for Agilitas Energy, with even more emphasis on moving to clean energy, and pressure on many companies to gain tax credits, resulting in a huge raise of $350M.
Storytelling is everything which is something that Barrett Bilotta was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- How Agilitas Energy is building the infrastructure of tomorrow’s clean energy
- Picking the right investors for your startup
- All the employment they are creating in the process