Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Us

So much has been happening at SunPort – and YOU have helped make it so. Just this month we were named Consumer Electronic Association’s Start-up of the Year! The annual event recognizes tech companies from all over the world. Everyone seems to be talking about SunPort – from Albuquerque Biz Journal to Forbes – and as usual our loyal Twitter and Facebook followers are taking notice and sharing the great stories.

#1 in Forbes!

Yes, with the holidays just around the corner Forbes is beginning to publish lists of tech-related things to buy (plus the excuses we make for buying them). We are pleased to report the SunPort was #1.

Want to read the whole Biz Journal and Forbes articles? By the way, it’s ok to share!

A Fitbit for Your Power Cord


How SunPort is like your fitness tracker

Last Christmas I was given a fitness tracker (there are many on the market by Fitbit, Garmin, Nike and others), and it changed my approach to exercise! Suddenly I was aware of how many steps I took each day, and even got a little buzz on my wrist to let me know I was close – oh so close! – to the magical 10,000 steps. How does that little doohickey know how much I walk or how well I sleep? It uses smart technology to track my energy output. Then, it lets me know how I’m doing through an app on my phone.

Well, SunPort uses the same sort of technology to track electric usage. And, like your fitness tracker, it can change your life! How does it work? Anything plugged into an enabled SunPort consumes solar energy without requiring any additional steps or expenditure. SunPort does this by measuring the power from the wall, just as your exercise is measured by that tracker on your wrist, and automatically matching it against solar fed into the grid elsewhere, thereby rendering all the power used as solar consumption.

Soon you can take our device, plug it in anywhere, and the smartphone app will connect wirelessly, enabling you to directly see your energy consumption and accumulated solar use. See how that works? Just like your fitness tracker!

We are also working on social features that will allow you to see the impact of your solar usage and compare it to the SunPort community as a whole. Personally, I hope the app lets me compete with friends and tweet about it! Maybe it will even let me monitor the sources of solar and learn about new projects the SunPort community has funded? Through technology we can all get in shape – and help the Earth get healthier, too.

Pope Francis’ Call to Action on the Environment


Environmentalists all over the world are rejoicing after Pope Francis issued a strong statement on climate change. His message was clear: we can no longer ignore the science. We are all residents of this planet and each one of us has the obligation to unite and make a difference in whatever way we can. The Pope called on religious leaders to take a stance and build strategies before it is too late.

“Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth.”

At SunPort, we support this message and have a vision: making solar energy so compelling, easy and affordable that people overwhelmingly select it as a lifestyle choice, leading to a better solar powered future for all of us.

We empower ordinary people to impact the type of energy our country consumes, to help speed our shift to renewable sources of power. We put the power of choice in people’s hands and help them share their choice with others. We promote solar in all forms while removing barriers that have held people back from using it. We give back to the communities that make this possible, and especially to those who have the least access to sustainable energy. We help fund new solar for great causes through ReChoice. We believe in caring for creation and in stewardship of the gifts that we have received.

We believe that Pope Francis would agree.

3 Reasons Elon Musk Should Know Us


We all know Elon Musk (He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity). But, does Elon Musk know us? No, not yet, but he should! Here are the Top 3+ Reasons SunPort should be on his radar:

#1 We agree on math problems.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Battery + SolarCity’s Solar Systems = Clean Energy Future
SunPort smart plug + You plugging into solar = Clean Energy Future

#2 We say the same things.

Mr. Musk has developed technology that he says will “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.”
Paul Droege and his team have developed technology that they say will “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.”

#3 We are all sun-worshippers.

Musk: “We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun. You don’t have to do anything, it just works—shows up every day and produces ridiculous amounts of power.”
SunPort: Ditto.

Bonus #4

Make that four reasons – after your risk-taking stunt this past weekend I can’t help but think we should meet. Just like you, we’re extreme risk-takers. And if it takes me strolling on top of a plane going 130MPH for the world to know how amazing and disruptive the SunPort is… well, challenge accepted.

So, Mr. Musk, give us a call some day. We have a lot in common!

Sunshine Powered by Solar

Today we make a special announcement in collaboration with indie hip-hop label Rhymesayers. Atmosphere is releasing a music video for their most popular song, “Sunshine”, and they used 62 SunPort Betas to make it.

Truth be told, I cried. Yes, I cried and that was from just seeing the teaser (I’ll watch the full video with the rest of the world on Thursday)! Just to see people adopting our technology, something that we believe in… We hope that SunPort helps people use solar for lots of amazing things – events powered by solar, art powered by solar, cooking powered by solar, blogging powered by solar… I guess what I want more than anything is for people to know this: no matter your age, where you live, if you own a home, or if you are a student, you to can be solar now. No one ever told me that I had a choice where my energy came from. We grow up plugging and never thinking about where the energy on the other side of that outlet comes from. But now choice is easy. You and I can plug in and contribute to a cleaner world. Just imagine if everyone else joins us.

Thank you Atmosphere and Rhymesayers for being the first. I’ve been a fan, but I can tell you this, you just made fans of a bunch of 50 year olds.

Enjoy the teaser and stay tuned for the full video on Thursday.

Whitehouse Plans to Increase Solar Energy Production


Currently, solar power accounts for less than 1% of US energy use. The Whitehouse wants to change that, and we agree! As pollution standards for fossil fuels tightens, the need and desire for alternatives is growing.

We applaud President Obama’s recent plan to offer clean energy to those with limited access. Renters, low-income workers, students and retirees often want to be part of the sustainability movement but lack the ability and funds.

The Whitehouse proposal includes $520 million in new capital from local governments and foundations, as well as social impact investors, to expand solar panels on low-income housing and promote community solar panels placed on public property. AmeriCorps workers will be tapped to install the solar in low-income areas.

We think another great idea would be for the federal government to partner with SunPort. Imagine if all those who want to access solar energy were able to plug in and use the sun for power wherever they are, we could kick up that 1% higher than ever expected.

Kickstarter Sneak Peek

Get ready because SunPort is coming to Kickstarter Tuesday, July 28. Soon you too can plug into solar power, and we can all do something about these guys.

Never Too Old


Recently, I visited with my Aunt Ethel on the occasion of her 98th birthday. After the lunch conversation and presentation of flowers, she asked what I have been doing. I was happy to tell her about writing for a company working on solar energy and figured that would be the end of the topic. How wrong I was! The rest of our visit went something like this:

A.E.: What kind of solar company is it?
Me: Well, to tell you the truth, it’s a completely new concept in delivering solar power.
A.E.: How does it work?
Me: You put this special plug into an outlet, and it records your energy usage. Then it automatically matches the energy you use with solar credits. You can take the plug anywhere with you. You can use as many plugs in your house as you want.
A.E.: That’s unique! Where does the power come from?
Me: (Really warming to the topic) The solar energy can be generated anywhere. In fact, this company has a partner that puts solar panels on the roofs of non-profits who then benefit by receiving some free energy. They can also purchase energy from utilities or other solar generators.
A.E.: (Totally understanding this concept) My word! So, you can have solar power without panels on your roof?
Me: (Completely amazed at this sharp-as-a-tack 98 year old) You’ve got it! Our cousins in Washington can get solar energy even though they hardly have sunshine.
A.E.: Well, this is a whole new idea! How wonderful! I could even use it.

I’m thinking that I know what to get Aunt Ethel for Christmas – a SunPort that she can use at the retirement community to charge her power scooter!

SunPort Rebranding – New Look, Same Mission


We have good news for you, our followers! As we prepare to launch our kickstarter we are rebranding as SunPort. Don’t be confused. We are the same people, driven by the same vision. This new brand brings our vision one step closer to reality.

Q. What motivated this change?
A. People who don’t know us were confused by our hodgepodge of product names and brand identities. Before we could launch a kickstarter campaign, we needed a single brand and a single message that anybody can understand and remember.

Q. Why are you launching the SunPort, not a different product?
A. The SunPort gives everybody plug-in solar access. It can be seen and held. It can be taken anywhere and shown to friends and strangers alike. It can be used even if you don’t have a utility bill. It can be given as a gift without breaking the bank. We think SunPort is a product that can fundamentally change the way people think about energy.

Q. Why are you launching on Kickstarter?
A. SunPort is about empowering the crowd, so launching on a crowdfunding site just makes sense. Kickstarter gives us the opportunity to connect with people who want to be part of our beginning and grow with us. If you have never backed a kickstarter, you really should try because it is very different from simply buying something online. Go to their site, find a project you like, and spend a couple dollars to help make a creative project possible – with Kickstarter you become part of a launch, part of a cause.

Q. What are your next steps?
A. The campaign launch is almost here. We are planning to send our first email blast tomorrow and will be inviting a select group of people to preview our kickstarter page later this week. Based on the feedback we receive, we expect to make a few final tweaks before opening it up to the press and general public late this month.

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LEAKED: 5 Theories About the Origins of the SunPort Name


1) It’s an acronym – S.U.N.P.O.R.T. – standing for ‘Solar Use Not Panels On Roof Tops’. We want people to focus on the goal, not the hardware that gets us there.

2) As a startup we wanted to pay tribute to our local history, so we named it after the Albuquerque International Airport – the Sunport.

3) We considered many names: SunAdapter, SunBox, SunCube, SunDevice, SunEgg… but by the time we got to ‘P’ we had run out of creativity.

4) SunPort is the world’s first ‘portable’ solar access point! Our marketing consultants told us the name had to refer to this feature.

5) The founder liked Star Trek, and his son liked Pirates of the Caribbean, so they went with a sort of ‘interstellar piratey’ theme for their traffic in Joules.

*None of these theories are 100% historically accurate.
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