founder

Founder Profile: James Wagoner of Joule Case

Introduction

Music concerts are an exciting way to get together with friends and show support for musicians. Many of these events are powered by diesel generators, though. These generators tend to be expensive, high-maintenance, and emit harmful fumes. Fortunately, there are cheaper, safer power sources available.

Joule Case has developed a clean, eco-friendly, simple battery power system for a variety of needs. Joule Case batteries can be stacked, so consumers never need to buy a new generator when their power needs increase or decrease. We reached out to co-founder and CEO James Wagoner to hear more about the company’s experience with COVID-19.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

In your own words, how would you describe Joule Case?

James Wagoner

Joule Case is building the product platform to solve all of your temporary, emergency, and backup power applications. Our initial go-to-market was music festivals and events, and this is a great example of the value of our platform. Food and catering, ticketing, site lighting, merchandise, and the main stage all have very unique and different power and energy profiles. The Joule Case product platform is currently solving for all of them.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

James Wagoner

The transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Alex and I have been working together on batteries for over a decade and are very excited to help facilitate additional applications of clean energy.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

James Wagoner

Alex Livingston and I met freshman year of college in mechanical engineering class. We then started an electric vehicle battery swapping company right after college and discovered we make an excellent startup team. Since then, we have been looking for the best talent to fill individual roles. Our COO, Pete Anewalt, came highly recommended from our network, and his wealth of experience in startups and building processes has been invaluable. We knew that in order to build the best battery platform, we needed the best battery engineers and were able to convince Apple’s lead battery engineer, Dave DeMuro, to leave Apple and join Joule Case.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

How is Joule Case transforming the modular power/battery industry?

James Wagoner

Joule Case is making battery systems the compelling and easy choice for all of your power needs.

Temporary, backup, and emergency power is dirty, complicated, and expensive. Gas and diesel generators are not an option for our clean energy future. Battery systems are typically fixed, complicated, and expensive. Joule Case focuses on the applications technology to make battery systems easy, elegant, and accessible.

In short, Joule Case’s stackable technology means each power application has the ideal amount of battery power, so there is no over- or under-sizing. Traditional battery systems in the market are onesize and as a result are too big, expensive, or small for most applications.

Joule Case has also patented several unique power delivery technologies, so the platform can provide the unique voltage and amperage for camping, tailgating, food trucks, facilities, and stages. This makes Joule Case the easy choice to use for all your power applications.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

James Wagoner

In a single word: versatility. Joule Case has the products and technology to solve for all temporary, portable, and backup power needs. Competitive battery systems have developed large, expensive, and complicated battery systems that are fixed and inflexible.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Who is your target customer and what is your go-to-market strategy?

James Wagoner

We have been focused on selling to events and music festivals since the Joule Case technology and product is a compelling choice for all of their various power needs. With COVID and events going away, we pivoted to sell to consumers, home backup, construction, and food trucks. Despite events going away for over a year, we doubled our sales with just the preliminary outreach to these new markets and proved we are a compelling solution for them as well. With events coming back, we are now focused on delivering for these large strategic event customers in the immediate term but have proven Joule Case already has a customer base beyond the large music festival and event industry.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

How do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

James Wagoner

Joule Case will expand our product and manufacturing options to serve the large music festival and event customers we have engaged with. We currently have the capability to produce 500 units a month. This investment round will scale manufacturing to the capacity of more than 4000 units a month.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

James Wagoner

Joule Case has the product, patents, team, and customers to be at the forefront of the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy. Gas and diesel generators are surprisingly a large part of the electrical and energy infrastructure that is no longer an option in the Clean Revolution.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

James Wagoner

Joule Case has developed an exciting patent, product, and customer portfolio that will be exciting for many different types of acquiring companies. Companies such as Amazon, Siemens, Eaton, Google, Apple, Fortive, Kohler, and CAT all have products and customers who need reliable power from either the failing electrical grid or from diesel generators. We continue to be open to these acquisition opportunities and believe we have a company that will continue to be an attractive acquisition for large strategic companies.

We look forward to seeing where James and his team take the company. Joule Case is currently raising on Wefunder.

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About: Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Léa is passionate about impact investing and sustainability. Prior to KingsCrowd, she worked for Stanford’s accelerator, StartX, helping to select the most promising entrepreneurs. She also led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. In her free-time, she volunteers to help entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Brazil and Colombia. Léa holds a degree in Anthropology from France and is currently enrolled in the UC Davis MBA program.

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