UBC: What would it mean to you and to your business to win the UMaine Business Challenge?
Tory: Bio-Remediation is entering into a well-known market with technology and returns that seem unreal. Winning this competition would provide an initial entry capital and notoriety; both of which will draw investors to this project that I feel would be very hard for me to gain aside from winning this competition. For me, winning this competition would mean a substantial decrease in the amount of time it will take to supply affordable renewable energy in an area that desperately needs it.
UBC: You have many challenges on your road to entrepreneurship and to conquer these will inevitably take hard work and dedication. With that in mind, what is the inspiration behind starting your own business?
Tory: I have always been interested in alternative energy, but childhood dreams of gluing solar panels over my house quickly met reality as I grew and learned of the issues and expenses related to solar power. My interests persisted nonetheless, into adolescence as I learned of wind power and water turbines but once again each iteration of excitement over a new technology brought about a subsequent letdown as I learned of its limitations. I determined, however, to make it a lifelong hobby to find a source of energy that I could install and reap the benefits of without having to commit to a constant cycle of maintenance. Just last year, I happened upon a fairly old source of renewable energy and followed the cycle of excitement, research, discovery of limitations which marked my earlier discoveries. But this time, rather than walk away disappointed and quickly finding the point of diminishing returns, I remained excited and resolute. I knew the problem that plagued this technology was autonomy, so I applied my other area of interest – technology and programming to forge a solution. I prepared a prototype design for the technology and now aspire to bring this dream to life.
UBC: Part of the mission of the UBC is to take Maine from 51 to 35 on best states for business. Why have you decided to start your business in Maine?
Tory: Maine has a special place in my heart. It has been home for most of my life. Because of its unique geography, Maine has an increasing need for inventive ways to heat and power our homes. This market that Maine uniquely provides will provide my company a foothold into the Alternative Energy market. Maine’s attraction, both aesthetically and economically, make it an ideal place to begin Bio-Remediation.
UBC: We love our Alma Mater, so we have to ask, what’s your favorite thing about UMaine?
Tory: My first week at UMaine, I was in a state of shock; it was so big! I couldn’t find anything. Stressed out, I wandered into what I thought was a commuter lounge, but soon realized to be a war-zone. Here, I found people arguing about political and social issues; all weighing in from different sides and backgrounds. Taken aback at first, I found myself eventually drawn into the conversation, and now this kind of social debate has to be my favorite thing about Umaine! I love that Umaine has created an environment where I can go and learn of other people’s point of view, and express my own.