Bright Lights, Deep Waters

March 27, 2001
Send to a friend Share RSS Facebook Twitter

Initial Air Date: March 27, 2001

Sailor/Scientist David Green helms a small company called Carmanah. A few years back, Dave invented a solar powered LED light for use on highways, buoys, or any other remote spot that needs brightening. When Venture caught up to Dave in 1999 his company was making just enough sales to survive. But Dave has plans to make Carmanah a much bigger player. His invention is out front for now, but as LED technology evolves, Dave sees his space being invaded by other solar powered contenders. There are even threats from inside, as a former employee is launching another version of a solar powered marine marker light.

So, to act fast and stay ahead in the market, Dave goes looking for investment money. To park Carmanah out front in the wide world of solar powered lighting Dave needs to raise close to a million dollars. That money would be put to use for new product development and a lot more money would be spent on marketing initiatives. Dave’s initial investment meetings yield about 100 hundred thousand dollars – not quite enough to take over the world yet, but enough to start a growth strategy. His plan; hire seasoned VP’s of Marketing and Engineering to drive sales and head product development.

Unfortunately, as the year progresses, investment infusions trickle to a stop. With no major money looming, Dave’s plans for expansion are shelved. With no room to grow, his high powered management team leaves the company. Carmanah survives – barely, on sales and sheer energy.

Six long months grind by before we hear much from Dave.

In March 2000, we catch up with Dave on a road trip to Groton, Connecticut. The United States Coast Guard is interested in testing Carmanah lights for a possible purchase. Although the Coast Guard’s initial sales are quite small, the cachet of a USCG approval guarantees credibility in the nautical market all over the world.

By Summer of 2000, Carmanah’s future appears to be brightening. Turns out Dave won a lawsuit against that former employee, one competitor was removed from the market. And better yet, Dave finally raised about a half million dollars. For the first time there was money to spend on marketing, and Carmanah parted with about 17 thousand dollars to bring in distributors from around the world. Dave’s marketing mission was to motivate the sellers to double sales for the following year.

But there was another very important reason Dave had called his entire distribution network together. He wanted the sellers to come face to face with the folks back at the manufacturing plant, especially the guy who’s in charge. But as introductions continued, Dave had a surprise announcement, he was stepping down as company head, and bringing in a new face to run Carmanah.

Art Aylesworth was taking over Dave’s duties. This signaled the move Carmanah was making from the start-up engineering and technology phase to the worldwide marketing phase. The product was built and proven – now it was time to really move Carmanah from small sales to the multi-million dollar range, and Dave just wasn’t as comfortable captaining Carmanah into that stage. His replacement, Art had successfully run a 20 million dollar audio visual company.

When last we saw Dave, he was happily ensconced in a new office. He’s now heading the Intellectual Property Division of Carmanah – he’s the Research Manager. Carmanah’s growing steadily, plans are to go public in the summer of 2001. Dave’s hard at work creating a new round of inventions.


Dr. David Green

Carmanah Technologies Inc.