Where Are The Now – Get Started Rhode Island Winner Robert Baxter, General Partner of CBC LLC

CBC, LLC is a Rhode Island based company that solves problems for large-scale organizations. They have a unique emphasis on Transport Systems, creating new ideas and bringing them to market. They are especially known for helping clients to Harvest Their Wind.  Their wind equipment works in more places and is easier to permit than traditional wind turbines and their project expertise makes wind energy accessible to everyone. In September of 2015, CBC,LLC won cash and technology services from the Get Started Rhode Island pitch competition hosted by Cox Business and Inc. Magazine.

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We caught up with, to discuss the company’s progress since the big win.

Cox Business: How did the idea of CBC, LLC. come about? How has it changed or stayed the same?

Baxter: CBC was originally a consulting company and the genesis for our wind technology came when we were approached by an island resort to find a renewable source of energy that would not impinge on the neighbors or the ambiance of the island.  We saw that there was no solution, but enormous opportunity and developed the Hidden in Plain Sight Wind Energy System.  Over time, the company’s focus has shifted solely on wind energy.

Cox Business: Since winning Get Started, has your business seen any significant changes? For example, have there been any location/earnings/employee/investment changes?

Baxter: Since winning the 2015 Get Started competition, we have been working with the University of Rhode Island to secure proof of performance and validate our supply chain.  We completed our first pre-production unit in May.  It resides at the URI Narragansett Bay campus where its performance is being evaluated.  We expect to have finalized data and test reports this summer and begin selling.  We hope to have our first orders booked by the end of the year.

Cox Business: What makes the wind energy business an appealing industry in today’s society?

Baxter: Wind energy makes sense for a wide range of reasons. Most people think automatically of the environmental impact – wind energy promises energy production with no polluting by-products. But the benefits of wind energy go well beyond clean energy. For instance, wind energy can provide de-centralized power production and grid resiliency to make the grid more reliable in catastrophic storms or events. Wind energy allows firms to be more profitable by cutting their operating expense or generate incremental revenue.

Cox Business:  What are some obstacles that your company has faced as a new startup and how have you worked to overcome them?

Baxter: Our biggest obstacle has been to demonstrate performance to our early adopting clients. We are accomplishing that through a project with the University of RI by building and testing a preproduction unit which currently sits at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus. We expect to have a final test report from the URI team this summer and have begun selling. We continue to sign channel partners and hope to have our first orders booked this year.

Cox Business: If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out, what would it be?

Baxter: As far as advice – persistence.  Keep making forward progress.