Blog: On the Eve of our Fifth CEDIA
August 10, 2017
Starting our fifth successful year thanks to you, our CEDIA partners.
After selling a successful business venture in 2005, I became interested in battery technology. As an engineer living Florida, I began to research how batteries could help solve the problem of the decaying grid system and protect against irregular power issues that plague households and destroy electronics. That research inspired me, and my business partners Mario Bottero and Marco Lorenti, to create RoseWater Energy Group, which officially launched the Energy Management HUB in 2013.
Fast forward to August 2017, and here we are finalizing details on our booth and presentations for CEDIA 2017 in San Diego. While we are trying hard not to drive our marketing agency, Marketing Matters, completely crazy, planning for CEDIA is complex, with many moving pieces. This year will mark our fifth year at CEDIA, although it seems like only yesterday that we began this company. To celebrate our success, and presence at CEDIA, it seems fitting to take a trip down memory lane.
Prior to our first CEDIA – CEDIA 2013 – I contacted Marketing Matters, a marketing agency specializing in the tech industry and a group I have had years of experience with, and said that I wanted their personal feedback on a product idea. We had already committed to attending CEDIA 2013 and were planning to attend the show with a very rough (and now looking back, embarrassingly so) prototype. That show provided us with enough positive feedback to move forward with our venture. Next, we hired an engineering firm to begin to formalize our feature set and design, with the hopes of having a product for CEDIA 2014 in Denver.
The following year, CEDIA 2014, was a disaster in many ways but it was a monumental learning experience. The prototype of our Energy Management HUB was damaged in transit. With the help of the folks at Marketing Matters, we were able to hide the damage and make the unit presentable. We learned that what we were trying to accomplish was not simple to engineer, and it was even more difficult to ship. Most importantly, we learned that the CEDIA community had a very high degree of interest in the type of product we were trying to build. So, we continued to move forward, and because of the problems we encountered, we began searching for a better engineering firm and a high-quality manufacturer.
CEDIA 2015 proved to be a great event for RoseWater. Finally, we had a product line, the HUB 10 and the HUB 20, that we had fully developed. We debuted a new booth, that in my humble opinion, was stunning. A month prior to CEDIA 2015, we had completed the first installation of the HUB 20, taking place at Boca Theater and Automation and the initial reactions were very favorable. With the first installation complete, we had decided not to deliver any additional products until the HUB 20 was in the field for at least six months. The reaction at the show was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, we learned that if we provided a high-quality, professional installation service, it would facilitate the sale of such a complex, high-voltage product in the channel. After the show, we went back to the drawing board to create an installation service, something we still use to this day, for dealers across the country.
Going into CEDIA 2016 in Dallas, we weren't certain we would be able to top the reaction we received at CEDIA the prior year. To our surprise, we were wrong. The RoseWater Energy Management Hub received the CEDIA Award for Best New Product of the Year. We felt like we had finally arrived. We had happy customers, even happier dealers, and, finally, industry recognition. What more could we ask for? More sales, of course.
We are grateful for the success and positive recognition we've received over the years. With CEDIA 2017 on the horizon, we will be introducing the latest addition to our product line, the HUB 120. Based on our dealer feedback, which we always welcome, we created the HUB 120. The HUB 120 is 40% smaller than the HUB 20, formerly known as the Energy Management HUB, while providing the same power and energy density as the Energy Management HUB. Our dealers have told us that grid tied is not very important to their customers, and to save space, we eliminated that feature from the HUB 120. As always, our building quality remains the same and we continue to provide high-quality, reliable solutions for residential and light-commercial needs. Visit us at CEDIA 2017 in San Diego to see our new product, the HUB 120, in our brand-new booth.
Finally, I want to say a sincere 'Thank you' to the CEDIA community for their feedback and support throughout this journey. It's been an interesting ride, and it will only continue to get better from here.
"Joe is a master at his craft," Paul said. "He knows way more than he needs to, and when he doesn't know something, he knows the guy who does. You can't ask for much more from someone in his position."
Once that relationship was solidified, and Solutions AVT made the decision to include the HUB in its projects, the Rosewater team provided expert guidance, starting with the design phase.
"This project is a marathon, not a sprint," Paul said. "Joe and the team get that and have been with us every step of the way."
That commitment to productive communication is a cornerstone of RoseWater's success, a fact that wasn't lost on Paul.
"There have been too many conference calls, emails and the like to count," he said. "All necessary, not just follow-up to follow up. When something needs to be done to move the project forward, it is always a simple "Yes, we can do that."
A system that just works. Imagine that.