Picasolar to present in national startup showcase

by The City Wire staff (info@thecitywire.com) 5 views 

Fayetteville-based Picasolar was selected from hundreds of startups across the country to present at the SXSW Eco’s Startup Showcase, an entrepreneurial pitch competition held Oct. 6-7, in Austin, Texas.

“We are excited to be a part of this event which attracts innovators, investors and enthusiasts from around the globe. We have been able to greatly accelerate our progress over the past twelve months by leveraging the SunShot Incubator and we look forward to sharing our venture at SXSW Eco,” said Douglas Hutchins CEO of Silicon Solar Solution, sister company to PicaSolar.

Picasolar’s focus is on technology for N-type solar cells that it hopes to manufacture in Arkansas.

The Startup Showcase, now in its third year, is a rapid-fire pitch competition spotlighting innovative early stage companies in the areas of greentech, cleanweb and social impact.

Finalists in these categories were selected out of a pool of hundreds of applicants from around the world and will compete at SXSW Eco in front of a live audience and panel of Judges from companies the likes of Target, Shell Technology Ventures, the Whole Planet Foundation, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Sprint.

In the past two years, participating companies would raise more than $27 million in funding and acquire global brands as clients.

Hutchings said the timing couldn’t be better as his startup venture continues its capital raising campaign. He said closing the funding round is taking longer than he had hoped.

“We are working through the details with top-notch folks inside and outside Arkansas and anticipate it being finalized before the next update,” Hutchings said.

Picasolar recently recruited Rick Schwerdtfeger as its new chief operating officer “who has successfully executed our business model in an adjacent industry,” according to Hutchings. He said the startup continues to look for talent to add to its small team.

“We are starting to run into resource restraints to take advantage of all the opportunities that have arisen due to the progress above. We have had to focus on the highest priority partnerships and avoid spreading ourselves too thin,” Hutchings said.