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Startup Stories: ReVert Technologies Offers AI-Powered Energy Conservation

Ryan Li and Joseph Lybik

In this series, we talk to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups.

Venture: ReVert Technologies creates gadgets that help make electronic devices more energy efficient. ReVert’s debut product, the Teak Smart Cube, is a charging outlet boosted by artificial intelligence that implements energy conservation and carbon reduction schedules on plugged-in electronic devices. It also recommends energy efficiency upgrades and e-waste recycling.

Founders: Ryan Li ’19 and Yale College alumnus Joseph Lybik ’20

What was the moment when you had the idea for this startup?

Our original idea was to leverage the batteries in electric-powered lawn mowers to create energy storage devices for professional landscapers. As research, we actually followed landscapers from Yale Facilities around while they cut the lawns on campus. But along the way, we pivoted and ended up developing the technology and business framework for ReVert and its debut product, the Teak Smart Cube outlet.

What’s the problem you’re trying to solve or the gap that you’re trying to fill?

Pushing the power button on devices does not necessarily stop energy usage. Often, devices go into standby and continue to draw power 24/7. While the energy leech on an individual device is small, aggregating over many devices and long periods of time, it represents up to 10% of a household’s electricity bill, as well as 25 gigawatts of wasted power and 44 million metric tons of carbon emissions nationwide each year. Existing solutions tend to put the burden on users to unplug their devices. Combine this with the fact that the tangled mess around rectangular power strips has been around for three decades without much upgrade. We thought we had a good case for an AI-enabled solution that could save energy, emissions, and look sleek in a home.

What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to your startup?

People: mission-driven individuals who have believed in our vision and helped us make a difference. We owe how far we’ve come to the professors, alumni, and business leaders who mentored us at Yale SOM, CBEY, and Tsai CITY. Special acknowledgement should also go to the many Yalies who dedicated their time and talent to building this product. Chief among them is Amandeep Heyer ’22, a current Yale College computer science major.

What’s the biggest milestone your startup has hit since graduation?

We just completed and tested our final prototype, both the hardware and software. With 500 users on the waitlist, we are contracting a manufacturer to do the first production run and simultaneously preparing a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart the community.