Skylar Bagdon, Founder, Power Scavengers

WHO? Skylar Bagdon

ROLE: Skylar is the Co-founder and CEO of Power Scavengers, an alternative energy company. “We’re trying to empower the individual,” explains Skylar. “The hole that we saw in the quest for sustainable energy is that an individual person had very little control over how they were powering their daily technology. The goal of Power Scavengers is to passively use the energy that’s already around us everyday to provide a source of power that’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

Power Scavengers has four prototypes as of today. “Last April, myself and the team all drove down to a friend’s house in New Hampshire. He has a 3D printer, and we stayed up for three days straight, no sleep, to design this belt that produces electricity from walking. By Monday we built a prototype that produced over 100x more electricity than other devices designed to use walking as a power source (such as piezoelectric generators).”

Skylar recalls April of 2018 when the idea first began: “It started when I was studying environmental engineering at UVM, and I got a research grant to do some research on passive energy harvesting. I recruited George Philbrick, who is currently studying electrical engineering, as well as Adam Hookway, who’s in the National Guard and studying mechanical. And Evan Greenwald, who graduated from the engineering program and was the head of the entrepreneurship club.”

BIGGEST WIN IN 2018: “We went down to Entrepreneurship for All, a pitch competition in MA. We pitched against a number of other sustainably-minded companies, and we managed to win two different awards. We won an overall award, and best by popular opinion. That was really meaningful to me because our pitch wasn’t just about the numbers, it was about the change that we were trying to see.”

HOW? Skylar attributes their success to the willingness of the community in Burlington to share information and expertise. “As soon as I started reaching out to people, everyone was so accessible and willing to talk, even though (looking back), I had no idea what I was talking about,” Skylar laughs. “People made me and my team feel like our ideas were valid and that we had the ability to achieve it”

Skylar & THE FUTURE: “In the short term, we’re going to be running a crowdfunding campaign. The timeline isn’t completely nailed down yet, but it’s most likely going to be through Indiegogo. That’s going to be an absolutely massive step for us. Crowdfunding allows us to validate our hypotheses about who would want our product.”

“In the long term, we are genuinely trying to change the way people relate to energy. It’s never created nor destroyed. It’s always around us. Changing the public perception to realize that the potential for harvesting energy from around us is only limited by our imagination.”

BEST EATS: “I’m a huge fan of Willow’s, it’s more of a breakfast place, but I love Willow’s and I love Feldman’s. I’m a bagel guy…” Skylar explains. “I gotta be real, most of my lunches are from that vending machine over there,” he laughs. “Early stages of a start-up, I mean I don’t exactly have a lot of extra cash, and sometimes those peanut-butter pretzels really hit the spot.”

FUN: “I genuinely find this work really enjoyable and really fun, but I love to get outside, I’m a huge skier, I like to hike, and go biking. I love music, I go to concerts and play the ukulele and sing.”