Intellihot Green Technologies
Our story goes back about 12 years, when we were hired out of college to work at Caterpillar.
I was working in its tech solutions division when I met Siva, a Caterpillar colleague and my co-founder, at an Indian association function outside of work. One winter day in 2005, after returning from a vacation in India, I noticed that my basement was half-flooded. Our water heater had leaked, and overnight, the place turned into an emergency situation.
We immediately saw an opportunity to improve the water heater market. Today's models don't adequately address customer needs. For example, your current heater won't allow you to take a long shower when the dishwasher is on. For years, the two of us worked out of my basement after hours, creating a tankless water heater that uses 40 less gas than regular models.
We both left Caterpillar this year after the company started offering voluntary severance packages. It was a great place to work, offering us the time and resources to work on our side project at home, but the time had come to figure out how to convert our prototype into a commercial opportunity.
Besides offering a good quality of life, Peoria has a fairly close-knit community that's accepting of new folks and new ideas. In the past 10 years, the town has gone a long way to help attract people to this region. Though I do wish there were more ethnic restaurants ... -Maggie Overfelt
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