About You and Your Work

Your bio:

My name is Erin K. Rothman. I am the CEO and founder of StormSensor Inc., a climate technology startup. I have 15 years of stormwater and environmental consulting experience working with cities across the United States. While working as a consultant, I recognized the need for modern and innovative data capture solutions to manage stormwater, which is an industry trapped in the last century. I later made the connection that, with the onset of increased flooding and sea level rise caused by climate change, smart stormwater management would be a crucial part of climate adaptation.

In 2015, I founded StormSensor and assembled an incredible and talented team to create intelligent stormwater infrastructure systems. Our goal is to help communities, no matter their economic standing, survive and thrive in our new era of climate adaptation by mitigating urban flooding and reducing vulnerabilities within our cities’ coastal, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

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Project name:

StormSensor

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One-line project summary:

Building intelligent stormwater and coastal systems to help protect cities against climate-induced flooding, storms, and sea level rise.

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Present your project.

Our cities were not designed for our new era of climate vulnerability. Many face existential risks in sea level rise, urban flooding, and coastal erosion, while being battered by more frequent and ferocious storms. Our cities need to act now, starting with their sewer and flood control infrastructure – our most important defense against climate impacts.

StormSensor is building high-density smart sensor networks to make real-time sewer data affordable, accessible, and actionable. Much like water, gas, and electric meters are cheap enough to put in every house, we want to meter the last unmetered utility. We help cities understand their underground backbones, confidently invest for the future, and adapt before livelihoods are irreparably harmed.

 Historically, the most vulnerable people—those in low-income communities and older, dense neighborhoods — are exposed to the greatest environmental risk. We will elevate humanity by making all communities safe places where people can thrive.

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What specific problem are you solving?

We address water infrastructure challenges brought by climate change. The major obstacle for cities is lack of data about how water moves underground. This data is critical for understanding how sewers perform during rain/flood events, and to quantify effects of sea level rise, tides, and coastal erosion. With this data, cities can target highest-value infrastructure investments, operate more efficiently, and respond during emergencies.

Current data practices are wholly insufficient to meet planning needs. Cities currently measure rain and stream levels at a few locations. Sometimes they rely on citizen reports. Computer flood models might be updated every decade, if at all. To act now, we need actual data from inside sewers – observing aboveground flooding is too late – and we need dense, real-time data across wide geographic areas.

Our cities are vulnerable now, and only becoming more so. In the U.S., damages from flooding and storms in the last decade totaled $500 billion and 90+ coastal communities already have chronic flooding. By 2100, 700+ communities and 13.1 million people in the U.S. could face regular inundation. Globally, 250 million people live on land within annual flood levels today, and by 2100 this number could increase to 630 million.

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What is your project?

StormSensor builds high-resolution sensor networks that provide real-time visibility into sewer and coastal infrastructure: think Google Traffic Maps for water. StormSensor networks are affordable and scalable across entire cities. Our analytical tools make this data actionable and accessible.

A few example applications: distinguishing between sewage and rainwater in sewers, tracking seawater intrusion in storm systems where it does not belong, and tracking rainstorms in real time to understand how water moves underground and where—and when!—it surfaces as urban flooding.

We work with cities to deploy dense StormSensor networks across their entire areas so they can track rains, storms, and tides over time to understand their new climate and weather conditions. During events, cities can respond in real-time to issues before they become emergencies and target response measures quickly. This data helps cities understand how their infrastructure performs and identifies high-risk areas for improvement and adaptation.

 This data is also crucial for providing flood insurance to vulnerable communities. Flood maps are thoroughly out of date – in Chicago, 90% of recent flood claims were outside the mapped 100-year floodplain. Flood insurance is a foundational part of resiliency as it makes post-flood recovery financially possible for affected communities.

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Who does your project serve, and in what ways is the project impacting their lives?

We are working in 12 cities across the U.S., including Detroit, Jersey City, Norfolk, Boston, Memphis, and Seattle. Most are situated on the East, Gulf, and West Coasts, the Great Lakes, or the Mississippi River. Each city has a different set of needs in a different priority order, so first and foremost we listen – after all, they are the experts in local issues. Our objective is to support their current projects as we improve our solution to help them solve their next set of problems.

While we primarily work with municipalities, we also engage at the grassroots level. Flooding is a deeply personal issue – homes and life treasures can be lost in floods. Jobs are lost when businesses are damaged and close. People get sick. Vulnerable populations have the least ability to adapt, recover, and even relocate from climate threats. Not every environmental justice project needs to be grand – resilience starts at the community level, such as through green infrastructure and home retrofits. For example, in Chicago, we have engaged with nonprofits and community groups to better understand issues on the ground, with the goal of supporting community-driven projects and later scaling up to the city level.

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Which dimension of The Elevate Prize does your project most closely address?

Elevating issues and their projects by building awareness and driving action to solve the most difficult problems of our world

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Explain how your project relates to The Elevate Prize and your selected dimension.

StormSensor’s challenge of building climate resilience exemplifies all three parts of our project dimension: building awareness, driving action, and solving the most difficult problems of our world. First, StormSensor is a data company. We exist to make critical infrastructure data a reality. Second, we design and build our product to make the data we gather actionable for cities – whether it is real-time alerts of tidal intrusions or providing the critical measurements needed to retrofit a neighborhood against sea level rise. Finally, climate response is among humanity’s greatest challenges in its immense scale, cost, and social risk.


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How did you come up with your project?

I spent 2014 in San Francisco. This is a year that I call my gap year (alternatives: the early midlife crisis, the deep thirties, the low-level existential crisis). I was going through a divorce, had recently sold my house in Seattle, and was trying to figure out how to spend the rest of my life. While I was good at my job as VP of an environmental consultancy, it did not make me fundamentally happy.

However, what did bring me joy was creating beauty and simplicity. I thought about my prior work and what made it frustrating, inefficient, expensive, and disheartening.  Because I am a scientist rather an artist, I remembered an idea I had years ago could allow me to create beauty and simplicity through science and engineering. This idea was to automate the workflow for stormwater monitoring, which I later realized could also help address climate change. I came home to Seattle and founded StormSensor in 2015, with the original goal of creating smart urban watersheds, and providing insights to cities about how their stormwater and sewer systems function and where they fail. Little did I know that was just the beginning of an incredible adventure.

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Why are you passionate about your project?

I have always been a nerd. I can watch life in a pond or a stream for hours. I was 8 years old the first time I realized the impact humans have on the planet. My mom took my sisters and me to “our field” to play on the big rock. It was a beautiful field full of many grasses, flowers, and all kinds of bugs. My favorite was milkweed because it supported monarch butterflies and their larvae and chrysalises. But that day, the rock was nowhere to be seen. Our field had been bulldozed. All that was left was a dead vole lying in the mud. Our field was gone and it could not be undone. 

As I grew up, I embraced my love of science and nature by becoming an environmental scientist. I realized our field was one symptom of a much bigger problem: we humans tend to lack awareness of our impact to the planet and concern regarding the risks. Climate change is the bulldozer to our planet’s water cycle, and what’s happened cannot be undone. As we adapt together, we need to start with water, the biggest risk of them all.

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Why are you well-positioned to deliver this project?

I have never been one to shy away from difficulties or impossibilities. I strive to find solutions. I am passionate about building community through science. I was VP of a local consulting company by the time I was 30, managing principal at an international consultancy, and founder of my own successful consultancy.

I am aware of my strengths and my weaknesses, and I surround myself with people who are smarter than me, and with different disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences. I spent the early part of my career (1) watching how leaders lead and (2) learning how to empower someone to change their own destiny through their work.

When I started StormSensor, I wanted to create a culture that inspires growth, inclusion, diversity, support, creativity, acceptance, and high expectations. Because cash is limited, I hired younger staff and brought in mentors for each of them. I also have mentors who help me become a better leader. And every one of us—engineers, scientists, analysts, developers—is driven to create a better planet and more resilient communities. We all recognize that actively managing our water and adapting our cities to a changing climate creates a greater chance for equality and health, both for humans and for our planet. 

I believe with my entire heart that building a team that you can trust, who shares your vision, and who you can rely on absolutely, especially in times of stress, means that you build a team who can and will do anything together. 

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Provide an example of your ability to overcome adversity.

It was March 23, 2020. I had worked on my Series A for the past seven months with a solid investor pipeline of $6M to close a $4.5M raise. However, COVID-19 was sweeping across the world. By the end of the week, all but two of our investors were gone. Payroll came due and I was short. I put everything left from my personal savings, but still three of my employees went without a paycheck.

Our lead investor said they would stick with us if we could meet new terms. I had to call each and every one of 50 noteholders with an ask to save StormSensor: I needed them to pay 25% more than they originally agreed. Amazingly, I received 99% concurrence. All this happened while I pitched endlessly to new potential investors across North America. 

Then we started getting commitments. We completed our first close of $1.5M on April 17, less than a month after I thought my world ended. Between our incredible investor network and the dedication of my team — we did this together. It was the most astonishing thing I have ever witnessed, and the greatest honor of my life to be a part of.

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Describe a past experience that demonstrates your leadership ability.

I do not enjoy talking about myself, so here goes. I wholeheartedly believe in doing the right thing, working hard, and persevering. Most importantly, I want to support the team on this journey with me. I really don’t think that I am doing anything particularly amazing – until I hear from those around me that this is exactly what makes me a leader that they trust and a founder that they want to see succeed.

During our emergency fundraising efforts during the pandemic, I experienced an incredible support network mobilize to help save the company. People I never expected came to advise me and connect me to new investors. I never realized before that the personal traits that some initially dismissed in me – inclusivity, supportiveness, humility, integrity, curiosity, openness to failure – were actually what helped me quietly build this network over the years, which later helped save my company.

Now I understand that my leadership is by example and by heart, and that is what makes me, and StormSensor, special. My deep investment, in both time and emotion, motivates my team and inspires those around us to go above and beyond to support us on our mission.

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How long have you been working on your project?

5 years

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Where are you headquartered?

Seattle, WA, USA
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What type of organization is your project?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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More About Your Work

Describe what makes your project innovative.

Flowmeters and stream gage networks are not new ideas. StormSensor is innovative because we are taking expensive hardware (flowmeters) and bringing the complexity and cost down to deploy at network scale, using modern technologies (cloud, AI, IoT) and capabilities outstripping traditional meters. We tackle the hardest problems in environmental monitoring – harsh underground conditions, building networks in busy urban streets, and keeping them deployed long-term. We sell our hardware at cost to solve the affordability problem, so we are disruptors for hardware incumbents. Complexity in purchasing and user experience is also characteristic of the municipal sector, so we are unique in our continuous striving for a delightful user experience.

We are also innovative through our real-time flow analytics and emphasis on AI tools. We are taking analyses previously reserved for expensive consulting studies and putting them at cities’ fingertips for daily use – examples include Tidal Deletions to intelligently detect and quantify tidal influences with a sewer pipe, as well as our upcoming release of DynamicFlow, which will simulate and replay storm events at city-block level to diagnose exactly what happened.

Finally, we are uncovering new advances in engineering thanks to the quantity of data we process. Many design equations in hydraulics are theoretical and we are discovering that they are not always representative of real-world conditions. In fact, our data leads us to suspect that current design practices drastically underestimate flows. This has significant implications to infrastructure planning. StormSensor has the potential to dramatically revolutionize how it is done.

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What is your theory of change?

Over the past decade, major hurricanes and extreme storm events wreaked havoc on urban areas throughout the US. In many cases, it was intense rainfall that brought urban areas to a standstill, overwhelming homes, businesses, and transportation arteries with floodwaters. Chronic coastal flooding is anticipated to increase as sea levels continue to rise. Economic impacts to homes, businesses, and cities total trillions of dollars. Flooding is also a deeply personal issue: homes are destroyed and jobs are lost when businesses are damaged and close. Vulnerable populations have the least ability to adapt, recover, and relocate from climate threats.

Climate change is happening and it’s too late to turn back. So our best bet is to adapt: to strengthen cities for resilience, and to identify and implement measures that effectively reduce flooding while protecting the communities’ residents from damages. From the field technicians who keep storm and sewer systems operational, to the stormwater engineers who design new capital projects, to the sustainability officers working within mayoral offices, and ultimately to each individual citizen: knowing that they are keeping their city safe through their efforts, and knowing that they are being kept safe: that flooding may continue but can be managed; that rains bring fresh water rather than sewage overflows; that tides may crash against shores as they always have, but without threatening homes.

To do this, our city planners and engineers need data to implement the changes that our cities need to build for climate resilience. If they know where a sewer backup will happen, they can prevent it. If they know that their systems were designed to handle faster flows, then they can target fixes to carry the extra water. If they know that one neighborhood suffers far more flooding than the next, they can prioritize fixes based on need. We have seen ourselves the process by which our customers’ eyes are opened to the possibilities from data-driven insights. But without the data, we can’t see what behaviors need to change. StormSensor provides the data, the insights, and the vision of what a city could be – right now.

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Select the key characteristics of the community you are impacting.

  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your project address?

  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Canada
  • United States
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How many people does your project currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Currently, we are serving over 1 million residents of the urban watersheds that we are actively monitoring. When including confirmed upcoming projects in the next 3 months, we will be serving 3.85 million people across the US.

In the next year, we want to deploy initial projects in 30+ cities across North America, primarily focused on the Gulf and East Coasts which have the greatest needs to combat sea level rise, and a secondary focus on Great Lakes, West Coast, and riverine cities and older cities with aged sewer system. With these projects we anticipate serving the urban watersheds of 10 to 20 million people.

In the next five years, we want to be deployed in 200+ cities. In the US, counties with coastline on the Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf Coasts are home to almost 100 million people . Understanding that we may not have 100% market penetration and adding in inland populations, we aim to serve approximately the urban watersheds of 100 million people in North America.   

 We also are looking to deploy in new geographies within the next five years, namely Europe and East and Southeast Asia, which have the most exposed populations to sea level rise – currently, over 70% of the population living on tidally-impacted lands right now are in just eight Asian countries. With denser cities in these two regions (for example, Singapore has a population of 5.5 million), we aim to serve a population of 15 to 25 million people from initial deployments.

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

In the next year, we want to help cities understand the gravity of their climate risks and shine the light of data to illuminate an achievable path forward to climate resilience. Some of our customers in Virginia and Florida already face harsh realities such as sunny day flooding. Alongside our coastal work, we are working within urban cores in areas of great economic stress. Our data – and how and to whom we present this data – will help drive the change that we need to see in our communities. Economic devastation is one thing; to suffer continual flooding only adds another layer of difficulty for those who have no other place to go.

 In the next five years, we want to be deployed in 200+ cities across North America and internationally, informing our customers’ climate adaptation decisions, with a focus on data, not demographics. We want to tell a story of how cities function; how strong cities thrive as a result of equal commitment for adaptation to all citizens, and how other cities have opportunities to do the same.

We hope our future successes inspire founders and investors alike in climate tech, by showing that it is possible to dreamers to pursue their crazy ideas and build successful businesses while making a global environmental impact with data – because the data will drive the change.

 Most of all, we hope that our work keeps people safe and homes protected, spreads equity across our communities, and builds resilience through adaptation.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Our immediate risk is with the pandemic-induced business cycle and investment landscape. Cities are facing dwindling revenue streams from sales taxes to utility ratepayers. Less revenues means less opportunity to pay for climate adaptation solutions, not to mention the reduced awareness and action around this issue. Communities are increasingly reliant on federal funding, which is uncertain, slow to disburse, and exposed to partisan political actions.

Raising capital is a major challenge; StormSensor was supposed to close our Series A round in mid-March, before we lost many potential investors when lockdowns started. I was able to successfully raise enough to cover us for a year, but I will need to fundraise again soon.

In the best of times, the municipal sales cycle is typically slow, risk-averse, and conservative, which represents a barrier for new technology. As a startup we have limited name recognition, as well as limited realization by the market of the availability of our technology. Because the incumbents have been around for so long, from a marketing perspective, we need to stay visible and maintain top-of-mind awareness of StormSensor with municipalities.

Finally, because we are tackling the hardest problems in environmental monitoring (sewers, coastal systems, and a lot of water, especially during storms), we must rapidly harden our hardware reliability and performance. Our early-adopter customers are wonderful, and they are gracious with us as a startup; to deploy at the scale we want, and affect the change we envision, we need to execute fully on our product roadmap.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

Climate risk persists despite the pandemic. However, we absolutely recognize that cities may lack funds for addressing long-term issues like climate risk. Rather than focusing only on people with purchasing authority, we are taking a community-based approach with local leaders. We are establishing networks at the ground level with the goal of becoming a well-known resource to be brought in to future projects. We are also working with groups to explore financing options for infrastructure projects.  

On the fundraising side, we are first targeting grants and revenue. In preparation for our next round, we focusing our message around climate risk tech, with the goal helping investors to recognize the magnitude of this problem and the ultimate value our solution provides, both nationally and globally.

To address our challenges with the municipal sector and flow instrumentation incumbents, we need to make sure our product is cost effective, easy to buy, easy to deploy, and easy to use, Pricing and ease of entry reduce barriers to purchasing, while ease of use and valuable features reduce the barriers to adoption. We have a differentiated product, so we need to clearly and effectively communicate this.

 The silver lining of slowed sales is that we can take time to focus on our current, supportive customers to improve our product performance and reliability for the harsh environments we work in. We are learning and improving now, so we can hit the ground running as things begin to open back up.

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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

Municipal customers include: Jersey City, NJ; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Pawtucket, RI; Philadelphia, PA; Deerfield, IL; Port of Seattle, WA; King County, WA; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO. We are working either directly with the city/utility, or with the city’s consultant.

We were awarded a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, specifically under Virginia’s RISE program, to build our coastal feature set and deploy in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. We were also awarded a private grant to deploy monitoring networks in two cities in Broward County, Florida.

Our strategic partner for the commercial market is Aqualis. machineQ, a Comcast subsidiary, is our networking technology provider. We partner with local water and civic organizations, such as The Water Council, Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, TMA BlueTech, and GoodCompany Ventures.

Finally, we are in this year’s Imagine H2O cohort, the water tech startup accelerator. Previously we participated in the Techstars + The Nature Conservancy Sustainability accelerator. In addition to Techstars, our major investors include American Family Insurance, TitleTown Tech, Mission 2040, Sofia Fund, E8 Angels, Aqualis, and Next Wave Impact Fund.

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

We intend to deploy StormSensor networks in every community in the US and beyond. In the municipal market, our model is land-and-expand. Our first customers are early adopters and innovative cities. We use initial deployments, typically 10-50 sensors, to get our foot in the door. Network expansion is driven by customer recognition of value and the need to increase scope through expanded geographic coverage and density.

We also achieve internal expansion at our current cities through increasing use cases. For example, the city’s sewer utility may be the first customer and use StormSensor to track sewer overflows. However, the transportation authority might be interested in tracking road flooding to provide real-time warnings to drivers. These can be two separate entities, so our responsibility to bring fullest value to a community is to publicize our presence and the value of our data, and be a bridge connecting the different stakeholders affected by climate risks. Also, by benefiting multiple use cases, we can further entrench our importance once deployed.

We must refine our messaging around ROI, partly by getting more customer experience and feedback. The benefits of StormSensor are clear, but in order to justify pricing for the dense networks and sophisticated software we want to deploy, we must have clear financial and operational ROIs. This is an interesting opportunity because the benefits of adaptation and mitigation are multi-order and difficult to quantify, so we continue to refine our communications around our benefit to our customers and how we support them.

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What is your path to financial sustainability?

StormSensor’s primary revenue stream is direct sales to municipalities, utilities, flood control districts, and other public entities. Our revenue model is land-and-expand as explained above. Hardware is sold inexpensively near-cost to make data accessible to all communities; affordability is a major gap with the current market. Software-added services are the intended revenue driver. StormSensor’s team is focused on direct sales, primarily to U.S. municipalities with the following characteristics: populations >50,000 people, coastal or riverine locations, regular flooding, innovation and/or resiliency teams, smart cities initiatives, and notable flood control or stormwater management programs or projects. Network design and pricing are based on local characteristics (such as miles of sewers) and intended use cases (such as sea level rise or sewer overflow monitoring).

StormSensor’s secondary revenue stream is the commercial stormwater management market. Our channel partner in this sector is Aqualis, a leading stormwater management company; Aqualis is reselling StormSensor hardware with their own sales team and whitelabeling StormSensor software to serve their commercial real estate customers (Walmart, Kroger, etc.).

As StormSensor is in the pilot-to-scaling startup phase, we are venture and grant funded. We raised a seed round in 2020 and will raise a Series A round in 2021. Grant funding supports two branches: StormSensor product development and network deployments in high-need regions. We have obtained both grant types, from public (HUD) and private entities. We regularly seek out grant opportunities like the Elevate Prize that we feel align with our goals of social impact and technology development.

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If you have raised funds for your project or are generating revenue, please provide details.

Direct sales revenue from the last 12 months is $220k. Proposals for another $120k are in negotiation or approval phase. StormSensor was awarded from US Department of Housing and Urban Development a grant of $130k and revenue-based loan of $150k to develop our coastal features roadmap and implement test deployments in Norfolk, VA starting July 2020. Another $100k grant was received from private sources for network deployments in Broward County, Florida starting late summer 2020. Deployment grant funding to-date totals about $325k since 2017.

We closed our first $2M equity round, which was led by American Family Institute, in July 2020. This brings our total capital raised from private investors to $4.6M since 2015. 

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If you seek to raise funds for your project, please provide details.

We anticipate raising our Series A equity round in the second half of 2020, with a goal to close in First Quarter 2021. We are still finalizing the amount to be raised because we want to be sensitive to the complexities inherent in our current economy and the pandemic. 

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What are your estimated expenses for 2020?

Our current monthly burn rate is about $150,000. Our primary expenses include payroll (we have 10 full-time scientists and engineers on our team), contractors (including UX/UI, analytics, firmware, electrical/mechanical engineering, design, and software), software (such as AWS, Twilio, SendGrid, etc. that we use to provide our solution to customers), hardware R&D/rapid prototyping, hardware manufacturing, and travel and equipment for installations.

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The Prize

Why are you applying for The Elevate Prize?

The impacts of climate change are blind to a global pandemic. In fact, this summer’s tropical storm season is forecasted to be a strong one, and major natural disasters have exponentially more potential for harm now – think of all the people who sheltered in the Houston Astrodome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and then add COVID-19.

Cities with dried-up revenue streams deserve a robust product which provides their citizens value in a short time frame. We are working on incredibly challenging hardware and data problems while deploying in urban underground environments, and we’ve made dramatic improvements in 2020 that we are excited to get manufactured and in the field, pulling data. Additionally, we are developing a more robust communications system that builds upon that provided by our current partner (machineQ), but that offers a greater degree of flexibility regarding installation options. The Elevate Prize would be applied in the short term to accelerate our product development and manufacturing.

 In addition to our internal needs, cities with at-risk populations need help as well. Climate risk disproportionately falls on low-income populations. StormSensor has many prospective customers who are interested in deployments but who need external financial support in order to do so. Additional funding from The Elevate Prize would be highly valuable applied to network deployments in at-risk communities, and then to develop the spatial data analytics that most effectively show how their water flows through their systems and prioritize greatest opportunities for improvement.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Funding and revenue model
  • Mentorship and/or coaching
  • Marketing, media, and exposure
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Please explain in more detail here.

We would like to partner with local decision-makers and organizations with a pulse on ongoing issues and know exactly what projects and locations would benefit most from StormSensor, such as sea level rise mapping or smart cities. We want to work with delightful groups that can enable key local projects and development to proceed, especially from a project financing perspective. This will accelerate our adoption in different settings and give us valuable experience to learn.

We are also interested in working with other tech startups or solutions providers in the smart cities ecosystem. Working with like-minded and complementary companies means we can provide a greater benefit to a city when we work together, rather than separately. One example that we hear about repeatedly is flood impacts to traffic and transit – we would love to provide the real-time flood data input to help commuters navigate around flood events.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

We are interested in three types of partners: major North American cities with flood risks, Chief Resilience Officers and Chief Sustainability Officers of cities, and smart cities groups who can help accelerate our adoption at city-scale level.

As a startup, it can be challenging to launch projects with major cities. While they have resources and willingness to fund pilots of new technologies, there are often many barriers to identifying the right decision-makers and getting their attention. This is especially true for cities with highly public flood histories and thus have many people and entities already involved. We would like to partner with cities with active climate adaptation efforts like New York, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Washington DC, Charleston, etc. – they will help us best understand their needs, how exactly StormSensor can best help, and how to deploy at scale.

We are interested in partnering with Chief Resilience Officers and Chief Sustainability Officers of cities for two reasons – we know they are forward-thinking about climate risks and we can start engaging at a civic level. The StormSensor team is primarily technical so we would benefit greatly from working with those who can make our voice heard within city halls.

Finally, we would love to work with smart cities groups and thought leaders that can help us deploy at scale, whether it is technical assistance, project design and execution, communications, or financing. Organizations like Sidewalk Labs could provide invaluable assistance as we go from pilot to scale.

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Solution Team

  • Erin Rothman CEO/Founder, StormSensor Inc
 
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