Where Are They Now: Floe

A slide from Floe’s presentation for the 2020 FORGE Product Development Grant Competition
A slide from Floe’s presentation for the 2020 FORGE Product Development Grant Competition

Floe is the 2020 winner of the Audience Choice award at the FORGE Product Development Grant Competition which was held at the virtual FORGE Manufacturing and Innovation Showcase in October of 2020. Wondering where they are now, almost a year later, in their product development process? Read on to see how FORGE’s support has contributed to their success.

Floe’s future

In the wake of its first major pilot, Floe is fluttering with ideas about its near future. As always, Floe is using customer needs to guide its path. This past winter, Floe launched a nation-wide pilot program across 50 different sites to gather data on its product’s performance with the help of FORGE’s Audience Choice funding.

The Floe system is designed to address ice-dam damage on residential and commercial roofs. Autonomously pumping deicing fluid onto the roof, Floe’s system creates channels for melted snow to drain off and prevents ice dams from forming in the first place. This de-icing solution is non-corrosive, biodegradable, and pet and plant safe. It also saves customers thousands of dollars compared to traditional ice dam solutions, roof repairs, and roof replacement. 

“Our participation in the Manufacturing and Innovation Showcase and our relationship with FORGE have been catalysts in our search for manufacturing partners.”

– Hector Castillo, Chief Technology Officer at Floe

Pilot reveals the value of roof data

Placing the prototype on a variety of buildings – ski lodges, apartment buildings, residential homes, flat roofs, pitched roofs, and more– Floe determined residential houses and commercial buildings with flat roofs could benefit most from the product. Interestingly, many partners found the integrated sensors to be the most helpful feature. Users could find out what snow, leaves, and other materials were building up on their roofs without moving a muscle. 

Floe is now considering the abundance of opportunities this data is enabling for the company. The system is useful for multiple seasons and multiple types of customers. To whom do we market Floe? How do we pitch the product? What strategy would yield the best customer experience? These are the types of questions Floe is considering. Chief Technology Officer at Floe, Hector Castillo, assured us that the company will be busy this winter. Another pilot program, a new product launch, and a soft launch are all on the table as possibilities. Though we do not know exactly which way Floe will go, FORGE can proudly tell you that customers will play a central role in Floe’s next move. 

Are you a startup interested in pitching at this year’s Showcase event? Reach out to Senior Program Manager Anya Losik at anya@forgeimpact.org for information!