Showcase Spotlight

Spotlight: Alan Lindsey – PetroDE

We spent a few minutes with Alan Lindsey, CEO of PetroDE, a provider of oilfield intelligence and mapping solutions to help oil and gas companies make quality decisions faster. PetroDE, based in the Denver area, has been an exhibitor at the Denver Energy Tech Showcase (DETS) from the beginning. Alan tells us more about his company and what makes DETS unique.

Prism Group: Alan, thanks for joining us today. Would you tell us more about PetroDE?

Alan: You are welcome, and absolutely. PetroDE is an oilfield intelligence platform that puts critical answers at people’s fingertips, whether the information is from public sources, purchased from a third party like IHS or from proprietary data sets generated by the customer. We work primarily with E&P and midstream companies, and our solution impacts nearly every function in the enterprise, including reservoir engineering, geoscience, business development, land and the C-Suite.

Prism Group: Can you give us an example of where PetroDE helped a customer?

Alan: Absolutely! Just this week one of our customers told us that our platform helped them do in minutes what it used to take them weeks to do. They used our solution to perform a decline curve analysis on a potential acquisition. Instead of engineers and techs taking what was typically three weeks to work through the data and run the analyses, our platform did it in a few minutes. In a business where being first is often a competitive advantage, users are finding our technology to be a real game-changer.

Prism Group: That’s fantastic! Why did PetroDE decide to exhibit at DETS?

Alan: Being at the Showcase as an exhibitor, sponsor or attendee is a natural for people who are part of the Energy Tech ecosystem. We and others are working to make Denver a hub for Energy Tech innovation and DETS is an important part of that because it brings investors, operators, and colleagues together under one roof. As we all interact, we learn from each other and Denver becomes a stronger center of innovation. The more we collaborate, the better it is for everyone in the industry.

Prism Group: How does DETS differ from trade shows or conference exhibitions?

Alan: We usually hit a total of four to five shows a year. Some of them are big, like NAPE and URTeC, and we do some smaller ones as well. DETS has a completely different character and frankly, it has a different purpose. I mean, we’re selling at the Showcase, but there is a lot more going on. There is time and opportunity to talk to other companies in the ecosystem, be elbow-to-elbow with investors and even have your investors around at the same time you may be having a conversation with a client. That builds confidence among everyone. Instead of being lost in a trade show booth maze, the Showcase gives us the opportunity to have conversations in an intimate place with food and beer. It feels more like networking than selling.

Prism Group: How did PetroDE benefit from exhibiting at DETS? For example, can you point to initiating a new business relationship with a customer, strategic partner or investor?

Alan: We have had all of those things happen. We encourage potential clients to drop by our exhibit to see us and other exhibitors. We make intros to other companies, too. There have been a lot of relationships built with other people in the Energy Tech community. At the first few events, the Showcase tended to focus on startups, but now we see bigger tech firms are cruising the aisle and that attracts more operators.

At one Showcase, we had the good luck of having one of our prospective investors drop by and observe a conversation we were having with a new client about solving a particularly difficult problem. They were so impressed, we got a term sheet.

Prism Group: What would you say to other companies thinking of exhibiting at DETS?

Alan: I would say it is the place to see what the rest of the Energy Tech community is doing and how they are presenting themselves to the marketplace. After the show, people hang out for beers and that is where many relationships with potential customers, partners, and investors get started without being drowned-out by an army of big service company people. Come for the opportunity to meet potential customers but stay and learn from others in the ecosystem. You just don’t have the same opportunity at other events.

Prism Group: What else should people know about DETS?

Alan: Expect it to be crowded! Free beer and appetizers seem to be very popular.

About Prism Group

Prism Group is a multi-talented marketing and investor relations agency for leaders that are serious about building value. Our proprietary processes for building brands, generating awareness and establishing Thought Leadership and award-winning work help our clients drive top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. We leverage state-of-the-art technology to optimize productivity, effectiveness and ROI.

We focus on Energy Tech, Oilfield Services, Oilfield Equipment, Energy Finance and E&P sectors.

Showcase Spotlight

Spotlight: Deepi Hyare – Resolute Energy Corporation

Deepi Hyare, Senior IT Director with Resolute Energy, a Denver-based E&P operator, was kind enough to give us a few minutes to talk about why she attends the Denver Energy Tech Showcase (DETS) and what makes it a valuable and unique event.

Prism Group: Thank you for joining us today. Would you tell us more about your role at Resolute Energy?

Deepi: You are welcome! My role is to manage all of Resolute’s IT operations and provide IT services to the organization, which includes everything from desktop support to infrastructure, networking, cybersecurity and pretty much all things IT. My department is expected to be a business partner with, and resource for, our functional departments, including engineering, production, marketing, geoscience, HSE, finance, accounting and land, among others. We work with them to identify key problems, develop strategic objectives and determine how IT can provide a technical solution.

Prism Group: That sounds like a lot of responsibility! How can you do it all?

Deepi: It is a lot of responsibility, but we enjoy what we do. Like most people at E&P companies, we are being tasked to do more with fewer resources all the time. It is a cyclical industry, and we have to be prepared to operate successfully through all phases of the cycle.

To achieve that, we often take on the role of a business process reengineering consultant to the organization. To implement a solution or to improve a business process, we look at three legs of the stool, including the business process itself, the technology and the people. We must look at all three of those ingredients to achieve our business objectives and we often find ourselves bringing functional departments together. It is easy to get into silos, and since IT works across the entire enterprise, it is a natural for us to get involved in solutions that span multiple functional departments. In many cases, we connect people who may be experiencing similar pain points unbeknownst to each other.

Prism Group: What kinds of problems are you looking for technology to address?

Deepi: We continue to look for ways to better leverage our data in a quick and timely fashion. That’s a general statement, but you hear about Big Data, and what you see now is that we can use high resolution frac data or SCADA data. As oil and gas companies, our ability to access significant amounts of data has improved dramatically, but now we have to process it effectively to add value. We are looking for cost-effective technology to help us manage data better and turn it into information that can be analyzed and used to improve results. No one denies value of Big Data, but we need pragmatic and cost-effective ways to do that. 

Prism Group: How does DETS differ from other trade shows or conference exhibitions?

Deepi: I have been to two DETS events and you know, right or wrong, one of the biggest values is to reconnect with other people in the industry and network. You guys have done a great job to make it easy to come to the event, you can come and go as you please. I have been pleasantly surprised at how many of my old colleagues and vendors I’ve worked with in the past are there. The casual, low-pressure environment gives it a completely different feel than a traditional trade show. And everyone in the Denver oil and gas community is there.

The informal environment also facilitates conversations with exhibitors without feeling like you are being sold. I can approach a vendor and have a conversation focused on my needs, instead of being forced to sit down and endure a one-on-one sales pitch. If it makes sense to schedule a meeting to learn more, then I will do it. It’s a great way to meet people in a low-pressure environment and that encourages turnout.

Oh, and its free!

Prism Group: What did you take away from the Showcase?

Deepi: Not all of the exhibitors have IT offerings, which is a good thing. More than once, I have seen something that was more applicable to our Geology team or drilling engineers and I took the information back, passed it along and encouraged them to reach out to the exhibitor.

Also, I learned about a lot of new things that might not necessarily be focused on data science and IT. Learning about things outside of my functional discipline helps make my department a better business partner for engineering, land, accounting, geology, operations and others. It is part of our job as technologists to stay abreast of technological developments and figure out how we can take those tools, put them in our toolkit and apply them to solve business problems. The Showcase is a place where I can see a lot of different technology solutions in one place and get up to speed on the latest innovations in just a few hours.

Prism Group: What would you say to your colleagues at other E&P companies who haven’t been to the Showcase?

Deepi: I would highly encourage it. It is great way to reconnect with your colleagues, catch-up with vendors that you may have worked with in the past and learn about technology solutions that impact the field to headquarters. Make time to get out of your office and have conversations with others in the Energy Tech ecosystem, it will make you a better resource.   

About Prism Group

Prism Group is a multi-talented marketing and investor relations agency for leaders that are serious about building value. Our proprietary processes for building brands, generating awareness and establishing Thought Leadership and award-winning work help our clients drive top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. We leverage state-of-the-art technology to optimize productivity, effectiveness and ROI.

We focus on Energy Tech, Oilfield Services, Oilfield Equipment, Energy Finance and E&P sectors.

 

Showcase Spotlight

Spotlight: Chris Rockers – D.A. Davidson

In this third of five Spotlight Interviews, we spent a few minutes with Chris Rockers at D.A. Davidson, Managing Director and head of the investment bank’s energy practice based in Denver. D.A. Davidson has sponsored the Denver Energy Tech Showcase (DETS) and tells us more about what makes Denver a great oil city and DETS.

Prism Group: Thanks for joining us, Chris. Tell us a little about D.A. Davidson.

Chris: D.A. Davidson is a full-service investment bank. I head up the energy practice in the industrials group in Denver. We have a comprehensive platform for equity research, trading and advisory. I focus on oilfield services and equipment companies that generate anywhere between $5 and $35 million in EBITDA and are looking for outside capital or M&A advisory.

Prism Group: If Houston is the energy capital of the world, what makes Denver so special?

Chris: I have lived in Denver for the past 25 years and have worked on both the buy side and sell side. Denver is a great market because it is easy to get to Houston or Dallas, or anywhere in the oilfield for that matter, while staying close to the innovation that is going on here in Colorado. We also see a lot of foot traffic in the summer from Houston and Dallas executives who want to escape the heat and humidity! Even though there is no handicap to being located here, we have to think outside the box to do well in a highly competitive market. Denver is the perfect home base for our practice. Oh, and I also have a skiing problem (addiction).

Prism Group: What makes Denver advantageous?

Chris: For one thing, if you are an E&P company it is much easier to get to North Dakota or anywhere in the Rockies from Denver. We also have the Colorado School of Mines just 30 minutes away from downtown and while graduates will obviously go anywhere to further their career, we find their preference is to stay in the Rocky Mountain Region with its quality of life. That creates a highly attractive pool of technical talent here in the Denver region. D.A. Davidson likes the Denver market because the quality of life allows us to attract great people, which makes it harder for competitors to poach our talent!

Prism Group: Why did D.A. Davidson decide to sponsor DETS?

Chris: Our investment banking offering includes both an energy practice and a technology practice. I had attended a previous Showcase event and was highly impressed with the quality of financial investors who attended and the companies who were exhibiting. The sponsorship gained us a lot of visibility with a valuable audience. 

Prism Group: How did D.A. Davidson benefit from its DETS sponsorship?

Chris. I was able to reconnect with a handful of private equity and venture investors who were in town during the Showcase. Also, I reconnected with several relationships that I hadn’t seen in some time, which prompted follow-up meetings.

Being on the ground at the event gave me a better feel for what technologies were out there. I can’t stay on top of all the innovations coming to market and I work with a lot of operators who could use them. If I see an interesting concept or solution at the Showcase, I’m very inclined to make an introduction to one of my clients. It allows me to be a better, trusted resource for my clients.

Prism Group: Can you provide an example of how DETS helped you?

Chris: You know, I hadn’t seen the Cottonwood Ventures guys in years, and they were some of the first people I ran into as I walked into the Showcase. I was able to spend quality time with them, catch-up on their business and renew that connection. I also ran into friend who works at an oilfield services company who was highly impressed with the turnout and quality of exhibitors. Him knowing that D.A. Davidson was a sponsor and supporting the Energy Tech ecosystem elevated the stature of our firm in his mind.

Prism Group: What areas of Energy Tech are you most excited about?

Chris: At the moment, asset tracking sensors and automation of production services are our main focus, since our clients are almost exclusively oilfield services and equipment. Given that emphasis, we tend to be more focused on innovations that are actionable out in the field, and less interested in theoretical models of what’s under the ground, which might appeal more to a reservoir or completion engineer. Basically, any technology that helps a services company or E&P eliminate costs or improve efficiency.

Prism Group: What is the best thing about DETS?

Chris: The informal format where people from E&P companies, service providers and capital sources all interact seamlessly. When I go to a traditional trade show, I’m talking to a bunch of sales people. When I go to the Energy Tech Showcase, I’m talking to business owners.

Prism Group: What else should people know about DETS?

Chris: It is a friendly and innovative format, and quite simply the fastest way to get up to speed on the newest cutting-edge services and technologies in the energy space. You can come and go as you please, and it is an awesome networking event.

About Prism Group

Prism Group is a multi-talented marketing and investor relations agency for leaders that are serious about building value. Our proprietary processes for building brands, generating awareness and establishing Thought Leadership and award-winning work help our clients drive top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. We leverage state-of-the-art technology to optimize productivity, effectiveness and ROI.

We focus on Energy Tech, Oilfield Services, Oilfield Equipment, Energy Finance and E&P sectors.

Showcase Spotlight

Spotlight: Mike Skeffington and Debbie Draudt – EnergyIQ

In this second in a series of five Spotlight Interviews, we spent a few minutes with Mike Skeffington and Debbie Draudt at EnergyIQ, a data management solutions provider based in the Denver area. EnergyIQ has been both a sponsor and exhibitor at the Denver Energy Tech Showcase (DETS) from the beginning and they tell us more about their business and what makes DETS a unique opportunity for sponsors and exhibitors.

Prism Group: Hi Mike and Debbie, would you please tell us about EnergyIQ?

Mike: EnergyIQ is a software company focused exclusively on the upstream oil and gas operator space, providing E&P companies with data management and data solutions for analysis and for streamlining business process. Our client base is a “Who’s Who” of leading operators, including both large and small companies. On the larger end, we work with BP, Chesapeake, Apache, Anadarko and Marathon and, on the smaller end, with Whiting Petroleum, QEP and others. We have established a strong position with mid to large-size independents. EnergyIQ is based in Denver with offices in Calgary and Houston. We just celebrated our 11th anniversary in December 2018.

Prism Group: That is a great client list! What do you do for them?

Mike: EnergyIQ is all about creating information certainty. The digitization of the oilfield has generated a tremendous amount of data and operators are being challenged with how they receive, ingest and convert data into usable information. We offer proven, commercial software solutions focused on the ability to interface with various data providers, primarily focused on subsurface or well-related data, and blending it so that it makes sense. This data can then be used for analytics, visual analysis and used to streamline business processes.

Prism Group: Data management makes sense, but would you tell us more about how EnergyIQ helps streamline business processes?

You bet. Our solutions are focused on the life of a well. Once a well is “born” in a business process, various functional departments generate, consume and produce information about that well over its life, from planning, drilling, completing, producing and abandonment or divestment. Our software organizes and automates that lifecycle, streamlining E&P business processes and dramatically improving data quality, the ability to analyze data and to improve confidence in decision making.

Prism Group: Why did EnergyIQ decide to sponsor and exhibit at DETS?

Mike: We very much want to support the Energy Tech ecosystem and help advance its evolution and DETS is a valuable event for doing that. Being a sponsor increases the visibility of our brand among the right audience and shows our clients and the industry that we are an active member of the Energy Tech community.

Debbie: A hidden benefit of the Showcase is that it gives us an opportunity to meet with other Energy Tech companies to research what they are doing and potentially partner with them. Most of our E&P clients are looking for solutions that often range beyond the focus of our offerings and it’s not possible to do it all. At the Showcase, we can see what is going on in the market and develop partnerships to help deliver more value to our clients.

Mike: That’s true, and being a sponsor increases the awareness of the EnergyIQ brand among operators. Although, for obvious reasons, the people from operators who attend the showcase are weighted to Denver, we find that people from Houston and other cities fly in to attend.

Prism Group: How does DETS differ from other trade shows?

Debbie: Well, it doesn’t feel like a typical trade show in the first place. Attendees don’t feel the pressure of a hard sell. They are coming to learn and network, they enjoy it. It’s just a different feeling.

Mike: From an exhibitor standpoint, it is very different. The informal nature of the Showcase makes it very conducive to socializing and networking in a low-pressure way. People let their defenses down and tend to be more open at Showcase events. It brings the energy community together to learn and research innovative technologies.

Another feature is that each exhibitor is provided with exactly the same footprint. We get the same table, amount of space, white table cloth and so forth. From an attendee perspective, you’re not overwhelmed by a company with a million-dollar marketing budget, so the guy in the corner doesn’t get ignored. Everyone is on a level playing field and the solutions stand on their own merits. Since the Showcase isn’t an exhibit attached to a conference or symposium where there are 20 minutes between sessions, there isn’t a mad rush of people to booths and exhibitors don’t exhibit the pressure to get a commitment right then and there.

Debbie: And the conversations just happen naturally, given the event is about networking and discovery. It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill boring conference, it is just not set up that way. The attendees are far more energetic and generous with their time than at the typical trade show.

Prism Group: How did EnergyIQ benefit from the showcase?

Mike: At the last Showcase, we had the opportunity to exhibit next to another company with an offering that is complementary to our solution set. We are both smaller Energy Tech companies with large E&P clients. In many cases, our clients are looking for a comprehensive integrated solution that neither one of us offer by ourselves. At the showcase, we shared information on each other’s website and developed some demo scenarios to present to prospects. If it wasn’t for DETS, it would have taken much longer to connect.

It goes without saying, but many potential customers come through the event. We have generated a number of sales opportunities at the Showcase by people just coming by our exhibit and networking with them.

Debbie: And lots of our existing customers attend the Showcase and it is good for them to see us supporting the Energy Tech ecosystem. More than one customer has told us they learned something new about EnergyIQ over a casual conversation at the event.

Prism Group: What would you say to other Energy Tech companies considering exhibiting?

They should seriously consider it. You don’t have to send the whole team, just bring a few key people and expect it to be an energetic networking event to meet customers, potential partners and colleagues. Besides, it’s a lot of fun!

About Prism Group

Prism Group is a multi-talented marketing and investor relations agency for leaders that are serious about building value. Our proprietary processes for building brands, generating awareness and establishing Thought Leadership and award-winning work help our clients drive top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. We leverage state-of-the-art technology to optimize productivity, effectiveness and ROI.

We focus on Energy Tech, Oilfield Services, Oilfield Equipment, Energy Finance and E&P sectors.

Showcase Spotlight

Spotlight: Abby Mercado – Altira Group

In this first in a series of five Spotlight Interviews, we spent a few minutes with Abby Mercado of Altira Group, a Denver-based venture capital firm focused on helping energy tech entrepreneurs build the future of oil & gas. Altira has been a sponsor of the Denver Energy Tech Showcase (“DETS”) since the beginning. Abby tells us more about Altira and its portfolio companies below – as well as what makes DETS such a unique event.

Prism Group: Tell me a little about Altira Group.

 Abby: Dirk McDermott founded Altira Group, focused exclusively on the oil & gas sector, in 1996. His vision was that, in an industry that has only ever gotten better with technology adoption, there was an opportunity to fund the entrepreneurs who help our industry make crucial step-changes. We are currently investing out of our sixth fund, which has a unique structure.

What makes Fund VI different is that we have brought on upstream companies that are typically the customers of energy tech companies as investors. Pioneer Natural Resources, Devon Energy, Apache and EQT combined represent half of our LP base. As our LPs, they have a first look at the innovative technologies that can help them develop their unconventional resources in the best ways possible. As tech leaders, they are quick-adopting customers of our portfolio companies and often provide important product guidance. We like to think that start-ups enjoy working with Altira because we provide them with intimate access to these large potential customers that can help them commercialize quite quickly. 

Prism Group: What kinds of technologies is Altira investing in?

 Abby: We are especially interested in technologies that help upstream companies develop their assets better and more efficiently; technologies that promise to cut costs, increase production, streamline supply chain and make the industry safer and more environmentally friendly. We are looking at, or have invested in, everything from IIoT to the electrification of the oilfield to AI to big data analytics.

An example of one of our portfolio companies is ResFrac, which has developed the industry’s first 3D, cloud-based reservoir and frac simulator sold to upstream companies as a SaaS solution, enabling operators to evaluate the impact of various completion techniques on production. A lot of the potential investments we evaluate cut costs; ResFrac enables production uplift, and with that, substantial NPV increases.

Prism Group: Why did Altira decide to sponsor DETS?

Abby: As enthusiastic investors in oil & gas tech, we are always looking for ways to support and strengthen the energy tech ecosystem at home in Denver. We travel a lot to places like Houston, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh and Calgary, but there is something special about Denver. The Colorado frontier spirit is alive and well here, and the digital oilfield has really taken hold. There is amazing talent in Denver – software developers, engineers, data scientists and so on – these folks see the opportunity to make the oil & gas industry better with innovation. Altira wants to support our hometown entrepreneurs as much as we can. 

Prism Group: How did Altira benefit from its association with DETS? 

Abby: We have sponsored all three events to-date. At Altira, we are in the trenches with our portfolio companies as trusted partners and business builders – we don’t do passive portfolio monitoring. DETS is a great venue for connecting our portfolio companies with leading Denver operators – and even those who travel from outside Denver to attend the event.

DETS has attracted some fantastic exhibitors and attendees. Because of DETS, we have been able to discover some energy tech companies we’ve never heard of before. Being a sponsor provides us with visibility; it is important for the ecosystem to know that Altira supports the ecosystem! 

Prism Group: We appreciate your support! Can you provide readers with an example (e.g. – portfolio company, new customer, new relationship, etc.)? 

Abby: Absolutely. We recently invested in ResFrac, the company I mentioned prior, which is a fully-coupled, 3D reservoir and frac simulator. The company exhibited at the last DETS event while we were under term sheet and performing due diligence. At the event, I located the CEO of an upstream company in Denver who has become an acquaintance of mine over the years and introduced him to Mark McClure, ResFrac’s CEO. My contact, who has a similar geomechanics background as Mark, was dubious of ResFrac’s solution at first, but Mark was able to convince him otherwise. After a follow-up meeting with my contact and his Completions Manager, the Denver upstream company became a fast-adopting ResFrac customer. I like to think that Mark would have closed the sale on his own, but the DETS introduction definitely accelerated the process. 

Prism Group: What areas of energy tech are you most excited about? 

Abby: All of it! First off, communications at the field level are key – that’s why we’ve invested in Infrastructure Networks. Upstream companies are collecting more data than they know what to do with. In fact, the oil & gas industry recently surpassed the global healthcare industry in terabytes of data. Today’s million-dollar question: How do you make sense of all that data? Access to data has the potential to dramatically reduce costs and increase productivity, but only if you can process that data intelligently.

Back to Infrastructure Networks though. Before HQ can analyze field data, it has to be collected, without interruption, and sent over a network, in real-time and without latency. Important and time-critical decisions are made based on this data – there’s no opportunity for mistakes. And often, oilfield operations are in remote areas with little to no connectivity – the Infrastructure Networks advantage is that they are the boots on the ground, and communications is their core competency.

AI, without question, will infiltrate the industry in a big way, sooner rather than later. AI is a fun buzzword, but at Altira, we seek AI investments that actually make a business case for oil & gas companies. We were lucky to find an investment in ThoughtTrace, which allows for better, faster and smarter contract analysis through the use of AI (think oil & gas leases, of which there are thousands and thousands – and they are either archaic or written in ways that are meant to confuse the reader). In one case, with a large operator in Oklahoma, ThoughtTrace reduced a team’s time diligence’ing a divestiture package by over 50 times, while maintaining better accuracy than the status quo.

Another trend is making formerly dumb iron a whole lot smarter. The future will hold machines directing themselves, having learned from past errors as well as achievements – making processes quicker, more efficient and getting humans out of harm’s way. Wouldn’t it be cool to press a button in Houston and drill a well outside Midland? 

Prism Group: What is the best thing about DETS? 

Abby: Getting a community of energy tech enthusiasts together – entrepreneurs or budding entrepreneurs, oil & gas operators, investors – these people are all there. DETS is a unique networking event that involves groups who are striving to solve big problems. It is also a great place to uncover some of those hidden gems. We are thrilled to be part of DETS year-after-year!

About Prism Group

Prism Group is a multi-talented marketing and investor relations agency for leaders that are serious about building value. Our proprietary processes for building brands, generating awareness and establishing Thought Leadership and award-winning work help our clients drive top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. We leverage state-of-the-art technology to optimize productivity, effectiveness and ROI.

We focus on Energy Tech, Oilfield Services, Oilfield Equipment, Energy Finance and E&P sectors.