Island company helps California town manage historic drought
From his brick walled office in Charlottetown’s historic Connolly Building, Keir Pollard is helping a small town on the opposite end of the continent save water during one of the worst droughts in its history.
Pollard, who hails from Murray Harbour and runs SpryPoint Solutions, made a water-saving pitch to the town of Walnut Valley, California. The town, which is east of Los Angeles (with a population about the size of Charlottetown), wanted to help its residents monitor their own water usage as well as the usage of neighbouring towns. Now, Walnut Valley residents are using Island-made software to conserve water when they need it the most.
“The droughts in California have led to statewide regulations for water users,” Pollard said. “They have a 25 per cent reduction in sight, and our software is helping them achieve that.”
Pollard oversees nine full-time staff at locations in PEI and Halifax as well as several co-op students and interns. He’s brought his company a long way since its founding in 2011, with just one employee building software.
The key to their burgeoning success is a great product, he said.
“We built really great software for utilities such as electric and water companies. Our products help utilities excel in providing for their customers through cutting-edge field service, improved communications, and better financial accountability and decision-making.”
SpryPoint has partnered locally with the City of Summerside to develop distributed energy storage strategies and customer information portals. They have several other exciting products in the hopper, and their field service products are now in use in over 10 states and provinces.
“We built really tight partnerships with our customers all over North America,” he said. “Our team is strong, which enables us to have the confidence that we can provide the best service possible to our customers as we continue to grow.”
Pollard travelled 30 to 40 weeks a year in his previous job. All that time on the road made him realize there really was no place like home.
“I appreciate the pace of life, the quiet, the short commute and good quality of life on PEI,” he said. “I am able to live in the country but five minutes from 100-bit Internet in the office.”
Government support has been invaluable to building his business.
“The people at Innovation PEI, from Minister Heath MacDonald right on down, they’re all very interested in seeing Island businesses succeed,” Pollard said.
“We are extremely proud of our team of Islanders, and we are thrilled to be able to export our products across Canada and the United States from our base right here in PEI.