ZS2 Year in Review: A message from the CEO
What a year! As we look forward to 2022 and beyond I wanted to take this opportunity to also look back on our first full calendar year of operations for ZS2 Technologies. It was a year filled with challenges, opportunities, some disappointment, a lot of successes, and more than a few pinch-me moments as we work to disrupt the world’s largest industry: Construction.
The need for our built environment to adopt safer, more resilient, healthier, efficient, economical, and sustainable solutions has never been greater, as evidenced by the stunning and tragic natural disasters we witnessed across North America in 2021.
Changing the face of an industry that has not been receptive to change is not easy though. This is an incredibly fragmented industry (think of how many people are involved in building a home) which has relied on antiquated methods and materials thanks in part to lagging government building and energy efficiency standards along with no financial incentive to change.
The tide is turning. The pace of change in the construction industry is accelerating. The need for change is becoming more acute. The technology to drive explosive change is at our doorstep. So here’s how ZS2 has been working to drive that change.
A Few Milestones
The past year really has been a whirlwind. Under normal circumstances what we have collectively accomplished would be truly amazing but under the cloud of the worldwide Covid pandemic it is remarkable.
In the face of so much adversity over the past year, I did want to highlight for everyone some incredible successes to help us remain optimistic about the future for ZS2 and frankly our entire planet.
A few key accomplishments from our first full calendar year:
• In February we took possession of our new home, the ZS2 TechCentre and in November we knocked down some walls and expanded adding an additional 10,000 sq.ft. to increase our capacity.
• In March we were recognized by Startup TNT as Alberta’s top emerging cleantech company, which in turn led to an invitation to join the Avatar cleantech accelerator program in August focused on supporting ZS2’s participation in the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition funded by the Musk Foundation.
• We completed two major financings for $2.2 million ($.50/share) and $2.0 million ($1.00/share) respectively to support all of our growth initiatives.
• We welcomed four new TechPartners to the team, joining our four TechPartners who joined the ZS2 team in 2020.
• We completed the purchase and amalgamation with IPB Systems in the first half of the year and moved manufacturing operations from Fort St. John, B.C. to Calgary this past summer.
• We secured our first projects in California, New Mexico, Michigan and Utah.
• Our partnerships with the fast-growing Hutterite communities across Western Canada continued to grow in 2021 with 12 projects completed ranging from small TechBoard projects to large full building envelope projects with TechPanel walls, foundations and roofs.
• During 2021 we welcomed 19 new team members to the TechCrew increasing our capabilities on the technical R&D team, our design team, project management, sales/business development, finance and IT.
• September and October of 2021 saw our busiest months of manufacturing yet and in September our manufacturing team set a new record with over $50,000 of TechPanels being produced in a single production shift. This represents $12.5 million in annualized production capacity—and that’s pre-expansion!
• In November we were named one of Foresight Canada’s 50 most investable cleantech companies.
• During 2021 we continued to accelerate our investment in third party certifications and testing with our partners QAI Laboratories and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technologies. Perhaps most exciting was our WUI certification (Wildland Urban Interface) fire certification for the State of California in the latter half of the year.
The Year Ahead
I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead. In a very short time we have built a tremendous organization based on a foundation of science but supported by a team who are relentlessly focused on continuous improvement and customer service. Our original business plan was very clear in what we see as one of the greatest opportunities of our lifetime:
The adoption of prefabricated construction technologies in combination with advances in material science presents a tremendous opportunity for the construction industry to close the productivity gap, improve building safety, improve environmental performance, increase building performance and generate significant economic returns.
To achieve our collective potential in the immediate term we will be focused on the following:
- Continuous development of our channel partner strategy and foundational tools to support growth throughout North America;
- Relentless focus on R&D and product development in concert with our strategic partners;
- Customer centric focus throughout our organization;
- Accelerated investment in third party certifications and testing;
- Commitment to our team to support their growth and achievements;
The ZS2 team, our TechCrew, is what makes ZS2 so special. In my entire career I have never had the pleasure of watching a team come together that is so focused on our shared vision. We continue to push each other, hold each other accountable, focus on the importance of the challenges ahead and never forget those that support us. I cannot be more proud of our team. I know where we are headed and it is exciting and there is no group of people I would rather continue this amazing journey with.
Together we are going to change the world!