Founder Profile: Michael Leppitsch, Founder of Gridata

3 min read
Founder Profile

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Tech startup founder Michael Leppitsch

Michael Leppitsch, Founder of Gridata

Michael Leppitsch

Santa Cruz, CA


  • BS in Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • MS in Systems Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Prior Experience:

  • Boardmember and CTO of CleanShare
  • President and CEO of Power Catalyst
  • Business Repository Project Manager at CapGemini

Current Startup:
Gridata: gives small and medium businesses a secure and innovative SaaS remote monitoring and analytics platform to uncover savings in maintenance and energy costs, leveraging extensive experience in the energy, software, analytics, standards and sensors’ industries.

To help companies save money on their energy consumption and maintenance bill coming from their industrial equipment, focusing on refrigeration, HVAC, and conditioned spaces.


  • Seed round through a project for a major NRE company
  • System is build and up and running
  • Completed various pilots
  • In the process of signing up paying costumers
Current Focus:
  • Channel strategy and closing sales
  • Building out technology
  • Fundraising

Lessons Learned:
“I would advice others to really delve into the costumer conversations as early as possible. Present your concept to potential costumers and find out what the value is to them. Really do go deep with that and spend a lot of time on it. Market segmentation, market research and all that gives you an idea of where the opportunities might lie but you really don’t know until you have had lot of conversation with potential costumers. If there are partners involved in the business model, like there is for us, having a real heart to heart conversation with them is important to uncover what the value is to them.”

Staying Motivated:
“I think there is an element of faith involved. You have to have faith, self-confidence and trust. Trust that the opportunities you think you have uncovered are really there and faith that you are going to make it through all the challenges. That’s the core of it. The other aspect is to keep changing. People talk a lot about pivoting once or twice, but in reality you are constantly pivoting. You constantly change what you thought you were doing to adapt to the reality of the situation. So when you realize that something is insurmountable you just need to look to the sides or one step back, and find that hidden path that allows you to continue. I think that challenge in itself motivates me.”

Biggest Mentor:
“I actually have a lot of mentors in my life and specifically in this startup. I have about 20 people, investors, CEOs, advisors I talk to. Probably the most influential has been my board member Michael Gardner. He has done several startups and has worked in Silicon Valley for decades. He has opened lots of door and has always asked the hard questions on where to go next. I think a great mentor makes the entrepreneur feel that he always has his back. The culture and the values of the mentor have to be consistent and aligned with the philosophy of the entrepreneur.”

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