High-tech company draws interest after winning contest in Bellingham

A Washington company with ties to Bellingham is drawing interest from investors because its product helps commercial buildings better manage water.

Kirkland Analytics won $10,000 at the First Look Forum, a statewide event held in Bellingham in November. The forum hosted early-stage companies, giving them a chance to meet potential investors and practice a pitch. Kirkland Analytics was judged to have the best pitch, coming away with the top prize.

The company is based in Spokane but its co-founder, Matt Rose, lives in Whatcom County and does engineering work for the company here.

With a plug-in kit it developed, the company can monitor commercial and industrial buildings, usually saving clients more than 20 percent on water use by finding failure points inside the structures. That’s particularly important in California and the Southwest, which continues to deal with severe drought.

Clients generally greet the kit with excitement, Rose said.

“It gives them something that allows them to control costs,” he said. “Usually they aren’t being negligent with water use, they just can’t see it.”

Diane Kamionka, interim executive director at NW Innovation Resource Center, said what made Kirkland Analytics’ pitch stand out at the First Look Forum was that it’s a practical product that’s easy to understand. The event was organized by NW Innovation Resource Center for the Washington Technology Industry Association.

“It was kind of a combination of presenting a practical product without the high-tech jargon,” Kamionka said.

Rose said the next step for the company is going through a growth stage. The company spent years developing the technology. Now that’s in place, it can begin focusing on getting more clients. The plan is to remained based in Washington but to set up sales offices in the Southwest

For details on the company, visit kirklandanalytics.com.