I hope that your 2023 is off to a great start. This is the first newsletter update where you will hear from me instead of Kevin. Hopefully, Outmore can recover from the pending mass unsubscribe. My name is Alex Duncan, and I am the Co-Founder and COO of Outmore Living. By now you may have heard how serendipitous Kevin and I’s meeting was and how that led to Outmore’s origin story. If you have recently joined Outmore’s Journey, I encourage you to go back and read our previous newsletters!
I graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2013 with a BS in Economics. Upon graduation, I commissioned as an Army Aviation officer. My six subsequent years of service as a Blackhawk pilot, platoon leader and operations officer included a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017. After the Army, I enrolled at McCombs and the rest is history.
Company Updates -
1) We have a VC committed to leading our round!
For our readers who are unfamiliar with venture capital, a lead investor sets the financial terms of the round while committing a significant amount of capital and resources. We are very excited to share that as of a couple of weeks ago, Outmore has a lead investor committed to leading our investment round.
Acquiring a lead investor is a significant step in closing our $1M fundraising round. Since agreeing to the partnership, both Outmore and our lead VC have had several exceptional planning sessions focused on our go-to-market strategy, growth, and priorities. With their commitment, we have raised over $500K with the goal of closing our $1M round by early March!
2) Outmore's first podcast Appearance!
“From personal experience, those are the most special memories whether it’s dining outdoors or sitting around a fire pit or even watching college football on a Saturday. If you’re doing it in an outdoor area, it just feels different.”
- Alex Duncan (USMA ‘13)”
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to appear on the Service Academy Business Mastermind (SABM) podcast recently. This podcast is hosted by Scott Mackes, a 2001 US Naval Academy graduate. Scott is the founder of SABM Group, The Service Academy Business Mastermind (SABM) is a transformational program for Service Academy graduates who are building businesses, connecting investors and mentors with startup founders, real estate investment operators, and small business owners.
In this episode, I was able to share, among other things:
- Outmore’s mission and why we founded the company.
- How our products work and what could be coming on future roadmaps.
- Our direct-to-consumer strategy enhanced by experiential commercial showcases.
- My thoughts on pitch competitions
- The silver lining of setbacks
3) Outmore World Headquarters!
Part of the prize package from the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition was our first office, a top-floor corner working space in the McCombs School of Business. This expansive space has floor-to-ceiling windows showing a view of downtown Austin, conference tables, desks, and whiteboards. This will prove to be an invaluable resource for Outmore as we work to get our furniture to market!
Areas of Focus-
As we build towards a monumental 2023, right now we are focused on the following efforts:
1) Rapid Prototyping
As our power and heating designs are nearly complete, we have entered a phase of rapid prototyping. We are using a combination of our engineering team's resources and the University of Texas' 3D printers to build low-cost high-fidelity prototypes with no wait time. With these iterations we are evaluating all aspects of the user experience from the big picture to the minutiae.
2) Closing Our Financing Round
As mentioned above, with a VC committed to leading our round, we have tremendous momentum on the fundraising front. We are on track to close our round by our early March goal. We are in due diligence with several other venture capital firms and advanced talks with multiple strategic angel investors. If you or anyone you know might be interested in investing, please reach out to email@example.com.
3) Building Out Our Go-To-Market Strategy
When we launch, we plan to implement a broad strategy of both online and offline tactics and scale activities to drive customer acquisition. Below is an image outlining our customer acquisition strategy.
Founder Perspectives- Designing Heating Technology
Outmore is committed to helping people spend more time outdoors by enhancing experiences with technology. Core to this is the design choices for our heating technology. In this section we will take a peek under the hood (or rather cushion) to explain the different options and how Outmore came to some of its engineering decisions.
Conduction, Convection, and Radiation are the three main modes of heat transfer. They differ in the way heat energy is transferred from one point to another. Conduction occurs when heat is transferred through direct contact of two materials with different temperatures. Examples of conductive heat transfer include boiling water on a stove and heat transfer through walls and insulation. In general, heat transfer through conduction has an efficiency of nearly 100%. This is because heat transfer through conduction is a direct transfer of energy from one material to another and there is no loss of energy due to intermediate processes.
Convection involves the transfer of heat through the movement of fluids from warmer to cooler areas. Common examples are HVAC systems. Heat transfer through convection can range from 60% to 80% efficient, depending on the temperature difference, the velocity of the fluid, and the type of fluid used. A propane heat tower primarily uses convection as a mode of heat transfer. The propane heat tower uses a propane fuel source to heat air, which rises and creates a circular flow of warm air. However, efficiency decreases as the distance from the heat source increases.
Radiation is the transfer of heat through electromagnetic waves, without the need for a medium. The heat is transferred directly through space and is best seen in the form of light and heat from the sun. Heat transfer through radiation can be up to 90% efficient in some cases, but this efficiency is affected by distance, surface area, and temperature difference.
When it comes to being comfortable outdoors, conduction is the best mode of heat transfer to remain comfortable. This is because conduction allows for direct contact between the heat source and the person, making it easier to regulate the temperature and faster to heat up. Outmore's heating solution works by running an electric current through a wire with high resistivity and thermal endurance.
Outmore’s products use conduction for comfort, and by leveraging the most physically efficient form of heat transfer, we can build more comfortable outdoor experiences than ever before! As an added plus, it is also way more energy efficient than propane heat towers.
Until the next newsletter...