At Hire an Esquire, we love to highlight our innovative tech clients and show how they impact the legal industry. EnerKnol provides research and real-time data services to businesses whose investments are impacted by changes in U.S. energy policy. We chatted with founder and CEO Angelique Mercurio about building the company, about the EnerKnol vision, and about how the legal industry can leverage EnerKnol’s products.
- How is EnerKnol a game changer for the energy industry and for financial markets?
The EnerKnol vision is to transform the energy industry through access to the critical energy policy information needed to drive investment, innovation and decision-making in the $1.37 trillion U.S. energy industry. Information transparency is critical in this highly capital-intensive and regulated market. End goal is to change the way investors access critical regulatory info, driving decisions forward.
- Before EnerKnol, how did market participants stay abreast of U.S. energy policy and important developments?
US companies spend more than $10 billion each year on energy information subscriptions and services, 75% of which are offline (ie: manually searching and gathering filings from across fragmented government websites sources). Even small energy companies often need some dedicated (human) resources on staff to keep track of policy changes across the labyrinth of primary and subscription sources. Larger players have the financial resources to cover multi-million dollar regulatory intelligence budgets, yet deals still take years to close as there has never before been a real-time comprehensive solution.
- What experiences, in your career on Wall Street and elsewhere, led you to found EnerKnol?
As an energy policy analyst, I experienced first-hand the challenges of tracking US energy policy information across hundreds of state and federal government offices. I realized the need for a more efficient process was a widely shared across the industry. So with that in mind, I created EnerKnol to address this problem, to provide financial institutions with a streamlined source of U.S energy policy information to support investment decisions across the industry, from oil & gas, to environmental commodities, to renewable power technologies, and beyond.
- How can EnerKnol be a resource specifically for the legal industry for law firms and for inhouse counsel departments?
EnerKnol is a technology solution that can save legal professionals countless hours of manual searching through hundreds of government sources, and dozens of legal and industry journals and other subscriptions. The resulting cost savings for a law firm can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in high volume deal periods. Importantly, by providing attorneys with a one-stop source of energy policy and regulatory updates in real-time, they can serve their clients critical information, plus legal insight, in near-real time, which makes them invaluable to their clients.
- How can law firms and their financial markets clients use EnerKnol together?
Like other customers, there are two major ways for the legal industry to use EnerKnol
- The element of discovery – people don’t even know what they don’t know. So they use EK to find out what’s most recent and most relevant to them.
- Searching for what they already know about to track developments, reference landmark policies, etc.
- Do you have any case studies or examples of law firms or in-house counsel and client financial companies using EnerKnol collaboratively?
Yes, we do, and I welcome interested attorneys to reach out to me directly for details, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What has been the most rewarding experience of founding and leading EnerKnol?
Last summer EnerKnol was recognized by the White House Energy Data Initiative as one of “America’s leading private sector innovators using open data to solve our nations greatest energy challenges”. We were one of 30 companies invited to showcase our work at the White House Energy Datapalooza. The eight of us piled onto the bus to DC, and as we were setting up EnerKnol’s demo station, right between Opower’s and the EPA’s, seeing the pride on my team members’ faces was probably my proudest moment I can remember.
- What can we hope to see from EnerKnol in 5 years? In 10 years?
In 5 years we looking to expand internationally and apply our technology to other complex regulated sectors. We are first in the market, no one has anything like this. There is a huge gap ready to fill all across EU especially given Europe’s Electricity Market Reform. The structured data we are creating for one customer type is the same data that is used by dozens of other customer types we have identified in our early years of market entry. Our product portfolio is uniquely scalable with little additional development because our structured data can ultimately be repackaged many times over to create many products for many end user markets.
Ultimately, while we are developing today’s EnerKnol products for energy customer markets, all along we are standardizing one million (and counting) energy policy filings, ultimately creating a structured taxonomy that will become THE standard, universal, machine-readable energy policy language feeding in to every data provider on every desktop of every market participant in the energy industry.
- EnerKnol is the founder of New York Energy Week, and your third annual series is coming up June 15-19, 2015. What events should interested attorneys definitely check out?
The New York Energy Week Opening Ceremony – This event will focus on the state of energy in New York. We will hear from key players and decision makers on the progress on REV and what is on the energy horizon. We will hear 2-3 keynotes from top energy leaders, including a fireside chat with media interviews of energy influencers.
Also our Tuesday morning breakfast event, Infrastructure Investment: Bridging the gap. And in reality, all of our New York Energy Week events are relevant for attorneys in the energy and financial sectors given that policy impacts all energy sectors.