I visited Chicago in the last week of June 2018 with a group of entrepreneurs from the global entrepreneur network, CEED. The aim of the program was to meet different type of companies and learn about their practices, products and learn about doing business in Chicago. Before visiting Uptake, I thought, here’s another ‘unicorn’ finding a niche in the fast-moving digital world. I assumed their business, gathering and analyzing data, seemed to be yet another nice initiative in the increasingly crowded big-data scene. But soon after they started the presentation I realized the model was both very simple and incredibly brilliant and truly meets a demand that was being unmet. I know that connecting old traditional businesses with new age software application is not an easy task.

New gadgets and technologies are making our lives easier, so much so that we think that we cannot live without them. But not that long ago no one had a smart phone. This is unimaginable to my kids. Although technology is quickly changing some industries there are others who are slower to change due to the size of the organizations and the nature of what they do. For example energy. Investment needed in old-fashioned industries like energy is very high, return on investment is not so fast, market capitalization is not high, and maintenance costs are very high. In addition, big companies, typically have their own set of regulations and thus don’t easily allow disruptors in the system. Due to these circumstances and the closeness of some industries, they do not modernize their business processes as rapidly as in others.  In many chase data is still captured on paper therefore it is impossible to analyze large quantities of data. Uptake saw an opportunity in this segment and figured out how to gather different and large sums of data in the same place and analyze them for varying purposes. All this data provides leaders with the opportunity to simulate and predict the future. For traditional industries is this revolutionary. Can you imagine how easier it will be for a technician, if they know when a machine will fail and they can order maintenance before it happens. Once again, such a brilliant idea.

In addition to better understanding Uptake’s unique and game changing offering I learned about the importance of establishing a people-centric work culture. The relationships with their staff and the values they present were inspiring. Before this meeting I have never heard business people encouraging staff to feel all of their feelings, and that that work can make us better as people. Conscious leadership was a new concept for me, as a way to achieve best results for company and for employees themselves. I was impressed and I believe that Uptake is a trend setter in both areas. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to meet Manny Bernabe, Gentzy Franz and Toni Maraviglia and learn great things which I will try to implement in my own company.


marko sersen2 



Marko Sersen, Founder and Managing Director of Energen Ltd, a leading company specialized in CHP and energy consultation in Slovenia.