Nicole Zmij of Amplified Wind Solutions
Meet Nicole Zmij, founder of Amplified Wind Solutions, which has an innovative take on amplifying wind speed for renewable energy.
What is Amplified Wind Solutions?
Amplified Wind Solutions (AWS) offers an innovative wind technology that can amplify wind speed. It can produce up to six times more electricity than a conventional turbine and operate in low speeds, making wind power economically viable in previously non-viable locations. For telecommunications applications, the AWS technology can provide onsite renewable power generation for both on-grid and off-grid cell tower sites.
How did you come up with the idea?
This technology was originally developed by Dr. Majid Rashidi at Cleveland State University in 2008, under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Two active prototypes have been developed and tested, Generation 1 at Cleveland State University and Generation 2 at Progressive Field. Generation 3, which uses the physics proven in Generation 1 and 2, is currently being developed for commercial sale.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
I was pleasantly surprised by how many people will help if you simply ask. So many people are excited about the potential of what we are creating, and will often go out of their way to assist in whatever way they can. It’s inspiring.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
Lately, a typical day for me includes establishing new connections with potential customers, partners, and investors, and maintaining current ones via email, phone, and in person. It includes market research and development of proposals and presentations for fundraising opportunities.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Ohio?
Northeast Ohio has an amazing entrepreneurial network of people and organizations that are willing to roll up their sleeves and really dig in to help new companies get going. If you've never done it before, starting a business is a daunting task with a mysterious process. These people and organizations can help you discover a roadmap that makes sense for your company and demystify what lies ahead. For us, this support has been essential to our development.
What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We have worked closely with Cleveland State University
, Mutual Capital Partners
, and recently Rockwell Automation
has been added to the list. They have helped us in a variety of ways, which include mentoring, funding opportunities, PR, market development, and technology development.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
One should never put themself in a box. We are capable of so many things, even things that seem outside of our realm. With two Bachelors degrees in Fine Arts and Art Education, I never thought there would be a place for me in the business world. But life's opportunities have shown me otherwise – that business is dynamic and creative, and my skills are well suited to starting a business.
What inspires you?
Connecting with people. You just never know what amazing things people are capable of. I love learning about experiences, strengths, hopes, and fears, and stories of passion and persistence. I am inspired by people who come together and bring an idea to life.
What founders do you admire and why?
Lindsay Sims of Renter's Boom
. She is such a genuine and dynamic woman entrepreneur. And she has a clear passion for what she does.
What’s next for you?
In the coming months, AWS will continue pushing forward with fundraising, achieving customer traction, and will begin building a prototype of Generation 3.
Interview by Joe Baur