Pierce Louis

Pierce Louis

Pierce Louis

Speaker | Dirt Hugger

Dallesport, WA | pierce@dirthugger.com

Pierce Louis is a co-founder at Dirt Hugger, a 60,000 Ton per Year composting company located in Dallesport, WA. Dirt Hugger processes organics for Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, WA and the Columbia River Gorge communities accepting commercial food scraps, residential yard debris with food waste, whole fruit, liquid brewery residuals and more. Dirt Hugger sells over 35,000 yards per year of organic compost into the retail, orchard & vineyard, farm, and construction markets. Pierce serves as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ & CEO at Dirt Hugger as well as on the board of the US Composting Council.

Session Code: 2A

Track: Business

Session Name: Funding the Expansion

Session Time: Tuesday, January 25, 1:45 PM to 3:15 PM

Presentation Title: Funding the Growth of Dirt Hugger

Presentation Description: Since inception Dirt Hugger has raised over $3 million in capital including $211,000 from eight grant sources and $65,000 in crowdfunding. Using a stacked capital approach Dirt Hugger built out a 62,000 ton per year Turned Aerated Static Pile facility from scratch without using outside equity. This talk will walk through financing options utilized in starting and building two new facilities from scratch including pros, cons, and pitfalls of each option:

$154K – Local government: County, Solid Waste & Recycling Committees & Port Authorities
$50K – Federal government: USDA, EPA
$7.5K Grant competition: Myoo Create
$1.5 mil -Bank loans
$1.5 mil- Equipment financing
Crowd Funding
$65K – Kickstarter
Less rewards, promotion, time
Bootstrapping & Entrepreneurship: in-kind financing
$32K Old, abandoned, and unused: blowers, baggers, & more
$20K Leveraging partners
$100K Existing infrastructure
Equity – not exercised