Everblue was founded by the Boggiano brothers — serial entrepreneurs Chris and Jon— in 2008. They built the training company to teach people about sustainability and renewable energy with the goal of helping the U.S. become more energy independent.
They created and hosted courses such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) exam preparation and general solar education – for beginners and advanced professionals – and delivered the courses through recorded web-based trainings, live in-person classes, and live webinars. The Boggianos expanded the Everblue offerings across the country, and finally sold the company in 2011.
Last year, they discovered an opportunity to reacquire Everblue — with the hypothesis that they could take the same process that they used to create the sustainability courses and apply it across other industries.
It took stepping away from the company for them to recognize the opportunity, but they were (and still are) focused on building a new company, Versame. So they brought in Sid Bergstresser — a fellow West Point graduate — to lead the company.
Since joining the team, Bergstresser has helped Everblue find new industries and technologies that could re-energize the existing business and step outside the sustainability space into more professional training across the board.
“One of the things we found was very, very broad interest in blockchain technology,” Bergstresser said.
Even at this early stage, they have seen blockchain interest in the financial, insurance and energy industries.
“It’s such an early technology at this point that there is a lot of people that have a loose understanding— or no understanding of what it is— and it is this big scary thing that is going to change their industry,” says Bergstresser.
They have developed a Blockchain 101 course that gives people— especially mid-to-senior level managers— a thorough understanding of the technology and its potential applications.
“They need to have that basic understanding. They don’t need to know how to code it, but they need to know how to make an informed decision to drive their team in the right direction,” adds Bergstresser.
Some of the interest to learn about the technology is stemming from the fear of being replaced by automation.
Outside of the new Blockchain 101 course, Everblue is also adding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related classes. They are also considering and market testing other concepts such as cybersecurity and entrepreneurship— a.k.a. Business 101.
Everblue’s core competency remains the same 10 years later.
“We take difficult concepts and very complex things and break it down into simple terms, bite-size pieces that people can understand, and have three or four different ways of teaching the same thing,” says Bergstresser.
And despite the expansion to areas outside of the green and renewable energy space, they are still focused on sustainability — but in a broader sense. The Everblue team wants to help train people who aim to have sustainable careers and want to continue to advance their careers as technology advances and industries change.
“Our win-win proposition, at the end of the day, is we help professionals and companies advance their goals and move forward into the future,” says Bergstresser.
As Everblue continues to grow and expand, Charlotte remains a big contributor to their success.
“Charlotte is such a vibrant community particularly when it comes to startups and technology,” adds Bergstresser.
There are bright minds locally who are successful at taking new ideas and putting them in to practice. They also make up an outstanding support system of experienced founders and entrepreneurs that can be tapped for advice and questions.
To learn more about Everblue’s blockchain class, they have a free webinar coming up on Feb. 7. And you can explore their other new courses, such as Buying Bitcoin Safely and Cryptocurrency Essentials, here.