It hasn’t always been easy for serial entrepreneur Andrew Perlman, Founder and CEO of GreatPoint Energy, a technology and natural resources company currently headquartered in Boston.
When he was a teen, he had an idea for a telecom company. But who would invest in an 18-year-old who had just dropped out of college?
Turns out that what Perlman lacked, in age and a formal education, he made up for in belief about his dream, and confidence in his ability to make it come true. His willingness to talk to anyone, about his idea, was how he snagged his first investor.
[Photo: Andrew Perlman (second from right), with Adam Pollet, Illinois Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Warren Ribley, Executive Director, IMDC; and other officials at groundbreaking.]
“You should talk to everybody,” says Perlman. “In every situation where I raised money, it was never from someplace that I ever expected to.”
Over the last decade, Perlman built five technology companies. Today, he sits as the founder and CEO of GreatPoint Energy (GPE), a technology and natural resources company that he founded in 2005, currently headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts ― his native state.
Now, Perlman is moving his company headquarters to Chicago. Earlier this month, he donned hard hat and broke ground on a new $2.9 million, 8,400-square-foot state-of-the-art North American corporate headquarters for his company in Chicago’s Near West side.
“What makes him unique… is that he’s looking to disrupt with game-changing technology any industry — from telecom to biotech to now energy,” says Gabe Greenbaum, senior associate at New World Ventures, a Pritzker family-owned venture-capital firm in Chicago.
GPE’s new headquarters will be located in the heart of the Illinois Medical District (IMD). The two-story, glass-and-brick extension of the Enterprise Center I, a 20,000-square-foot building owned by the IMD Commission, will complete GPE’s relocation.
The company says that it chose the 2225 W. Harrison Street location because the area is known as a world-class hub of innovation in biotechnology and healthcare dotted with medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, raw development area, universities and more than 40 healthcare-related facilities. Over the next 10 years, the district expects to create 2,500 to 4,500 permanent jobs in Chicago.
GPE says it’s working on a $20 billion-plus project to turn coal in the Gobi desert into pipeline quality gas that would supply half the natural gas that the world’s most populous countries now import from Russia. The new headquarters is scheduled to open in May 2014. ❒