This post was originally published on NOEW.org. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is an annual festival celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in New Orleans.
Twenty years ago, Chad Deville’s father, a retired Pneumatic technician, was experimenting at home, and as a result, created a device that attaches to pre-existing pneumatic controllers on natural gas pipelines, and reduces methane emission into the atmosphere. That’s kind of a big deal.
Pneumatic controllers are devices on gas pipelines that release methane gas, also known as methane bleed, into the atmosphere. These controllers are the second largest cause of methane emissions within the oil and natural gas industry, according to the EPA.
Then, last year, he picked up where he left off years ago and started tinkering again. This time, he devised a smaller, more cost effective version of the original product. Just for funsies.
Deville then realized it was time to help put things in motion. They secured a patent for the Environmental Pneumatic Abatement System (EPAS).
Now, he is working tirelessly to bring his father’s dream to life, and his product to market. Deville will be testing the EPAS for the amount of emission reductions at Stennis Space Center in early March. Things are moving. We talked to the father of two, who also continues to work full-time in medical device sales, to see what’s in store for the system.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Pineville, LA
Q: How old are you?
Q: What’s in your bag right now?
A: iPAD, Windows Surface Pro, ledger, and sales materials
Q: What are you watching right now?
A: Nothing, unless its New Orleans Saints or the LSU Tigers. Having a full time job in medical device sales, being an entrepreneur, being a husband, and being a father of two beautiful children doesn’t leave me with a lot of free time.
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I don’t read a lot of books. I prefer to read articles that help me develop who I am as a person and how to increase my value within my market space. Right now, I’m borderline obsessed with bundled payments and how that will affect healthcare. Very interesting.
Q: What do you do to unwind or fight stress?
A: I rarely do. Whenever you have goals in life, either for yourself or for your family, that’s always on the forefront of your mind. I always have multiple goals that you I’m trying to accomplish and the way I combat stress is to succeed at accomplishing those goals. However, I do love to play golf if the opportunity presents itself.
Q: What is your worst habit?
A: I cannot sit still. This is a work in progress and has been for several years.
Q: What would you be in another life?
A: I couldn’t imagine being anything or anywhere else in my life than where I am currently at. I have a wonderful career, with a beautiful family, and a great support ecosystem. I think in the grand scheme of life, this is all you can ask for.
Q: What’s your spirit animal?
A: A dachsund. Those who have owned dachshunds know that they are ferocious little animals but are the most loyal dogs. I’m a little partial as we own one.
Q: What were you doing before you started Louisiana Technical Instruments?
A: Working in the medical device industry and currently working.
Q: Why did you start Louisiana Technical Instruments?
A: To make my dad’s dream a reality. As being a new father, it’s hard to understand what sacrifices your parents make until you become a parent. I can think of nothing more gratifying, as a son, to be able to give back to my dad for all of the years of sacrifice that he made for our family.
Q: What is your biggest struggle as an entrepreneur?
A: Having enough time to fully focus on the company, having enough resources to help me with tasks and deadlines, and also having enough capital.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about being an entrepreneur?
A: Being that my company focuses on reducing methane emissions and that we are a New Orleans area based company, I feel a certain level of satisfaction that we will be able to impact Climate Change and bring jobs to our community.
Q: What motivates you to wake up each morning and do the work you do?
A: My wife, son, and daughter. They are the reason why I strive to succeed at everything that I do.
Q: What real advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own company? No fluff. Real advice.
A: I would advise them to surround themselves with a many great resources and people as they can. I feel that most start-ups fail from either timing or poor planning. Obviously, you cannot impact timing, but you can determine your level of being prepared. Be prepared and understand your market as well as you possibly can. If you adequately prepare, you will increase your odds of succeeding. Also, always be open to constructive criticism. Listen to everyone. You determine whether you take their advice or not, but by ignoring advice, you may miss an instrumental piece to being successful.