Gas Pos of North Little Rock has an opportunity to showcase its fuel support technology nationwide.
Four years ago, the company’s founders decided to make central Arkansas the company’s headquarters after participating in the Little Rock Venture Center fintech accelerator program. Shortly after, the technology company, which developed a full-service payment platform for the fuel industry, raised $1 million to fund the rollout of its product.
The company is now partnering with a New York operator to do just that – open portable above-ground gas stations (PAGS) across the United States. The initiative allows stations to open faster and more cost-effectively than more traditional operators with underground fuel. – storage tanks.
Gas Pos and AMS Technologies are seeking permission to open their gas stations in 22 states, including five in Bryant, Hot Springs, Little Rock and Searcy. Officials said there was only one PAGS operating today in the country.
AMS has exclusive US retail rights to portable aboveground gas stations approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association and UL, a global safety certification company. Gas Pos would provide point-of-sale technology and fuel dispensers for the venues.
Joshua Smith, chief executive of Gas Pos, said the company has also reached an agreement to roll out the product to another 400 stores across Arkansas over the next few years. The partnership with AMS Technologies is a platform for a national product launch.
“It’s an opportunity for us to increase our exposure and we get more visibility because of the number of stores we put in our network,” Smith said.
PAGS are more environmentally friendly than traditional underground tanks, which could leak and contaminate local communities. “The advantage of these is that they’re much easier to manage and maintain, and because they’re above ground, they can’t seep into the ground,” Smith said.
Smith said up to 90% of the nearly 180,000 refueling systems in North America could violate underground tank storage regulations. In 1999, a regulatory amendment required that all underground tanks for petroleum products or other hazardous waste have two walls to prevent leaks.
The average replacement cost for pumps, tanks and accessories is estimated at $300,000 and updates can take months, placing a financial burden on site operators. “Our product is better, faster, and cheaper,” Smith said, noting that the aboveground tanks are also double-walled and strong enough to withstand penetration from shotgun shells.
Gas Post and AMS say their product can be installed for 80% less than the cost of digging tanks underground and installing new ones and is a boon for station operators.
“Gas station owners and consumers are hurting right now,” Smith said. “Store owners often cannot afford to upgrade, leading the state to red-label the station or shut it down altogether. In a world where fuel supplies are already limited and prices gas prices are skyrocketing, taking supply off the market only exacerbates our problems. We are here to help both homeowners and consumers.”
Gas Pos has about 50 employees.
PITCH ‘N PINT
The Little Rock Venture Center’s Pitch ‘N Pint Contest, a Shark Tank-style event for entrepreneurs, will take place Thursday at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock’s River Market neighborhood.
Early bird tickets are available for $5, doubling to $10 at the door. The event is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
Entrepreneurs at the Spark! The Small Business Accelerator will compete for cash prizes, including prizes for an audience favourite. The 10-week accelerator, now in its fourth year, provides mentorship and technical support to small businesses in central Arkansas.
The Accelerator is also co-sponsored by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit venturecenter.co/spark.
Tech companies and start-up entrepreneurs are offered the opportunity to open new doors by doing business with the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center invites business operators to participate in an eight-week accelerator program that will prepare them to tap into funding for Small Business Innovative Research Programs ( SBIR) and USDA-affiliated technology transfer for small businesses.
Commonly known as America’s Fund, the initiative awards more than $4 million in grants each year to small businesses with the potential to develop commercial uses of the technologies.
The local Lab2Launch cohort begins July 11 and will take place virtually, allowing businesses located anywhere in Arkansas to participate.
The USDA has broad research topics that can be applied by a diverse group of technology-focused companies in Arkansas, according to Rebecca Todd of the Technology Development Center. “So many companies that may have a non-agricultural type of customer in mind may find their technology relevant to USDA interests,” Todd said.
Participation is free but places are limited. For more information or to apply, go to asbtdc.org/l2l-accel.
ENTRY ON EVS
With electric vehicles all the rage these days, the Arkansas Department of Transportation is hosting a virtual hearing at 4 p.m. Tuesday to seek public input on the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure deployment strategy. .
Arkansans is being asked to offer ideas on how the state can best use the $54.1 million in federal funding it is expected to receive to build charging stations and other infrastructure to support communities. electric vehicles.
Currently, the state said it plans to install 171 publicly accessible charging stations in Arkansas with a maximum distance of 50 miles between locations. Funding is expected to be disbursed later next year to begin construction of the charging sites.
The live meeting can be accessed at ardot.gov/evplan.
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