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5 Questions with Dylan Veilleux

December 5, 2019

You founded TreeFreeHeat to bring a renewable heat source, hemp, to market. Why did you choose hemp? 

Dylan Veilleux,
Founder of TreeFreeHeat, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space

Hemp is a valuable source of fuel because its growth cycle is significantly shorter than that of trees – hemp matures in only 3-4 months. In addition, hemp burns with similar efficiency as wood and all hemp farmers & processors have difficulty disposing of their hemp waste efficiently. TreeFreeHeat repurposes hemp waste into a valuable product.

What form does your hemp heat source take?

Currently, TreeFreeHeat offers firestarters and biobricks . I convert hemp into firestarters on my own and I am working with my partners Wood & Sons (in Sanford, ME) to scale a biobrick operation. Once I accomplish hemp biobricks at scale, I would like to take it to the next step and create hemp pellets and biofuel, which I believe is the future of hemp energy.

Who is your target market?

My target market for my fire starters include Maine adventurers who want a no-hassle and renewable way to start a fire . Each firestarter lasts for 30 minutes, enabling the adventurer plenty of time to build upon the fire. Though that may be my ideal target market, anyone who would like to keep warm and not deal with the hassle of building a fire would love my product.   

What resources, partners, and mentors have been helpful to you as you progress with TreeFreeHeat?

If it wasn’t for all of the amazing resources I have been offered, TreeFreeHeat would have never taken off. It initially started with Thomas College, where faculty began to mold my entrepreneurial skills. Mike Duguay (of Thomas College) later introduced me to my current mentors RJ Anzelc (of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space ) and Nick Rimsa (of Eariously ). RJ and Nick gave me guidance to find an idea I really love and that I am willing to spend everyday working on. RJ later introduced me to the team at Central Maine Growth Council – Garvan and Elaine have given me a great deal of knowledge that you don’t get in college (Elaine was actually the one who gave me the confidence to tackle this idea!). I am in their debt for helping me get to where I am.

You’ll be pitching on Greenlight Maine’s Collegiate Competition. When can we expect to watch your pitch?

Yes, I am pitching for the Greenlight Maine Collegiate Competition, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it. My experience has already been incredibly positive, and it is inspiring to meet other entrepreneurs who are in the competition. I will be pitching January 6th and the air date will be within February and March. Wish me luck! 

Last modified: June 21, 2021

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