Aquion Energy: Scaling a Manufacturing Startup Pipeline From $0 to $5M

Discover how Aspire's leadership took Aquion Energy, a company whose lead investors included Bill Gates and Kleiner Perkins, from no sales pipeline to over $5 million.

Discover how Aspire's leadership took Aquion Energy, a company whose lead investors included Bill Gates and Kleiner Perkins, from no sales pipeline to over $5 million.


Aquion Energy was a company that developed and manufactured advanced sodium ion batteries for energy storage systems. The company was founded in 2008 and was based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In total, Aquion raised over $182 million USD, with lead investors including Kleiner Perkins & Bill Gates.

Its product, a proprietary battery chemistry known as Aqueous Hybrid Ion, was so unique at the time because all of the components were made of safe, renewable ingredients, like saltwater and carbon.



Aquion was in the process of scaling its manufacturing for its new Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) battery technology. The company was shifting from R&D to rapid commercialization after closing a massive fundraising round.

With significant hype surrounding the product and pressure from investors, Aquion needed a methodical demand generation engine to drive massive growth.


We brought a customer-first approach to Aquion's sales and marketing. With 67% of the modern B2B buying process being done online, our strategy involved standing out from the competition by having a robust digital presence. Knowing our competition was still focused on fading traditional marketing techniques, we prioritized the modern buyer, and doing so paid off in big ways.

We started by creating rich buyer personas, deeply rooted in our customer understanding.

From those personas, we focused on creating content for every step of the buying process. From blog posts to white papers and case studies, and everything in between, Aquion became recognized as an industry leader in content creation.

This process took time, however. As a small startup, our marketing budget was limited. We made sure to prioritize the contact we felt would have the highest impact, and then built from there.

Finally, we built robust marketing automation and leveraged paid channels to deliver this content in a personalized way, at the right place and right time, to our buyers. We focused on standing out in all these areas:

  • With social media, we became a curator of content, rather than just sharing our own content. By becoming a trusted resource, people were considerably more willing to follow us over our competitors.
  • With email marketing, we ensured we kept our brand in front of our buyers. From regular newsletters sharing helpful content to nurturing emails after people downloaded content, we kept ourselves top-of-mind while earning trust.
  • With our website, we ensured there were multiple ways for buyers who were researching but "not sales ready" to engage. They could download content, subscribe to our email newsletter, and more.

The end result was a best-in-class demand generation engine that continues to be lauded in the Tech Manufacturing space to this day.


Supporting Aquion's commercialization efforts, our team helped deliver:

  • $5 million in pipeline (built from $0)
  • 300% increase in quarterly leads generated
  • 180% increase in monthly website visits
  • Up to 270% increased followership on social media channels

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