Why I Started ITG:
I have always loved gadgets and new technologies. Even as a child I loved anything that was mechanically unique, that could do something better than anything else. I guess I came by that fascination naturally. My father when he was young invested in the first potato peeler.
I was able to buy my first company back in the “sick building syndrome” time, when Legionnaires’ disease had just been discovered. I bought into a company that was remediating commercial and industrial HVAC systems and removing pathogens like Candida albicans and streptococcus Aurelius and others, that might cause neurological or physical issues. We ended up doing the third Army headquarters, Hughes aircraft, Coca-Cola headquarters as well as others. Then I bought a company that was able to reduce the usage of natural gas in commercial operations, especially restaurants and motels. We were able to negotiate a contract for the installation of our devices with at the time the largest motel and restaurant company in the United States. This was a time when energy consumption was critical, somewhat as it is now.
Fast-forward to 2018, when a friend of mine introduced me to the world of CBD as an effective alternative to other pain relievers . He said it was not only a great business opportunity but that it was truly a beneficial health product. I was very skeptical. Before I go into anything I usually research It pretty well. What I found really amazed me. Here was something that I thought had had very little research done in regards to the benefits of it, (which was totally untrue), and was really just another hyped up “snake oil”. What I found instead was a well researched, (especially outside the United States), plant-based oil which had some pretty impressive health benefits. After hearing enough impressive anecdotal testimonies, my family and I started using CBD. The results were impressive and we use it to this day. But CBD is only one of over140 identified parts (called cannabinoids) of the hemp plant. I found that other cannabinoids were equally beneficial. I found research that identified CBN, another cannabinoid, as having excellent sedative effects without the side effects of prescription drugs. Other cannabinoids had equally impressive benefits. This is where I put on my entrepreneurial hat and researched how this CBD oil was produced. I found out that one of the most popular methods used butane. Another method used ethanol and still another one used CO2. These were solvents and green house gases that could be dangerous both in the production and to our health in the final product. If you wanted to produce any other cannabinoids you had to use a method called chromatography which was very expensive. There had to be a better way….. and there was.
The ITG journey began in August of 2019 when a collegue told me about a new technology that I should check out.. The next day, which is uncharacteristically quick for me, I jumped on a plane, flew out to the university that had developed it, saw the machine, met the inventor, spent the day and evening with him, met the development license holder, came to a verbal agreement and flew back out the next day.
That time frame was unique enough but what happened to me in the Atlanta airport on the way back was truly the reason we're where we are today.
Note:I have been told that when I bring my faith into my business it can be seen as unprofessional and that what I share here is out of place. If this offends or disqualifies our company as an investment opportunity then so be it. I'm sharing the following because I believe it is germane to our corporate philosophy, goals and business policies and anyone who invests in us should be aware of our corporate stance.
As I was waiting for my plane, and writing down my due diligence list, I got a text from a friend of mine in England. He had gone home because his mom had been very sick. I knew she had died just last week and so when I saw his text which said to call him I did so immediately, thinking it was something in regards to his mom. What he told me blew me away…….. He said the Lord had awakened him in the middle of the night and told him to give me the following word immediately. " What you're doing is good, keep doing it, and I will bless it." The timing, the fact that he was in England and had just lost his mom and felt that it was critical to reach out to me in the middle of the night, and the nature of the word in relation to what I was writing when I got the text, was strong evidence to me that the word was directly related to my trip and my plans to move forward with the development of this new technology. You see what I haven't told you is that the due-diligence list that I had just started, only had my number one thing to do on it. “#1 make sure the Lord is behind this”. As far as I am concerned that timing was no coincidence. It was something that I just couldn't ignore.
As part of my due diligence I brought in a friend of mine who is an internationally recognized process engineer and consultant and had him interview the inventor. After the interview my friend, who is usually very skeptical of new technologies,( that’s why I use him), gave me a green light to proceed with the commercialization effort. We began with hemp because the commercialization of that technology could be very valuable and completed in a much shorter time frame. A design engineer was hired to make modifications to the design to make it more efficient and to increase its capacity. The unique aspect of this new technology was that it used no solvents. It was a completely “green technology”.
Since then we have been designing a proprietary adaption of this technology that has been proven in other industries. It will separate out the cannabinoids from crude and it will still employ a completely green technology. That effort is ongoing. It is our hope that we will be able to work with university research programs that are ongoing and unlock the true medicinal benefits of the incredible hemp plant.
What is really exciting is what has transpired from phone call from a guy I met at a hemp conference several years earlier and found out we were both technology geeks. We were both convinced of the incredible capabilities of the pyrolysis technology we were adapting. Once again It appears to be divine orchestration. The first words out of his mouth were "the Lord told me to call you". We have found a way to use pyrolysis to make green fuel. From that conversation, we now have two joint venture opportunities with a like minded company to build synthetic diesel processing facilities out of different biomasses. We have three facilities planned in Tennessee and additional opportunities as part of ECO hubs. Our goal is to produce these facilities throughout the US and with a corporate partner develop them in Europe.
We are also in negotiations with another company to manufacture, distribute, sell and use hemp blocks for our own use in single family, multifamily, commercial, and industrial projects employing a patented method which brings me full circle back to my real estate roots when I was developing subdivisions and condo projects. I truly believe that hemp construction can become the method of the future. We have a great team in place and I think it will be a lot of fun.
I don’t know what you think, but to me, that is all evidence that the word I got in the Atlanta airport is beginning to play out...I am excited to see what comes next.
TS Roberts, Founder