By Matt Koester / The Register-Mail
GALESBURG — Galesburg-based tankless water heater manufacturer Intellihot played host to a visit from U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos Friday morning as part of her “Cheri on Shift” programming.
The visit was the second Bustos had made to Intellihot and one where she remarked repeatedly on the growth that had come out of the business.
Intellihot has become the anchor of the Sustainable Business Center in Galesburg. This space at 2900 W. Main St. began life as a city initiative to recruit new sustainable businesses to the former Carhartt distribution facility. When shutting down the facility, the workwear company donated the building to the city, which in turn took on Intellibot as an anchor business for the space. Intellihot’s share of the building has grown over time as their business has become more robust.
According to founder Sridhar “Sri” Deivasigamani, the Galesburg location remains the “hub” of the business, which started in Peoria in 2011. It’s the site of all factory operations and engineering for the company. Even as the company expands into new offices in Chicago, they have intentions to retain and grow their presence in Galesburg.
When asked how many people the company employs, Deivasigamani said they employ “just under 100 people” in Galesburg at the moment, and they only employed about 11 people when they started up. They are continuing to grow.
They hope to make “a lot of hires” in the near future in the area of assembly, product support, product testing and technicians. Open positions can be found on their website, and applications can be submitted at their front door.
The company has a presence “from Maine to Hawaii,” according to Deivasigamani, and works with clients in restaurants, hotels and commercial properties to create more efficient water heaters.
“The way to think about it is, we are like a Tesla in this space,” Deivasigamani said. “The first new company in the water heating space in a very, very long time.”