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Sam Pardue 6 November 2012

CEO and Founder of Indow Windows, Co-founder of Lensbaby

Sam Pardue is a serial entrepreneur who left the Intel mothership to form start-up ventures in the Portland, Oregon metro region. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program in 1998, Sam first worked at Intel Corporation as a marketing manager. After several years he left Intel to co-found Lensbaby (, a globally celebrated Portland-based manufacturer of award-winning special effects SLR camera.

In August of 2010 Sam stepped down as Lensbaby’s CEO to found Indow Windows (, a company that manufactures and markets Pardue’s invention, a thermal window insert that presses into place on the inside of a window frame without any nails, screws or adhesives to deliver double pane window performance at a fraction of the cost.

At the 2011 CleanTech Open, the nation’s largest clean tech business competition, Indow Windows won the National Energy Efficiency category award, the National Sustainability Award, and came in second place for the Grand Prize. Indow Windows won a bronze medal in the 2012 Edison Awards, was recognized by Sustainable Industries Magazine as a Top Ten Green Building Product of 2011, and was awarded the Innovation in Sustainable Product Award by Sustainable Business Magazine.

What are you up to?

Indow Windows manufactures a thermal window insert that presses into place on the inside of a window frame to give home owners double pane window performance at a fraction of the price. An Indow Window is composed of a sheet of acrylic glazing edged with our patented Compression Tube. We use a laser measuring and customer IT system to make the Indow Windows the exact same shape as the inside of the window frame, but slightly larger, so that when you press the Indow Window into the frame the tubing compresses creating a spring force that holds the glazing in place. It’s a remarkably simple yet effective mechanical design.

We are just beginning our national expansion, so it’s a very exciting time for us. We launched in beta mode in November of 2010, but we needed to complete a custom IT system which we call MODI, so that dealers all over the country could use our laser measuring and order submission system before we could begin expanding. Recently we have been adding a dealer a week in places like San Francisco, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and in other locales.

We are also very happy to have recently become a Silver Certified for our sustainable business practices in the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program. We are wholeheartedly committed to reaching the Gold level and expect to by early next year. We are very focused on our sustainable business practices and have built them into our company’s fabric.

It’s an exciting but daunting time to be selling a product that directly addresses climate change. Buildings are the number one consumers of energy in the United States and windows are the number one source of energy loss from buildings. 42% of the housing stock in the United States still have single pane windows. We can build LEED platinum buildings until the end of time but if we do not address the huge existing building stock we will not move the needle.

The chaotic weather patterns seem to be gradually refocusing American’s attention back on climate change as a very serious issue we need to address, as inconvenient as it is. Indow Windows approach is to produce an affordable green product that allows people to cut dramatically the energy lost through their windows while making them more comfortable. And over time they can save enough money to pay for their Indow Windows!

Why Portland?

Portland has been a wonderful cradle for Indow Windows though the greatest opportunities for us lie outside of the state. There are so many environmentally minded people here, and our city is major hub of energy efficiency expertise. What I also love are all the creative people who live here who are helping us communicate with our audience. We have several notable artists on staff here at Indow Windows and they give us a creative jolt. My wife Eugenia Pardue is a fantastic artist too. Creativity infuses our culture.

Portland’s creativity manifests itself in our entrepreneurial scene. There is a lot happening here. We were fortunate to participate in the Portland Seed Fund which invests in and mentors startups in the area. That has been very helpful.

Portland has a nice concentration of the older homes that have lovely but leaky single pane windows which has helped us get going. We also have the pleasure of having Neil Kelly as a key dealer here in the Northwest. Neil Kelly is one of the country’s leading remodeling companies and has one of the largest Home Performance operations around. They have helped introduce us to other leading dealers around the country.

At the end of the day, I love living in Portland and don’t seem myself moving anywhere else in this country. It’s a special place that has formed me into the passionate climate change fighter that I am. I can’t imagine Indow Windows forming anywhere else.


Tags: #energyefficiency #indowwindows #climatechange #sustainability #creativity

Now that we’ve had a chance to meet Sam, we’d love to get the chance to meet you.

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