Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Just One Question: Have you founded a company?

In 1971 I was in the investment business. I had a friend who wanted to diversify his business and we set out to acquire the company for him. I became chairman, he became treasurer. The company engineered coal preparation facilities and was a small factor in a fairly large industry. It did turnkey construction based on its engineering designs, but had no construction facility. During the next three years the coal industry had a strike, the price of coal went sky high, and the company, which was capable of building two plants at a time, was building seven. We paid off all the debt and had cash left over. It was decided that we would begin a holding company and acquire other companies. We have made various investments, including two construction companies designed to assist the coal processing engineering company. I do not consider that we have been particularly successful. We should have been investing in tomorrow’s business instead of yesterday’s. We set out to develop a fast-growing company; we ended up with cyclical, smokestack companies. The most significant lesson we have learned is that it is critical to set goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and constantly review the plan and the results—and that you will make some mistakes.
—Nate Parker ’52 Tu’53 Th’53

In 1987-88 I founded a company that we named IMCOR (the interim management recruiting company). The company grew rapidly, and in 1997 I sold it for $10 million to a large temporary-help firm. We drew on the large pool of downsized executive talent that then (as now) existed in the United States. We challenged a large number of executive recruiting tenets as a part of our strategy and used networking concepts and laptop computers to locate and source specific skill sets and provide rapid service. We had a small but significant retainer and provided nearly perfect executive candidates in less than two weeks. All of our placements were interim assignments of six months. Our pricing and conversion fees were engineered to be both profitable (to us and to the executive) as well as considerably less expensive than the executive recruiting business model. And then we found that 80 percent of our placements were offered a permanent position after completing the interim assignment. Models of recruiting behaviors, economic tradeoffs, and negotiating tactics were used continuously in our training and mentoring. And all of this was before monster.com.
—Bruce Clark ’60 Th’61 Tu’61

In 1972 I left as the development officer of what is now Westin Hotels and started my own firm, Jack N. Hodgson Co., specializing in hotel development. I’d attach myself to a developer doing a major project and oversee the hotel part of it. My firm never had more than three employees. I loved that flexibility. Science courses and case studies in business school were important aids in my work. During my two-year stint in the Army, I studied interrogation techniques at intelligence school. That helps in negotiations, which you do every day. Most importantly, if you treat people nicely and do good work, more work comes in the door.
—Jack Hodgson ’60

After six to seven years with a very large firm, CRSS, my partner and I bought the Chicago office of CRSS Civil Engineers, of which I was president, in 1993. We formed Meridian Engineers & Planners Inc., saying, “Now if we’re doing anything stupid, it has to be our fault!” We functioned with a staff of 25 to 30 until 1996, when we concluded that we didn’t function well selling from a “small wagon.” We merged Meridian into Edwards & Kelcey in a great cultural and services fit that saw me to retirement in 2006. We more than doubled the size of the office to 70 and ultimately realized an excellent return on our original investment.
—Tom Jester ’63 Th’64

In 1994, after 20 years as a manager in a Silicon Valley electronics company, I left and co-founded an RF semi-conductor company called Endwave. I had been introduced by a venture capital firm to an enthusiastic group of engineers who had a new idea for building cost-effective broadband, radio-frequency semiconductors. We built a business plan and raised our first round of financing. Six years later, after more venture capital funding, we did an initial public offering and raised funds to advance the business. Last year we sold the majority of the company to a larger semiconductor company, and I retired as CEO.

I would advise a few things for budding entrepreneurs:

—Ed Keible ’65 Th’66

I was a VP and director of technology for Owens-Illinois (O-I) Inc. when I founded Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) in 1985. The premise for creating PTI was that Coca-Cola bottlers wanted to develop new and innovative PET plastic soft drink packaging products, including a plastic can. Four Coca-Cola self-manufacturing cooperatives agreed to jointly sponsor and fund several major product development and engineering projects. I proposed establishing a separate independent company to manage these projects—and PTI was created. The contracts assured PTI of initial funding and required PTI to manage the plastic can development project and carry out other engineering and development projects for the combined Coca-Cola cooperatives. PTI developed client relationships with other high-profile self-manufacturing concerns, resin suppliers, machinery builders, brand owners, and converters. We learned how to work with competitive customers and are recognized for protecting customer intellectual property and confidentiality. PTI customers are involved in every step of the PET value chain, from raw material supply through end-of-life recyclability process studies. PTI is recognized today as the premier PET technical development and support resource in that industry, with nearly 120 employees worldwide, and offices and labs in Ohio and Geneva. Recent technological developments include biopolymers, nanotechnology for material additives, flexible packaging and pouches, sustainable packaging initiatives, and instrument development with new sensors.
—Tom Brady ’66 Th’68

In 1983 I co-founded and was president of Aqua Design, a desalination company based in California that established seawater desalination operations on 14 islands. We sold the company in 1996 to Ionics, and it is now part of General Electric. The company was an extension of a 1963 Thayer ES 21 project with Professor Paul Shannon and a reverse osmosis graduate research project that Dean Spatz ’66 Th’67 and I conducted under the guidance of Dean Myron Tribus.

Aqua Design engineered, manufactured, constructed, owned, and operated seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants supplying water to governments and resorts mainly in the Caribbean. Essentially we were selling water by the cubic meter. Since we owned the plants, we were able to test new ideas and developments on a commercial scale under real-world conditions. By 1987 we had the reduced energy consumption for the main desalination process to less than 9 kilowatt-hours per thousand gallons by reusing the hydraulic energy in the waste brine by means of our dynamic pressure exchange systems.
—Chris Miller ’66 Th’67

I played a significant role in the rebirth of the family-owned business, Schweizer Aircraft Corp. During its first 44 years the company developed and produced a line of sailplanes and manufactured airplanes, as well as airplane parts and assemblies for major aerospace companies and the U.S. government. A second generation of Schweizers (all engineers) joined the company in the 1970s, including my brother Paul ’68 Th’69, after eight years in engineering at Boeing, and me, after picking up a master’s in aeronautical engineering from Princeton and three years at Boeing. In 1983 we acquired the company, which was in bad shape in terms of its technology, product base, and finances. Our first major move was to acquire an existing light helicopter line, which included the Army’s primary flight trainer, from Hughes Helicopter Inc. During the next 21 years the company developed two new light helicopter models and an unmanned helicopter for the U.S. government while producing in excess of 2,000 helicopter units. Another important business area became the development and production of highly specialized and sophisticated reconnaissance airplanes for the U.S. and foreign governments. In 2004 we sold the company to the Sikorsky Aircraft division of United Technologies Corp. I retired in 2007.

My advice includes: Have people around you who are ready to criticize the boss. Treat your employees fairly and your customers like gold. Recognize your mistakes as soon as possible and react. Constantly improve your products and technology. Really know your competitors. Work your butt off.

The engineering and liberal arts background that I acquired at Dartmouth helped me every day. I could solve tough engineering problems one minute and write an effective proposal the next. The most important thing I took from Thayer School was understanding that no problem was too tough for me if I put my mind and energy fully against it.
—Stu Schweizer ’66 Th’67

Irradiance, the company founded by Edward Kern Jr. ’67 Th’68, designed the solar panel system on the roof of Dartmouth’s Murdough Center.
BRIGHT SPOT: Irradiance, the company founded by Edward Kern Jr. ’67 Th’68, designed the solar panel system on the roof of Dartmouth’s Murdough Center. Photograph courtesy of Edward Kern Jr.

The photovoltaic power systems and instrumentation company I founded almost 25 years ago, Irradiance, grew out of projects I worked on and led at MIT. My advice: Follow a passion and teach others along the way—and be patient for the world to catch up. Staying in touch with Thayer is also a good thing to do.
—Edward Kern Jr. ’67 Th’68

I’ve worked at several early-stage companies and groups over the years, but the British Flag Holder Co. is the first one I’ve founded. This is a very small group that we formed to make bronze memorial flag holders for British veterans. (My dad, Ken Chapman, was at university in London when World War II broke out. He enlisted and served in the British Army until 1946.) Even though this project is small, it has all the earmarks of a successful startup: an unmet need, passionate team, and long-term commitment.
—Mike Chapman ’76 Th’77

I founded Advizor Solutions as a spinoff from Bell Labs. We are currently about 20 people. The biggest challenge has been changing markets. As a technology spinoff (I was hired to spin the technology out of Bell Labs), we had technology but needed to find the market—sort of the reverse of the ideal startup. We first went after website analytics, but that market crashed around 2003. We then went after financial services, but that got pulled out from under us when a key partner with domain knowledge went into a downspin. We then targeted higher education, but that slowed up in the 2008–09 market slump. Now we have some good forward momentum. I think the biggest lessons learned were to stick in there and adjust as market conditions change, and to make sure you address key needs and pain points in unique and valuable ways.
—Doug Cogswell ’77

I’ve been involved in two startups in the computer software industry. I co-founded Syntra Ltd. with a Columbia Business School friend while we were both at Columbia in 1983. The systems-oriented approach to engineering that was taught at Thayer and the project focus of classes such as ES 21 were excellent background for starting and growing a technology company because they made you realize that you could achieve much more than people thought if you just jumped in and tried to solve problems as they came up. I remember a number of occasions when we won competitive bidding situations because we were able to innovate around a roadblock while our competition did not. We grew the company from the two of us and $50,000 of investor capital to revenue of $6 million and a staff of 50. We sold to venture capital investors in the late 1990s, and they invested $75 million into the company in a bet on the globalization of the Internet. The bet did not work out as desired, so the company no longer exists. My second startup was an industry-funded portal called INTTRA, a global portal for the ocean container industry. Our 2010 revenues were $50 million, and we have about 300 people. Because containerized freight is a global industry, the Dartmouth global worldview was very helpful in the early days as we struggled with building a global team, culture issues, language issues, etc.
—Harry Sangree ’79 Th’80

In 1995 I co-founded Intermind Corp., a startup focused on automating information exchange on the Internet, allowing info consumers to establish persistent links with info providers, such as vendors, in a way that enabled them to control the flow. It also allowed info providers to obtain anonymous, aggregate data on what consumers are seeking, how they interact with the info, etc. The product shipped in 1996. We achieved adoption by more than 200 info providers, but the speed of the database engine proved a painful limitation. We ran low on money before we could solve the tech problems. After shedding more than 80 employees, we took the company back to just two people (myself and the co-founder), received more capital, and tried again. In 1999 I was invited to leave in favor of new CEO talent. The company is still trying to create value from the original IP. I am a co-author of one patent, and the company received several others, but patents mean little without large-scale application deployment. The startup was a wild ride. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but differently.
—Peter Heymann ’81 Th’83 Tu’83

My company is the Energy Emporium, a renewable energy showroom and information center located in Enfield, N.H., in an 1860s renovation to zero-energy building. Zero-net energy means all of the energy needed to heat the house and provide electricity is provided from renewable sources; for us that means solar energy. We have four goals with this building: zero-net energy, LEED certification, no combustion (heating is done with all low-temperature distribution), and historical preservation. We provide information, a showroom, sales, installation, and maintenance for solar hot water, solar electric, grid-tied or off-grid systems, wind and water turbines, and composting and energy-efficient products. I hope to provide a place for people to research their own ideas in renewable energy and sustainable living.
—Kim Quirk ’82 Th’83

Kim Quirk ’82 Th’83 opened a renewable energy showroom and information center in Enfield, N.H.
ENERGY EMPORIUM: Kim Quirk ’82 Th’83 opened a renewable energy showroom and information center in Enfield, N.H. Photograph courtesy of Kim Quirk.

None of the companies I have founded has bloomed, though products I initiated have made, well, maybe billions. Under the direction of Barry Richmond, I simulated the life of a person for my Thayer M.S. thesis. In 1984 my technical recruiter presented my proposal to turn that simulation into a game. Electronic Arts (EA) turned it down, saying simulation models do not sell. Human Edge Software moved me across the country to develop it, but the company went under, so I founded AI Consultants and tried to sell the idea to IBM, Apple, Hanna-Barbera, and venture capitalists. Meanwhile, I designed and wrote computer programs and expert systems for Apple, IBM, Prudential, and other big companies. Now SIMS and SIM City are the core products of EA. Today I have two software products that will be great: one that heals the heart through individualized dialog and one that connects kids to the woods through smart phones. I still have no idea how to get a company going. Any advice?
—Sue Spencer Th’82

I am the CFO of Energy XXI Ltd., which I co-founded in Bermuda in 2005. We have a $3.9 billion enterprise value ($2.8 billion market cap) and produce about 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico, of which two-thirds is oil.
—West Griffin ’83 Th’85 Tu’85

In 2007 I co-founded North Bridge Growth Equity, a private equity investment firm. We help businesses manage rapid growth with the goal of taking the company public or selling to a larger firm down the road. Our first fund of $547 million was raised from university endowments, foundations, and family offices.

After Thayer I started my career in the semiconductor capital equipment industry, working for Teradyne as a sales engineer. Since earning my M.B.A., I have spent the last 20 years in private equity focused on technology investing. My A.B./B.E. in engineering have been crucial to my career in so many ways. The beauty of the Dartmouth degrees is the breadth of exposure to technology combined with the opportunity to build great communications skills. I am at ease discussing technology with entrepreneurs, whether it is semiconductors, software, communications, medical devices, data storage—you name it. I couldn’t possibly have succeeded in my career and started my company without it.
—Doug Kingsley ’84 Th’85

My first six years out of Dartmouth were spent as a nuclear engineering submarine officer. The motivation for this service, back in the 1980s, was derived from my time in Leningrad (foreign study program in Russian language) that tapped a patriotic vein within, while at the same time looking for a challenging engineering experience. I was later able to lean on my double major in engineering and Russian studies in the early 1990s, when I co-founded a company with two Russian scientists to lease a Russian nuclear-powered submarine for civilian science research under the Arctic. In 2000 I founded a company in Brazil offering energy services to electric utilities and large wholesale customers for their energy management and efficiency needs—services just now coming to the United States, as power finally becomes of interest to consumers. A year ago I co-founded SI Energy for the development, acquisition, and management of hydropower assets in the Republic of Georgia, once again utilizing elements of my double major. We have a partnership with a Norwegian utility, but I feel it hard at my age to pick up another language.
—Dale Perry ’84

My partners and I have co-founded at least half a dozen companies focused on everything from oil and gas exploration and production to trucking. Some have been winners and some have been dogs. I think I am most proud of the fact that we have never gone bankrupt!

The most recent venture is Absolute Completion Technologies Ltd., started in 2002 and focused on developing and commercializing technologies for the down-hole control of solids and fluid in-flow in oil and gas wells. We have some exciting IP in this area that we largely developed ourselves. ACT’s products are currently sold in 35 countries around the world, and we work in some very interesting and challenging environments—from deep water to high-temperature, in-situ combustion. ACT will double in size this year to about $30 million in annual revenue and more than 80 employees. Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield service company, took a minority stake in ACT in 2007.

Important things I have learned are:

—Thane Russell ’84 Th’85

I started a small company called Focus Embedded to design electronics for deeply embedded systems. We do digital and analog electronic circuit design, programmable logic design (including field-programmable gate array design and synthesis), deeply embedded firmware and device driver design, some user interface software design, printed circuit card layout, and short-run prototyping for “design for manufacturability” feasibility studies. The company got its first big lease on life in late 2007, when I was handed a severance package at my position as a field applications engineer with a major semiconductor manufacturer. I was unemployed about a week when my phone rang. It was one of my former employer’s customers. He’d hunted me down and became my first design customer. By the spring of 2008, it dawned on me that this was my next job. Having collected lab equipment for years (to do all my little “garage shop” projects) and having made innumerable contacts in the electronics industry, I pretty much had all the pieces to pull the plug on working for a large corporation. Now Focus Embedded is up to six and a half employees.
—Eric Overton ’87 Th’89

Eric Overton ’87 Th’89, founder of Focus Embedded, uses his down time to reproduces a Nieuport 12 biplane.
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: Eric Overton ’87 Th’89, founder of Focus Embedded, uses his down time to reproduce a Nieuport 12 biplane. Photograph courtesy of Eric Overton.

After seven years of running an early stage/incubation venture fund (Momentum Venture Management) I returned to my operating roots and launched my newest venture, Graphight. I realized that great ideas must be surrounded with great people in order to build great companies. Graphight is a relationship management system that helps business professionals develop new contacts into valuable relationships while ensuring they don’t neglect important existing relationships. I am also juggling five other board roles and two young kids (Spencer, 9, and Dylan, 6). I am super lucky to have a fantastic wife, Liz, who helps me keep all the pieces together.
—Andy Wilson ’88

Andy Wilson ’88
PERSONAL TOUCH: Andy Wilson ’88 founded Graphight, a relationship management system for business professionals. Photograph courtesy of Andy Wilson.

I had a fabulous experience founding a company. In 1994 I was working at SRI International on a team doing speech-recognition research, and we decided to spin out a company. I was one of four co-founders of Nuance Communications. I stuck with it for 10 years, during which we grew to $50 million a year in revenue and went through an IPO in March of 2000. After I left in 2004, Nuance was acquired. The acquirer took the Nuance name and NUAN ticker symbol and continued to roll up other companies in the speech space. Nuance is approaching $1 billion in revenue. Today’s Nuance bears little resemblance to the company I helped to create, but it’s exciting to see it live on.
—Peter Monaco ’89

In 2008 I founded B2B Venture Partners USA. We were a small team with considerable experience in business engineering, website design, and marketing. We set up an online social network at usaB2Bvp.com to attract experienced people for the creation and management of new public companies. Our biggest challenge was getting entrepreneurs and professionals to understand our business model. In 2010 we applied the business model in two areas: charter school funding and vegetarian fast food. I credit my Dartmouth experience for giving me the entrepreneurial guts to work on something that has never been done before.
—Ananda Glover ’91 Th’92

A couple of years after I returned to Colombia, I decided to get into the digital post-production and computer animation business for two main reasons: 1) After two years in the innovation business of research in Thayer, I was bored in the manufacturing sector where I was required to comply with norms and guidelines without much room for challenges; and 2) my husband is a TV commercials director and I could see lots of room for growth in the computer animation and nonlinear editing areas. At first, taking advantage of the enormous experience I had acquired at Thayer in computer-assisted design, I became a digital effects designer for a production company my husband worked for. In 1993 we started our own production company, Metro Studio S.A., and I took on the job of designing software for managing the business. I also did computer animation, nonlineal editing, and digital effects. In 1997 we started our own animation and digital effects department inside the company. Since 2002 these areas developed enough throughout Latin America so that we could outsource them. Last year we had sales of $2.5 million. We plan to double this sales figure by the end of 2012.

Thayer taught me how to become an entrepreneur, and I have enjoyed every second of it. I took a very special class with Dean Charles Hutchinson. He taught us the link between engineering and business that has helped me wade through stormy waters. My mottos are: Persistence is king. Never, never, never give up. The only constant is change. Failure is not an option.
—Doris Martínez ’91

I have co-founded startups within large companies like Cisco and have started a new solutions unit in Cisco called Healthcare Solutions. We are looking to do $25 million next year and scale to $100 million in three years. The key challenge is to build a team that has both the urgency and focus of a startup but also can leverage the big company engine as we scale.
—Vishal Gupta Th’94

I formed a medical device manufacturing company, Surgical Planning Associates. It is nearly a “virtual company” insofar as it has no employees, only subcontractors for manufacturing, regulatory, marketing, sales, CAD, software development, web interactivity, billing, and quality control. Our primary product is the HipSextant.
—Steve Murphy ’94

I founded Audio3 Ltd. in 2007. At the moment it is one person and not really making money, as most revenue, when it exists, is invested back into R&D. I also do consulting.
—Bradford Backus ’95

I co-founded ZSX Medical, LLC in 2009. ZSX Medical is reinventing surgical closure in women’s health, developing alternatives to sutures for major surgeries women encounter, such as caesareans and hysterectomies. We have two full-time employees and an army of consultants and advisors. Our biggest challenge has been raising financing in these difficult economic times. I’m not sure we’ve had “success” yet, but two things that stand out to me are: 1) you should know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it; and 2) when the facts change, you need to revisit your assumptions to make them match the facts, and then draw new conclusions and change course as necessary.
—Dan Mazzucco ’98

I co-founded a company called Liquid Light. We are developing catalysts, initially discovered at Princeton, that allow carbon dioxide to be converted to a variety of chemicals and fuels with high efficiency. To date, we’ve synthesized 19 different chemicals. The process can take place using only sunlight (artificial photosynthesis) or it can be powered by any source of electricity—preferably a low-carbon source! We have built a team that includes some of the best chemists in the world and believe we have the first credible platform technology for using CO2 as a chemical feedstock. I always wanted to work in clean tech, but was sidetracked by a 6.5-year stint in the Army.
—Kyle Teamey ’98

In 2010, I co-founded Frontier Capital, an alternative investment firm to acquire and manage illiquid credit and equity assets from hedge funds. Our first transaction was purchasing a $258.7-million portfolio from a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund. We expect to acquire an additional $100 million of assets during 2011. An engineer at heart, I always look for high-quality, tech-related assets.
—Rahul Vaid Th’98

I founded Mundy Technical Communications in 2009 to provide marketing and communications support to companies in technology. Where engineers have a tough time whittling down their message, I help them identify and promote that message. I’m still in startup mode, so the biggest challenge is remembering to focus on sales almost constantly. My goal is to develop a strong enough base so that I can set aside time to help technology startups, a group that usually can’t afford marketing support but needs it greatly.
—Marty Mundy Th’99

I started Bynum Design Build, LLC, in Boulder, Colo. We do design, landscaping, and excavation work. Our five employees are expected to perform a multitude of tasks, from CAD to backhoe work. I believe that in order to truly understand what you’re designing, you must have perspective of the implementation of that design. Therefore, time spent in the field is paid at the same rate as time spent in front of a computer—and real-life experience is reflected in design.

My thesis project at Dartmouth set the foundation to my career. I worked on a project for Costa Rica involving the design of low-cost housing. With the help of alumni donors and the Tucker Foundation, funding was available to head to Central America and put the plans into action. The project was completed on time and on budget in 2001, and I am very happy to report (upon returning to Costa Rica this past February) that the houses are looking great and the previously struggling families are thriving!
—Casey Bynum ’00

I co-founded Flurry with two other Dartmouth grads in 2005. Today Flurry is the leading provider of services to developers of mobile applications for iPhones, Androids, etc., with more than 40,000 developers using our services to manage more than 70,000 applications on more than 250 million mobile devices. We have offices in San Francisco and New York and soon will expand into Europe. I credit all of my Thayer classes with teaching me one simple lesson: There is always a way to make it work.
—Sean Byrnes ’00

I opened Mighty Yoga in Ithaca, N.Y. I have a successful career working in energy efficiency as an engineer, and started the studio as a small, low-risk business because I love teaching yoga and there weren’t any other heated yoga studios in Ithaca. I discovered that the niche market I was looking to serve is much larger than I had anticipated. I run the studio like a business, using my engineering and M.E.M. experiences from Thayer. My engineering background has helped me to appreciate the value of and create clear procedures, a website that is easy to navigate, and a professional presentation of the business. My engineering career and yoga studio are a great match.
—Heather Healey ’00 Th’02

I’m the CEO of PlotWatt, which I co-founded with John Cunningham ’02 in 2008. PlotWatt helps people reduce their energy bills. Our cloud-based algorithms analyze smart meter data to figure out appliance-level energy cost without monitoring the individual appliances. The PlotWatt Energy Dashboard then boils that insight down into easy-to-understand feedback and recommendations. Users (in 22 states and counting) have cut their electricity bills by as much as 50 percent. Today we are a small team of (mostly) engineers. We are hiring.

In a scrappy startup, slow decisions are not an option. We look for non-utility, fast-moving customers that help us become profitable quickly while providing a platform and proof points that entice the big guys and open doors for massive future opportunities.
—Luke Fishback ’02 Th’03

I recently co-launched eProfit Partners to provide Internet marketing services to e-commerce businesses. The New York City-based company works with clients to multiply online sales and profits through increasing website traffic and enhancing conversion rates. We manage search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, conversion rate optimization, and email marketing campaigns, and also advise clients on Internet marketing strategy. We work with web-based businesses that have the capacity to dramatically increase their profits through Internet marketing. Our typical client is an e-commerce website that is already generating sales online and is seeking to scale its growth through Internet marketing. We also advise pre-revenue Internet startups that have significant growth potential. Our report, “The 5 Fastest Ways to Double Your Online Profits,” is available on our website.
—Philip Frost ’04 Th’06

I have started a few companies. I started a business improvement and coaching company called 1 Group Inc. in 2010. I started and was president of a solar technology company, AxiSol, until early 2011. We were awarded a N.H. Innovation Research Center grant working with Thayer Professor Jifeng Liu. I’m forming a new Maine-based company, Beltane Solar Inc., which is commercializing technology that will concentrate the sun’s energy to create power and hot water. The design has a total efficiency of more than 60 percent, yet is simple, scalable, reliable, and low-cost. Future accessories will allow energy autonomous water desalination and sanitation. We believe that you can and should get more from the sun.
—Steve Musica Th’05

The drug-authenticating company I founded, Sproxil, has seven full-time employees and five contractors. It has implemented technology from my Ph.D. research. We have two of the world’s five largest pharma companies as clients.
—Ashifi Gogo Th’09

For more photos, visit our Alumni Events and People and Summer 2011 sets of images on Flickr.

Categories: Alumni News, Just One Question

Tags: alumni, energy, entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, patent

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