Industry: Renewable Energy, Solar
Founding Student Name(s): Robert Sewell, T’21
Brief Description of Solution: VesprSolar develops high performance fasteners for fast, secure photovoltaic module attachment. Its award winning fastening technology, the VesprSolar V-Clamp, is recognized as a top 10 innovation in solar by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It reduces installation costs for large scale solar projects, while increasing the resiliency and reliability of PV arrays in severe weather.
Funding Dollars: $950K to date—$600K raised in seed round, $350K in grants.
What led you to launch this venture? We saw an opportunity to significantly improve the cost structure of utility-scale solar with smarter, multi-functional hardware.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? Successful product launch at major solar trade shows. V-Clamp is now being used by some of the largest solar companies in the world.
How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? Tuck helped me build the company from the ground up, including fundraising, team-building, operations management and technology development. Tuck helped me better understand how all pieces of the business needed to work together.
Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Entrepreneurial Thinking. This class helped provide a strong framework that we use daily to evaluate how to best serve a customer. It also helped us consider all facets of our business that we needed to build out before we brought our product to market.
What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Jim Feuille and Daniella Reichstetter. In their courses (Entrepreneurial Thinking & Venture Capital Workshop), we met with startups and got to dig into their business and fundraising models. Outside of the classroom, we met weekly to advise on all aspects of my business.
What is your long-term goal with your startup? Our bold goal is to establish VesprSolar fasteners as the default standard for how solar panels are installed globally.
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