Worked on renewable energy initiatives for Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Worked at the Obama White House Office of Science & Tech
Co-founded two energy start-ups
Bringing cheaper, cleaner energy to millions of Americans as CEO of WattBuy
All before the age of 30
Renewable energy has seemingly been a hot button issue since the 90s as it was recognized as a competent threat to the fossil fuels industry. Since then, it's only proven it's worth several times over with new innovations and advancements on how we can more effectively harness wind, solar, water, nuclear, and geothermal energy.
One person who recognized the dire need for renewable energy was Naman Trivedi, CEO of WattBuy. He not only recognized it as a consumer demand, but an existential need as humans seek to curb the effects of global warming through a smaller carbon footprint.
WattBuy is a company that operates in energy deregulated states to give consumers broader choices and more transparency for their energy consumption needs. Ultimately, this translates to the cheapest, cleanest energy source option available in the customer's area.
Mr. Trivedi was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Read on for more insight into how this wunderkind CEO became so successful from within.
How do you feel your passion for renewable energy translates to overcoming the adversity that most start-ups experience?
Early on in my exploration of the climate space, I developed an understanding that climate change was an existential threat. I think that has been one of the key forces driving my career and building WattBuy. Especially in adverse situations while in the early stages of building a company, it’s that belief in our mission of delivering access to cheaper, cleaner electricity for millions of Americans that keeps us going. At the same time, it wasn’t exclusively belief in the mission that helped us through tough times - we have a strong cohort of mentors and investors who have helped us when we needed it most.
Have you ever encountered an obstacle you initially felt was insurmountable, but after having overcome it were surprised with how easily you did?
In April 2018 we almost shut down WattBuy. We were running out of our initial cash, with only $1,200 in the bank. We had already been rejected from the Techstars Accelerator once, but as a last-ditch attempt, we applied to another round with the hope that we would receive some much needed mentorship and funding. It worked! Techstars proved to be a critical inflection point for our story. The achievement is not so much in getting into Techstars as it is building a strong network of mentors who continue to support us to this day.
What lessons have you carried over from your past ventures to WattBuy?
One major facet of company-building that we have learned is that opportunities exist at intersections. Not only are we introducing new technologies, but we are also distributing our service through several partnerships with real estate companies. We focus a lot of effort on building connections like these at the intersection of energy and the real estate industry – where we are an outsider. It gives us the opportunity to create a unique business model and competitive moat.
What advice can you give for those who want to contribute as much as possible to the fight against climate change?
A lot of fighting climate change starts with changing our personal behaviors and actions to align ourselves with what’s necessary to reduce our individual impact on the planet. Everything from reducing consumption of resource-intensive meat to making the requisite energy efficiency upgrades in your home makes a difference.
Finally, how would you guide someone into manifesting their passion into helping others how they can while also striving towards personal success?
I think focusing on other people and how you can help them is the path towards personal success. Early on, take every meeting. While you’re building a company, you are also building your network in a new industry, with investors, or with customers. And while not 100% of the people will be relevant or useful to you today, you’ll be surprised how many times people will circle back into your work in the coming months and years — as customers, investors, referrers, or employees. Of course, you have to focus your time on building your company, but in my opinion, it is as valuable to focus on people.
Do you have any insight to share on fighting climate change or working towards our goals? Share the wealth of knowledge by letting us know in the comments, so we can all grow and be our best together.
If you missed our article on how to maintain a low-stress college life, you can still check it out by clicking below.