GET TO KNOW US

Powerhive is a technology venture founded in 2011 that offers access to productive, affordable, and reliable microgrid electricity for millions of rural homes and businesses around the globe. We focus on financing, monetizing, and managing distributed microgrid solutions with our proprietary technology platform and business model. We are headquartered in Berkeley, CA.

Team

Christopher Hornor
President & CEO
Rik Wuts
Co-founder & VP, business development
Brody Giles
Corporate Controller
Steve Kraft
VP, engineering

Christopher Hornor

President & CEO
We're proud to be at the leading edge of solving one of the most important global development challenges.
Chris is an entrepreneur and recognized pioneer of consumer renewable energy product and services. During the last 15 years he has delivered renewable energy to more than two million people. As founder and CEO of Better Energy Systems he launched Solio, a portable solar charger that defined a new category of small-scale consumer energy solutions. In 2008 Chris led the expansion of Better Energy Systems into East Africa where he and his team introduced Club Solio, leveraging mobile money to create the first pay-as-you go renewable energy service for remote, off-grid regions. Chris has held senior posts at technology startups in the US, UK, and Japan where he identified and developed new revenue streams through emerging internet applications. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Rik Wuts

Co-founder & VP, business development
It is important to me that I contribute something of value to the world. At Powerhive I am pursuing my passion for technology and innovation while being part of a team that is addressing a meaningful cause.
During the last decade, Rik has focused on combining cutting-edge technology and innovative business models to deliver market solutions. Before co-founding Powerhive, Rik was the marketing director at Intivation where he helped introduce solar powered devices in more than 30 countries. He has also consulted several large companies and SMEs on product innovation and business strategy. Rik earned a BS in applied physics and an MS in product design from Delft University of Technology. Originally from Amsterdam, he currently lives in Nairobi and is leading the international expansion of Powerhive.

Brody Giles

Corporate Controller
Similar to the cell phone which has provided affordable communications to most of the world by minimizing telecom infrastructure, Powerhive is revolutionizing electricity service by cutting out the grid and delivering power to low income customers. I am proud to contribute to a future in which energy access  is universal.
Brody has served as CFO for several companies, and has more than 15 years of bookkeeping and financial management experience. In 2000 he founded B&T Bookkeeping, a successful company serving nonprofit and for-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. His expertise includes bookkeeping, accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, data management, financial reporting, building custom accounting systems, developing efficient filing systems, and performing quantitative analysis. Brody earned his BS in economics from Pitzer college.

Steve Kraft

VP, engineering
I feel privileged to be helping create the technology that will address a major obstacle to rural economic development around the world.
Steve has nearly 20 years of experience developing hardware and firmware for embedded systems. He has developed solutions for a wide range of hard and soft real-time applications including industrial automation, remote monitoring, and renewable energy. Steve has also served as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a MS in Engineering.
Estifanos Gebrehiwot
Server engineer
Frank Wong
Software engineer
Jason Jones
Engineer and analyst
Brad Folta
Business Analyst

Estifanos Gebrehiwot

Server engineer
I was raised in East Africa, and despite having the good fortune of being raised in a city, I feel a personal connection to those whose lives we’re impacting. My work at Powerhive is far more than a job; it’s my contribution to a more equitable and prosperous world.
For nearly a decade Estifanos has worked as a full stack developer, and has particular expertise in problem solving, design pattern, code readability, debugging, and writing high test coverage. He has worked as a lead developer at Comcast Spotlight, senior software engineer at Cisco, and team lead at Google. He has lectured at the Vocational School of Eritrea and headed their IT Department. Estifanos studied at the University of Asmara and Maharishi University of Management, where he earned BS and MS degrees in computer science. Estifanos loves to play soccer and is Powerhive’s ranking ping-pong player.

Frank Wong

Software engineer
I love automation. The night after I've put some automation in place, I sleep best knowing that work is being performed while I rest.
Frank is a full stack web wizard with more than 15 years of development experience. He has worked as a software engineer and project manager in a range of business and consumer applications, and has worked in many startup environments. He specializes in dynamic application and interactive interface development, systems and database design, and data analysis. Frank earned a BS in chemical engineering and MS in environmental engineering from Tufts University. Frank is teaching himself how to play the piano, he loves to ski, and enjoys racing go-carts on the weekends.

Jason Jones

Engineer and analyst
At Powerhive I'm part of a team that's working hard to find creative solutions to a persistent problem and constantly pushing the limit of what is possible. It's challenging, yet highly rewarding to be part of the mission.
Jason has extensive experience developing and managing a range of technology products for applications that include semiconductors, embedded controls, and renewable energy. Aiming to reduce the cost of solar tracking systems, he co-founded Tilt Solar in 2007, which was acquired by SunPower Corporation in 2009. Jason holds a BS and MS in mechanical engineering as well as an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Brad Folta

Business Analyst

Poor people in off-grid rural areas have needs too — I am proud to work at a place that remembers this, delivering a reasonably priced, high-quality service that has a meaningful impact on livelihoods. 

Brad is an experienced analyst of early stage renewable energy applications in emerging markets. He is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in energy and economics. During his masters program, Brad worked with the venture capital arm of ABB Technology, conducting market analyses and due diligence on clean tech opportunities and an American solar start-up in Ghana advising on pricing strategies, technical design and partnerships. Prior to SAIS, Brad was with Peace Corps Kazakhstan and graduated with a BA in English from Wittenberg University.

Zachary Ayieko
Managing director, Powerhive East Africa
Evans Magembe
Ground operations manager, Powerhive East Africa
Mutua Kathendu
Planning & construction manager, Powerhive East Africa
Obadiah Onsongo
Accountant, Powerhive East Africa

Zachary Ayieko

Managing director, Powerhive East Africa
Powerhive provides me with an opportunity to pursue my passion to empower rural communities through the provision of clean energy on an economically sustainable basis.
For most of his career, Zachary has worked in the finance department of Kenya Power. After nine years as chief manager of the department, he served as managing director and CEO. Among his achievements as CEO of Kenya Power, Zachary launched a far-reaching rural electrification initiative. The success of this initiative resulted in his appointment as CEO of Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority where he helped deliver electricity to trading centers, schools, healthcare facilities, and homes through grid and renewable microgrid sources. Zachary has served as chairman of Rural Electrification Club, Africa and spends time helping various development groups improve their management practices.

Evans Magembe

Ground operations manager, Powerhive East Africa
Africa has been trailing the rest of the world in getting basic services like electricity to her people. I'm confident that Powerhive's approach will easily deliver this promise within years to all of Africa.
Originally from the Kisii region in Kenya, Evans has spent the last two years as a field engineer and operations manager for Powerhive’s East Africa subsidiary. He has worked with Texas Instruments, Citigroup, and Exxonmobil, earned his BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, Dallas, and has lectured at the Kenya Polytechnic University College. Evans’ work in the energy access industry is driven by his desire to eradicate poverty while being a responsible steward of the environment.  

Mutua Kathendu

Planning & construction manager, Powerhive East Africa
For me life is about always trying my best and being grateful for what life offers.
Mutua has more than 12 years of experience in the telecommunications industry as an infrastructure consultant, operations director, and project manager. Previous employers include Safaricom, Siemens, TKM Maestro, and the Wananchi Group. In 1995 Mutua graduated from the University of Nairobi with a BA in building economics. He subsequently completed project management and business administration training courses with a focus on telecommunications.

Obadiah Onsongo

Accountant, Powerhive East Africa
I came to work for Powerhive because I see an opportunity to serve urgent human needs and help people pursue happier lives.
Obadiah is a CPA finalist with nearly a decade of experience as an accountant. He is particularly knowledgeable about Kenyan tax law, auditing, payroll, and financial management.
Lydiah Bagaka
Office operations assistant, Powerhive East Africa
Daniel Boucher
Marketing associate

Lydiah Bagaka

Office operations assistant, Powerhive East Africa

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Lydiah earned a bachelor of commerce degree in 2010 from Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya. She specializes in insurance and risk management and has taken several management training courses. Outside of work, Lydiah is an avid swimmer.

Daniel Boucher

Marketing associate
Complex problems require radical solutions.
Before joining Powerhive, Daniel worked as a freelance copywriter and helped produce a documentary film. He is currently finishing a master’s degree in socio-ecological economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. As a bachelor student at Hampshire College, Daniel invented an energy efficient laundry dryer for commercial applications in emerging markets. Previously, he founded a small waste management business in Sacramento, California. Daniel recently completed a 3,000km bicycle tour across Europe and is a licensed pilot.

Board

Christopher Hornor
President & CEO
John Lefebvre
Board member
Danny Kennedy
Board member
Dr. Marc van Gerven
Board member

Christopher Hornor

President & CEO
We're proud to be at the leading edge of solving one of the most important global development challenges.
Chris is an entrepreneur and recognized pioneer of consumer renewable energy product and services. During the last 15 years he has delivered renewable energy to more than two million people. As founder and CEO of Better Energy Systems he launched Solio, a portable solar charger that defined a new category of small-scale consumer energy solutions. In 2008 Chris led the expansion of Better Energy Systems into East Africa where he and his team introduced Club Solio, leveraging mobile money to create the first pay-as-you go renewable energy service for remote, off-grid regions. Chris has held senior posts at technology startups in the US, UK, and Japan where he identified and developed new revenue streams through emerging internet applications. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

John Lefebvre

Board member
Currently, Mr. John Lefebvre serves as CEO of Cynergy Global LLC, a consulting and development company focused on renewable energy globally.  He has developed over 1,200 MW of Solar PV projects. Previously, he served as President of Suntech Power Holdings - Americas, and was charged with extending Suntech's market leadership position throughout North and South America.  Prior to Suntech, he served as VP of Sales and Business Development at SolarCity for 5 years and was responsible for growing all sales and building strategic partnerships. Mr. Lefebvre began his career in the aerospace division of GE before transitioning to the semiconductor equipment industry. At Lam Research and Mattson Technology, he held senior management positions working across Asia, Europe, and the US for 15 years. Mr. Lefebvre has a BSEE from Clarkson University, a MSEE from Syracuse University and an MBA from the UBC in Canada and ESADE in Barcelona, Spain.

Danny Kennedy

Board member
Danny Kennedy is co-founder of Sungevity, Inc. and leads the company's global business development activities. He helped create the Sungevity.org program, an integral component of the company's Solar Social strategy that has raised over $1.5 million for Sungevity's non-profit partners. Kennedy is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. Prior to Sungevity, he managed Greenpeace Australia Pacific and their California Clean Energy Campaign. In 2012 Kennedy published Rooftop Revolution, How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy–and Planet–From Dirty Energy and in 2013 gave a TEDx talk at the Sydney Opera House about being an activist entrepreneur. Kennedy co-founded the SfunCube, the world's only incubator for solar entrepreneurs, in which Powerhive began. He is on the boards of startups Sunergise and Mosaic as well as non-profits VoteSolar and the Solar Foundation.

Dr. Marc van Gerven

Board member
Marc is the Vice President of Global Marketing at First Solar, where his responsibilities include the incubation of new business models and market segments such as Hybrid Generation and Energy Access solutions. Before joining First Solar, he was the CEO of Q-Cells North America where he built a turn-key solar power plant business in the distributed generation market. Prior to Q-Cells he was part of the founding team of Solaria, a solar technology start-up. Earlier in his career, Mr. Van Gerven was responsible for an Oil & Gas business segment at GE and spent four years with Unocal Geothermal, where he developed large scale geothermal power production projects. Marc has also served on the board of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

CONTACT FORM

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