Energy Storage. Energy Generation. Recycling. All three are currently very strong subsectors of the cleantech industry. At last week’s Meet the Entrepreneurs, we heard three up-and-coming cleantech companies talk about their experiences as entrepreneurs. The panelists were: CEO of Hydrostor, Curtis VanWalleghem; CTO of Sustainable Energy Technologies, Brent Harris; and CEO of GreenMantra, Pushkar Kumar.

Moderated by Cleantech Practice Lead Advisor, Jonathan Dogterom, the panelists elaborated on their experiences in adding value to the subsectors they work in, and discussed challenges they’ve faced, key roles that have been important in moving their companies forward, the advantages and disadvantages of starting a company in Toronto, and more.

Judging from the number of questions from the audience, we’ve learned that entrepreneurs really want to hear how it’s done.

One of the best audience questions–and one we hear often–was, “How did you decide to leave your day job and commit yourself full-time to your company?” An important question since all entrepreneurs will eventually face this decision. Curtis VanWalleghem answered it easily: “…it was  about three weeks that I tried to do both [jobs], but it just wasn’t working and my heart was really with the start-up.” He also said that his passion for saving the planet was another influence: “I want to be able to say that I did my best and tried to make a difference.”

Are you an entrepreneur who is so passionate that you’re willing to leave your day job to take on your start-up full-time? Check out the video to learn more about how these entrepreneurs made this transition. And if you’re looking for some advice and mentorship, the Cleantech Practice’s door is always open!

To watch the entire lecture, click here.

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Sarah Lenarcic

Sarah helps make sure our cleantech clients have a great experience with our cleantech practice at MaRS. See more…