An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Tim Hade (co-founder and COO) and Ryan Goodman (co-founder and CEO) of Scale Microgrid Solutions, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Scale Microgrid Solutions – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Our experience in super-storm Sandy was the formative event that led us to found Scale Microgrid Solutions.
As energy enthusiasts, our founding team had already been discussing the need to transform our energy infrastructure and address climate change for years.
But experiencing the devastation of Sandy first hand, and seeing the impact it had on our friends and neighbors, is really what inspired us to take on this mission.
As has become increasingly clear in the decade since Sandy, most recently in Texas, our energy infrastructure is woefully unprepared for our future climate reality.
One of the greatest challenges humanity faces in the 21st century is the need to build a cleaner and more resilient energy system that is affordable and accessible for all, with unprecedented speed.
That’s the problem we’re trying to help solve.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Like many other businesses, navigating COVID has been a tremendous challenge for us. As a quickly growing company, we already had our hands full when the pandemic struck. During those first few months, we were forced to overhaul the majority of our operations in an effort to keep our employees, customers, and partners safe. It was basically chaos.
While the beginning was bad, watching our team respond to this unprecedented situation has been really inspiring and, in many ways, brought us closer together. Throughout the last year, we’ve seen countless examples of creativity, innovation, and grit that have propelled our company forward in spite of crazy macroeconomic headwinds.
As we, with any luck, begin to return to normal over the next few months, we feel pretty battle hardened and hope that that translates to big things.
What does the future hold for Scale Microgrid Solutions?
In January of 2020, Scale closed a $300 million equity round with Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm. This partnership has fueled our growth and allowed us to expand into new key markets. Most notably, we recently started operating in California, where we’re working with local stakeholders to address the ongoing wildfire crisis.
Ultimately, we’re confident that microgrids are going to be a key component of the broader global energy transition, and we think we’re well positioned to be a leader in our industry for many years to come.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Ridgewood?
We love it. Our company headquarters is right across the street from the train station that provides easy access to NYC, but Ridgewood has a great small town vibe and is a wonderful place to call home. While the start-up scene is pretty small, the community has embraced us and shown us a ton of support, and entrepreneurs looking for a good location outside the city should definitely come check it out.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be very clear about why.
We spent months meeting and discussing the concept of Scale before we officially launched the company, because we understood that starting an energy business is incredibly difficult and would require a ton of sacrifice. In those meetings, we tried to be very intentional about what problem we wanted to solve and why we needed to start a new venture in order to solve it. The answers that we arrived at have become the foundation of our company’s culture, and have served as a guiding light for us through many tough days.