Mark Handy, Principal / CEO
What an amazing ride! When I left Sun Microsystems in January of 2008, I saw a bright and action packed future ahead in the new Energy Focused Economy. Our political landscape was changing dramatically and rapid changes in the ICT and Energy industry were beginning to take hold. By September I had incorporated KenJiva Energy Systems. I spent 2009 doing due diligence, recruiting strategic partners and getting certifications in the three areas I had identified as high growth in the energy space ( Energy Efficiency of the built environment, Adding Renewable Energy to the fuel supply and the deployment of the Smart Grid infrastructure). I set out to provide what I heard coined as EMaaS, Energy Management as a Service. In 2010 I was invited to participate in a program sponsored by IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) called Tech Advantage, focused on building African American technology businesses. The funding was part of a larger Smart Grid initiative by the university. Through the program we were introduced to the larger Midwest ecosystem of energy focused initiatives.
It took us a year and a half from launch to win our first customer, but by December of 2013, our team had passed 500 total unique customer engagements in the three focus areas outlined in my original plan, and we were just getting started. In addition to the project and partnership work, I was actively involved in the policy, standards and public outreach communities for these spaces. I was an active participant of the Illinois State Smart Grid Collaborative, the Illinois Power Agency’s Distributed Generation Workshops, the State of Illinois Urban Weatherization Initiative and a founding member of the Chicago Green Jobs Council. I was also a Director at Large for the Chicago Chapter of AABE ( American Assoc. of Blacks in Energy) and the Board Secretary for the Illinois Solar Energy Association.
Coming full circle, in April of 2014 I led a pivot to leverage our experience in the residential and small commercial M&V space to add a focus on aggregated Demand Response. This added focus acts as the glue for our suite of EMaaS offerings. Due to this pivot, we were invited to join the Smart Grid Cluster, funded by the Illinois Institute of Technology, ComEd, Ameren, the U.S. Small Business Association and a early stage venture capital firm, the Energy Foundry. Now more than ever, our tag line rings true: We Make Green Living Easier! Stay tuned!