Stash Energy Inc. started with new graduates who wanted a big problem they could solve.
Co-founders Jordan Kennie, CEO, and Daniel Larsen, chief product officer, and Erik Hatfield, chief technical officer, were finishing engineering degrees at the University of New Brunswick in 2015 when they wondered what they would do next.
They came up with the business idea that summer after Larsen, who is from P.E.I., was listening to a radio interview about how people were switching from oil heat to heat pumps on the Island, and how that switch was causing problems for energy demand during peak hours.
They’ve since added to their education, each completing a master’s degree in engineering at UNB in the technology management and entrepreneurship program, to help bridge the gap between technology and entrepreneurship.
Summerside Electric has been involved in a pilot project with Stash since May 2017 testing two of the units.
Bobby Dunn, with the City of Summerside, has found the experience of working with the young up-and-coming entrepreneurs a positive one.
“It’s been a process of supporting some budding entrepreneurs and engineers who have a great concept, and we’ve allowed them to use us as a living lab,” he said. “It’s been great to partner with them and see them evolving as business people and see their product evolving.”
Since 2017, the business continues to grow. Maritime Electric installed a unit on its Charlottetown building in January, and Kennie, 25, received the rising star award at this year’s N.B. Power Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards ceremony in May.