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Kogod Alum With a Green Entrepreneur Spirit

By Kali Linette

Rohan Shah next to sustainable solar energy alternatives.

Rohan Shah next to sustainable solar energy alternatives.

It's not possible to have a growing economy without growing resources.

At least that's how Rohan Shah, MBA '09, sees things.

"Climate change is a big issue that a lot of us recognized a long time ago. We have to look at climate change in a real way," said Shah.

While at Kogod, sustainability caught Shah's attention. His interest peaked in green energy as he moved toward a new industry.

Shah realized climate change affected the economy’s stability and growth. Taking the threat seriously, he created positive change through technology aimed at making green energy more affordable.

After graduating, Shah continued learning about green energy and pursued projects in the industry. He worked for a solar company in Colorado before joining Deep Chakraborty, CEO, and Matt Cheney, CAS/BS '95 and Chairman, at enACT.

A Silicon Valley startup, enACT focuses on SAAS based solar sales software aimed at reducing business costs for green energy developers and installers. It alleviates high costs associated with installing climate friendly solutions, making green energy competitive in the market place.

During its short time on the market, enACT has received global recognition. The London-based publication New Economy Magazine awarded the company the 2014 New Economy Award for its work in energy management.

"The future is bright. We have a completely untapped market …[worth] $220 billion. We are one of the first to enter and are moving as fast as we can," said Shah.

As Director of Operations, Shah is responsible for enACT's design and architecture. His Kogod professors prepared him for this role citing value in technology and good corporate social responsibility.

"[Professors] William DeLone and Mark Clark impacted me at American," said Shah.

"Delone tied technology with business while Clark taught about leadership, strategic decision making, human resources… [and] corporate social responsibility."

All of which Shah relies on heavily in the day-to-day operations at enACT.

Although Shah is located in California, he would like to maintain his relationship with his alma mater.

"I can't be as involved as I would like to be right now, but I would like to work with Kogod to try and implement sustainability programs," said Shah.

His greatest contribution to Kogod to date comes in the form of founding the entrepreneurs club.

"Kogod was very focused on consulting and government jobs. They weren't really promoting entrepreneurship [when I was a student], so we started the club to help people out," said Shah.

The club grew since Shah started it and continues to help stimulate aspiring entrepreneurs.

"The future of the [entrepreneur] club, like the future of entrepreneurship at AU, seems very positive," said Professor William Bellows, the entrepreneur club's faculty advisor.

"I envision a symbiotic relationship between the AU incubator and the Entrepreneurship Club, with the potential for shared activities and programs and a lot of crossover between club members and student ventures in the incubator."