So how did this get started?
Shuhuan: It’s kind of interesting. Do you know the 2013 Prius? That car has a solar panel on its roof. So I started thinking, what if I installed a solar panel on the roof of my car. That would be a very fun thing to do. This is how I got into the solar industry. Coincidentally, one of my buddies had a connection with another panel manufacturer. I got a chance to tour that factory and learn more about that industry from the inside.
SolCharged does not actually focus on the solar panel itself. It focuses on what’s underneath: the racks, the mounts that hold the solar panel in place. The thing about the current solar industry is that the panel prices keep dropping. What prevents the industry from leaping forward is the process of installation, the labor, the process itself is quite old-school and labor intensive. I thought, what if I could automate and simplify this entire industry and make it somewhat more efficient than what it used to be?
Have you always seen yourself as an entrepreneur?
Shuhuan: That’s a very interesting question. I really enjoy the engineering side of things, but if I stay on the engineering side, I cannot grow my business. So I’m constantly moving towards the business side, but as expected, I face tons of hurdles along the way.
What are you looking for going forward?
Shuhuan: We just finished prototyping and we are still looking for a manufacturer to mass produce our product. More importantly though, we need marketing. All of the current members of this startup are engineering-focused. We tend to suffer in the business side of things.
This Q&A was edited for content.