We got the chance to sit down with Mark Verheyen, a 2013 Fellow, and hear his take on the program. Here’s what he had to say!
Who should apply to become an Energy Fellow?
As an alumnus of the Energy Fellows Institute, I can personally recommend the Institute to anyone who has an interest in energy and water and wants to gain an overview of the technologies, policies, and issues that affect the greater energy space. It’s a tremendous opportunity. Small class sizes mean that the discussion and learning are tremendously efficient and effective.
What does Colorado have to offer the broader energy market?
As a relatively progressive and ecologically-minded state, I think Colorado is a natural leader for the development of cleantech. We’ve got ample sun, wind, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on our doorstep, no lack of highly qualified employees, and I think we’re really well positioned to lead the charge.
Do you think EFI fills a gap in Colorado’s energy ecosystem?
Absolutely. Colorado has many experts in their field and companies that focus on specific areas of the energy space, but it’s really hard to get the big picture. I think as an Energy Fellow, with the experience and what I’ve learned over the last few months, I’m really able to evaluate opportunities that cover different areas of the energy space and overlap.
What were some highlights from the 2013 program?
Well absolutely the trip to the bay area, visits to Tesla and Mission Motors, really stands out in my memory, but in general I think all of the offsite visits were great. Visiting the labs at NREL, companies that are active in the space, getting to see first-hand what these companies are doing and how they’re addressing industry problems was really interesting.
What does the Energy Fellows Institute have to offer?
Really I have to name two benefits. I think getting a great overview of the market drivers and issues affecting the energy space and especially where those issues overlap, that was tremendously valuable. Probably the biggest benefit was the amazing networking opportunity. Getting to meet in a small group with scientists, analysts, industry experts, investors, and entrepreneurs in the energy space, that’s a truly unique opportunity.