Feature StoryMeet Your Haas Network
John Woolard, MBA 97
VantagePoint Venture Partners
San Bruno, Calif.
John Woolard sees great opportunity in the energy industry to improve old-school businesses through better technology. “It’s a regulated industry with the most inefficiency,” he says. “When I was looking for a field to work in, energy struck me as one of the most powerful areas to make an impact.”
The deregulation of California’s energy market enabled Woolard to spin his passion into a startup called Silicon Energy Corp., which he co-founded in 1997. At Silicon Energy, Woolard created software that enabled utilities, energy service providers, governments, and commercial and industrial energy users to optimize the delivery and use of energy to save money. The software filled a market niche and, in March 2003, Woolard and his partners sold Silicon Energy to Itron, the world’s largest wireless meter-reading company, for $71.2 million.
After the sale, Woolard worked at Itron for several years as a vice president of software solutions before taking time off in March 2005 to travel with his family to Italy, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. “I told my family that I would take all the time off that I didn’t take when I was in startup mode,” says Woolard.
This fall, Woolard started a new job as an entrepreneur-in-residence at VantagePoint Venture Partners. At VantagePoint, which has $2.8 billion under management, Woolard focuses on clean technology investments.