Q) When did you graduate from CU? What was your degree in?
A)I graduated from CU in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Applied Math.
Q) How long have you been with cQuant.io?
A)I’ve been with cQuant.io full-time since August 2017, but I did a fair bit of moonlighting before that to help get the business to the point where I could really feel confident jumping in with both feet.
Q) What did you learn at CU which is most applicable to your job now?
A) One of the most valuable lessons I took from graduate school was how to dissect complicated problems into more tractable components, and how to write solid computational software that builds the component solutions back up into a working solution to the original problem.
Q) What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A)The most rewarding part of my job is to be able to watch the company grow through the efforts of our close-knit team. We’re a small company still very much in “startup mode”, which means our priorities are constantly shifting and our work is never done. When we put effort into something, we typically need that effort to yield immediate results. This makes the feedback loop between hard work and tangible reward a pretty short cycle. It’s always fulfilling to hear praise from our clients about how our analytical platform is helping them be more efficient and more effective.
Q)What is the most challenging part of your job, how do you overcome challenges?
A)The most challenging part of my job is knowing where to focus my energy on any given day. Since cQuant is growing, and since our team is currently small, on any given day I could be hammering away on code for a new model, leading technical demos for business development, writing blog posts and thought leadership articles, or managing our team of analytical developers. There’s so much to do that I never get to a point where all items on my to-do list are checked off, and it can be tough to prioritize them all. It’s too much for anyone to take on individually, so I try to rely on my excellent core team to help me make the tough decisions on where to spend my time so that it has the most impact. Priorities seem to become clearer as long as we’re all keeping open channels of communication with each other.
Q) How is cQuant.io a leader in innovation and tech development?
A) cQuant.io provides a web-based energy analytics platform that enables our clients to access sophisticated analytic models models at a fraction of the cost of traditional enterprise software. Our subscription-based platform runs in the cloud, which reduces overall costs compared to on-site software deployments. We’re able to pass that cost savings on to our customers, providing cost-effective, top-tier energy analytics to many who could not afford it in the past.
Q) How did you end up at the company?
A)I helped to co-found cQuant.io after working at an energy analytics company in town that took a very different approach to providing analytical software. Their product was a more traditional enterprise-level offering, and typically came with high price tags and prolonged deployment projects. It wasn’t uncommon to see clients spend over a million dollars after all was said and done. My business partner, David Leevan, approached me with an idea he had to reduce costs and provide the same level of analytical capability as the enterprise software vendors at a cost that knocked a zero (or two!) off the price tag. From there, we started working hard to make cQuant.io a reality, and we haven’t looked back since!
Q) What other things were you involved in during your time at CU?
A)I’ve always loved the outdoors and, in addition to the Department of Applied Math at CU, the mountains were a primary draw for me to move to Colorado. While I was at CU I started rock climbing as much as I could, which is how I met some of my closest friends and my wonderful wife, Lot. I also snowboarded, played ultimate frisbee, and always jumped at the chance to play weekend lawn sports over a few beers.
Q)What are some trends in the industry students should be aware of?
A)Wow, that’s a loaded question when you’re talking energy! There is so much going on right now in the energy industry, that it’s actually not hyperbole to use the word “revolution". The explosion in renewable energy coming onto the grid, the electrification of our country’s vehicle fleet, the emergence of cost-effective grid-scale energy storage, the continued deregulation of energy markets, and the beginning of programs to price carbon and other harmful emissions are just a few of the current trends. There’s also an extremely important trend spanning virtually all industries toward the increased use of data and sophisticated mathematical modeling to inform business decision making. In the past, many pivotal business decisions were based on the experience and intuition of business leaders. Now, businesses that don’t properly embrace the power of data analytics to propel them forward are likely not to survive. It’s hard to think of a better degree than applied math for today’s world, so I would encourage CU’s students to leverage their obvious advantage in today’s job market to the absolute fullest.