Published: Sept. 18, 2019 By

kevin haley DRVN leeds school of businessA passion for renewable energy

Kevin Haley is an evening MBA candidate here at Leeds focusing on entrepreneurship. He’s also the director of member value and engagement at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) where he oversees the membership program, new business development and engagement with Fortune 500 companies on renewable energy. Kevin has over seven years of experience in the renewable energy industry covering a range of technologies like wind and solar, as well as in-depth work on cross-cutting issues including clean energy finance and public policy. 

“The MBA helped me catalyze the opportunity, skill set and confidence to start DRVN Impact Hub.”

His inspiration to pursue an MBA grew out of witnessing changes in the energy industry and seeing how innovative businesses were launching and growing in the space. “I was able to experience the growth of the clean tech industry from niche to mainstream — firsthand.”

Springboard to a new venture

After Kevin started taking advantage of the networking opportunities at Leeds and in Boulder more broadly, he recognized a lack of infrastructure and formal community available to the many clean tech entrepreneurs in Colorado. His new venture, the DRVN Impact Hub, seeks to solve this problem by building a physical coworking and community space for clean tech businesses in the Denver metro region.

DRVN logoDRVN started with the idea of a physical location — a coworking business — to bring together like-minded entrepreneurs in the clean tech industry. In short order, Kevin and his co-founders, Rick Hunter and Matt Lappé (another Leeds MBA grad), saw even more opportunity to create a full-service community hub for a wide range of sustainability professionals. 

“Software has Silicon Valley, finance has New York City, biotech has Boston — our vision for DRVN is to make Colorado's Front Range a leading clean energy hub for the entire country.”

Soon, the DRVN Impact Hub will not only host coworking and small business office space, but also a nonprofit business accelerator and a community center for hosting network events, workshops and industry speakers. 

Leveraging Leeds and the CU Community

Kevin’s MBA is already proving valuable and providing new tools and skills he can use to launch DRVN. His He wrote their first financial model from the ground up thanks to skills he learned in the Finance and  Accounting courses helped with the creation of DRVN’s financial model, and . He’s also learning about Leed’s emphasis on the nexus of sustainability and business highlights the need for continued innovation in this space.

One of the biggest advantages of being an evening MBA student is the opportunity to build out a network of potential clients and customers. As a student, Kevin is able to easily approach the ecosystem of partners he can work with, from nonprofits to other entrepreneurial organizations. And he’s now taking Leed’s entrepreneurship course with Cynthia Banks to further advance the business plan for DRVN. Maybe we’ll see him onstage at the cross-campus business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge!