While it's true that the principals behind Silicon Valley's green energy start-ups have many worries, homework usually isn't one of them. That's not the case, however, behind a new venture called Calsunergy. The chief executive hopes to launch the company before beginning eighth grade in the fall. The chief technical officer is just getting ready to start sixth grade. And the company's chief financial officer and vice president of marketing are readying themselves for only the fifth grade! It all started when one of them attended a California Clean Tech Open event with his dad. As dad was planning to enter the competition that is geared to help entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own environmentally friendly company, his son raised his hand and asked a simple question. "Is there an age limit for entering the competition?" When the answer was "no," the kids swung into action, researching ideas for new renewable energy products. And about a month ago they informally launched Santa Clara-based Calsunergy with hopes of selling low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels and entering the competition. Of course, they're hoping to win the $50,000 prize that goes along with free office space for a year, legal and public relations help, and a mentor. But Bao Tran, father of the company's chief financial officer points out that "The intent of having these kids go into it is to see how far they can go on their own," and that's because "The winning or losing of the competition is not very important It's the process of thinking and going through developing the business plan that is important."
So let's hope these kids have a tremendous amount of fun while getting their feet wet as green entrepreneurs. I think it was Warren Buffett who said he'd read somewhere that success in business was often tied to the age at which you started out. If that's true, then these kids are well on their way to making a difference somewhere, somehow, in the green business world of the future.