Matt D’Agati and Chris Angelo have already carved their names out as true Boston entrepreneurs. With their latest venture, Renewables Worldwide, the duo is now ready to spread their positive impact on a much bigger global stage
We live in a fast paced and fast changing world. Boston, as much as any city anywhere, is at the forefront of all of this. The Hub is filled with innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs; all striving to leave their mark and make a difference both in business and community on a daily basis. One of the companies exemplifying this change is Renewables Worldwide, founded by BostonMen Matt D’Agati and Chris Angelo.
Renewables Worldwide -in just a few short years- is one of the few companies in the United States to focus on customer acquisition specializing in renewable energy sales; both with commercial and residential solar farm off-take. The vision of D’Agati and Angelo is to create sales infrastructures on local, regional, and national levels offering multitudes of renewable energy products; community solar farms, wind, hydro, and batter storage.
With a tireless work ethic, undying belief and trust in each other, and a little bit of good old-fashioned personality and charm (they are Italian-Americans after all) D’Agati and Angelo have exploded onto the renewable energy scene both in Boston and nationwide.
Recently, BostonMan Magazine sat down with the pair to learn more about Renewables Worldwide, their journey and what the vision is for their future.
BMM: Tell us a little more about Renewables Worldwide.
MD: RW is a renewable energy sales organization that works with developers (builders) of solar farms across the country. Similar to a home builder, solar farm developers are experts at building a functioning solar farm that ties to the electric grid, but much like a home builder who constructs a home, most lack the ability in customer acquisition or the finding “buyers” of a solar farm. That’s were Renewables Worldwide shines! Solar farms can’t function without a business entity virtually attached to them. Over the last several years RW has acquired over 50 million megawatts of customers and our client list includes major universities, fortune 500 companies, local town/cities, nonprofit organizations, and hundreds of “Main Street” businesses.
CA: RW was formed out of the necessity and passion of two guys who wanted to create their own journey and path to success. We both started as sales reps for another renewable energy company and within several months became minority owners. We grew that company significantly in two years but became frustrated with the vision and direction. Out of that we found a niche in the marketplace.
BMM: You two clearly have a dynamic connection. How did you meet and evolve into what your partnership/friendship is today?
MD: We met six years ago at a networking event and instantly had a connection based on similar business philosophies. One of which “go slow to go fast”. At that time, I came from a traditional corporate sales background and part time real investor but was frustrated working for someone else.
CA: I was a national sales manager for a fitness organization and had a burning desire to be my own boss. Over the course of the next several years Matt and I partnered in a couple business ventures. We experienced colossal failure and great success, but neither was something we could call our own. There were times we both wanted to give up and give in and go back to working for someone else, but we wouldn’t allow it for each other. In fact, we refused, sometimes with ridicule from others and at the expense of being dirt poor. In fact, one year we both bought Christmas gifts for our families on the only thing each one of us had…. a Best Buy Credit card!
MD: One thing became blatantly obvious over the years though was that we could inherently trust one another. Our individual strengths and weaknesses, past experiences, personalities, initiatives and thought process complimented each other quite well.
Over the course of the last three years we built our business the old-fashioned way; One day at a time and face to face interactions with business owners and decision makers, “going slow to go fast”. It required many hours on the road together and many days away from our families. We jokingly say we’ve experienced more sunrises and sunsets together than I have with my own wife. It took this type of dedication to have the success we do today.
BMM: What exactly are solar farms? How does this work?
CA: Solar farms are mini power plants. They’re typically built on vacant land or in a field, hence the name solar “farm”. Solar farms require little to no maintenance, produce clean carbon free electrical energy from the sun, which is connected directly to the utility grid, and provide an opportunity for homeowners and business owners to be connected virtually. State legislation is the driving force behind the success of the solar farm industry. Virtual net metering is law that has been passed State by State, which allows any entity, whether a homeowner or business, to receive a credit on their utility bill for being connected to a community solar farm.
MD: It refers to when solar is not used on-site but is instead externally installed and shared among subscribers. In this case, you receive credits on your electric bill for excess energy produced by your share of a solar garden. Our customers pay nothing to be part of our solar farms, have no equipment installed on their properties, and in many cases save many thousands of dollars a year.
BMM: Renewable energy is becoming a big buzz term globally. Besides being a viable business for companies like yourselves -and a better economic solution for consumers- there are a host of environment friendly benefits tied in as well. Could you elaborate further on this?
MD: Sure. Whether you believe climate change is real or not, one thing is for certain with people living longer and hence growing populations all over the world, the electrical grid is becoming overwhelmed. Take the necessity for rolling blackouts for instance. These are prevalent, especially in the Summer, when demand for electricity exceeds the power supply. One small benefit of solar power and community solar farms, aside from reducing carbon emissions, they also reduce the need for the amount of electricity that needs to be moved across transmission lines. This alleviates an often-overburdened power grid and provides an alternative power source.
CA: Other benefits include job creation, reducing electric bills, and protecting the environment.
BMM: Who are some of the organizations you work with? What types of industries have you set your footprint in?
CA: Our client list includes non-profit organizations, fortune 500 companies, hospitals, prestigious universities, cities and towns, and our the most prevalent part of our business includes Main Street USA business owners; local pizza shops, liquor stores, grocery stores, and restaurants.
BMM: What are your predictions/vision for Renewables Worldwide in the future?
MD: Our goal, as is our mission statement; “Providing alternative energy solutions for a more sustainable future” will be to offer our current and future customers different energy savings opportunities.
CA: Matt and I have a passion for local business owner and pride ourselves on saving them money. An ancillary product that is a result of solar and solar farms is going to be battery storage. Like a home or business generator, battery storage will “store” excess solar energy and provide during peak demand or outages. In the future more and more homes and business will absolutely have this technology. Providing alternative energy doesn’t just stop with solar. We envision wind, hydro and future renewable energy sources to be offered to our customers.