Sopogy is selected to present at Cleantech 2007

April 12, 2007


Cleantech 2007, TechConnect Summit and the Nanotech Ventures 2007 Conference has invited Sopogy, Inc. to present. Several hundred companies applied and 30 companies were asked to present.

About Cleantech 2007

The Cleantech Conference and Trade Show

Cleantech 2007 is a multi-disciplinary and multi-sector conference on global sustainability addressing advancements in traditional technologies, emerging technologies and clean business practices. The mission of Cleantech 2007 is to bring together the entire cleantech ecosystem with the goal of accelerating the flow of technologies from the research phase to the viable market phase. We do this by linking scientists, engineers and researchers with potential business, financial and government partners. The Cleantech ecosystem enables a growing set of knowledge-based technologies, products or services designed to improve operational performance, productivity or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste or pollution.

Cleantech 2007 is collocated with the 10th annual Nanotech 2007 Conference, the largest nanotechnology and associated ventures and investment event in the US. The co-location of Cleantech 2007 and Nanotech 2007 is an ideal match due to many overlapping technologies and industries represented by both communities.

View Cleantech 2007 Program Committe.

Boom in Green Technologies (Russian Portal of Mass Information for Entrepreneurs)

April 6, 2007

Last year, the investment in new companies involved in “green” technologies, tripled, and the trend continues.

Президент настойчиво продвигает идею инвестирования в альтернативные источники энергии, а “Неудобная правда” (“Inconvenient Truth”), документальный фильм Альберта Гора о проблемах глобального потепления, получает две номинации на “Оскар”, что только подливает масла в огонь.The President is pushing the idea of investing in alternative energy sources, and “Inconvenient truth” ( “Inconvenient Truth”), documentary Al Gore on the problems of global warming, receives two nominations for “Oscar”, which only adds fuel to the fire. Кран открыли на полную!Crane opened to the full! Сегодня “зеленые” проекты финансируются как никогда.The “green” projects are being financed than ever. Вот самые свежие примеры:Here are the latest examples :

– Наша сегодняшняя статья, посвященная A123Systems, компании по производству ионно-литиевых батареек для более совершенных электромобилей, которая только что получила $40 миллионов инвестиций.- Our today’s article on A123Systems companies for the production of lithium batteries for more sophisticated vehicles, which had just received a $ 40 million investment.

– Компания Nexterra Energy из Ванкувера, разработчик систем переработки отходов в энергию на основе газификации, получила третью очередь финансирования в размере $6,8 миллиона от группы инвесторов во главе с ARC Financial.- Company Nexterra Energy from Vancouver, a developer of waste-to-energy through gasification, won third place funding in the amount of $ 6.8 million from a group of investors led by ARC Financial.

– Sopogy из Гонолулу, компания-разработчик технологий концентрации солнечной энергии, вышла наконец из длительного (шестилетнего) инкубационного периода и, как сообщает VentureWire (информация доступна только для подписчиков), получила $3 миллиона ангельского финансирования.- Sopogy from Honolulu-technology company concentrating solar energy, will go a long (six) incubation period, and, according to VentureWire (available only to subscribers), a $ 3 million angelski funding.

– Компания Sulfurcell из Берлина, производитель солнечных модулей с использованием тонкопленочных гелиотехнологий (позволяющих наносить фотоэлементы на крыши и покрытие парковок), получила почти $10 миллионов во втором раунде финансирования.- Company Sulfurcell from Berlin, a manufacturer of solar modules, using thin-film technologies (which cause cells to the roof and the garage), received nearly $ 10 million in the second round funding. Группу инвесторов возглавил фонд Masdar Clean Tech Fund LP, управляемый Credit Suisse Group.The investors led by the Masdar Clean Tech Fund LP, managed by Credit Suisse Group. В группу также вошли прежние инвесторы компании, в том числе инвестор-ангел Engelbert Giesen, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Vattenfall Europe AG и Ventegis Capital.The group also included former investment companies, including investor-angel Engelbert Giesen, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Vattenfall Europe AG and Ventegis Capital. На сегодняшний день общий объем финансирования компании составил $32 миллиона.To date, the total funding amounted to $ 32 million. Подобными проектами занимаются и компании Силиконовой Долины Miasole и Nanosolar.Similar projects in the company and Silicon Valley Miasole and Nanosolar.

– Ванкуверская компания Day4 Energy получила еще $11 миллионов на продвижение на рынке своих высокоэффективных солнечных панелей.- Vancouver company Day4 Energy has received $ 11 million to advance in the market of high-performance solar panels. Финансирование возглавил фонд British Columbia Discovery Fund, который ранее вложил в компанию $2,8 миллиона.Financing by the British Columbia Discovery Fund, which had invested in the company $ 2.8 million. /VentureBeat, 26 марта // VentureBeat, 26 March.

Trends in the Region: Green Hawaii: State May Bond for Renewables (The Bond Buyer)

March 10, 2007


Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007

Source: Bond Buyer

by Jackie Cohen

Hawaii could see special-purpose revenue bonds for greener energy production as early as next year, depending on the fate of a cluster of bills in the state Legislature.

Perhaps the most important of these bills, sponsored by Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-Kailua, would enable the formation of so-called renewable energy electric generation cooperatives.

The bill loosely follows the pattern of California’s recently enacted law allowing local communities to create municipal electrical utilities that could supply clean power to the private energy monopolies, Southern California Edison and its northern neighbor, Pacific Gas & Electric.

While the California law doesn’t specifically require publicly owned utilities to generate renewable energy — defined as power generation that doesn’t contribute to global warming — Thielen’s bill does.

Thielen’s measure would allow renewable energy electric generation cooperatives to generate, transmit, and sell electricity free from the oversight of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, except for matters of interconnections with other energy companies.

The measure hasn’t yet made it onto House meeting agendas, and Thielen doesn’t expect that to happen until next year, giving her time to polish the details in the proposed legislation. Under Hawaii’s constitution, a bill that hasn’t been defeated could survive for both years of the biennial legislative session.

However, more imminent legislation could put Hawaii ahead of California in the race to go green. Two Hawaiian renewable energy companies are mentioned in bills in both houses of the Legislature authorizing the issuance of special-purpose revenue bonds to finance capital infrastructure.

The two companies, BlueEarth Maui Biodiesel LLC and Sopogy Inc., are each seeking $10 million of special-purpose revenue bonds, the former for biodiesel generation and the latter for solar panel farms.

If approved, Hawaii would issue the special-purpose revenue bonds on behalf of the borrowing company through a state conduit.

Since solar panels have existed longer than other forms of renewable energy generation, Hawaii’s legislators seem to better understand the technology and thus are moving more quickly on the special purpose bond authorization for Sopogy, according to the company’s president and chief executive officer, Darren T. Kimura.

The Sopogy bill already has passed its first reading in both chambers, helped by the sponsorship of senior lawmakers, including Assembly vice speaker Jon Riki Karamatsu and Sen. Carol Fukunaga, chairwoman of the Senate committee responsible for science and technology. Both are Democrats, the party controls the Legislature.

“Hawaii is one of the only places in the world where you’ve got all of the raw ingredients for renewable energy,” Kimura said. “We have so many natural resources available to us, and the cost of electricity is so high here that it’s very easy to do something that’s cheaper.”.

He said that Kona-based Sopogy is trying to become a solar energy supplier, not just to Hawaii’s existing utilities, but possibly on the U.S. mainland as well.

If approved, the $10 million of special- purpose revenue bonds would finance Sopogy’s creation of large-scale solar panel “farms” that process heat from the sun through focused mirrors and have the potential to keep generating energy after the sun goes down.

“The Legislature is looking at a variety of renewables,” Karamatsu said in a telephone interview. “We like to support our local businesses. And we’re trying to diversify our economy into technology.”

Last year, Karamatsu sponsored one of Hawaii’s first special-purpose revenue bond authorizations for a renewable energy company. Hoku Scientific could use the $10 million debt authorization to develop fuel cell technology, which generates energy through chemical reactions.

The company has yet to move forward with a special-purpose revenue bond sale, but that doesn’t rule out a future bond issue, said company spokesman Darryl Nakamoto. Hoku Scientific went public in August 2005.

Long before any of these bills came along, the 2004 legislative session enacted a law requiring that renewables make up 20% of the energy generation sources used by Hawaii’s electrical utility by 2021, a requirement called the portfolio standard.

“But there’s loopholes,” Thielen said in a telephone interview. “If the utility reaches 2020 and they find it too expensive to provide renewable energy, they can get out of the requirement by going to the state Public Utilities Commission and asking to be excused.”

The law doesn’t specify how long the excuse could exempt the utility from compliance with the portfolio standard, nor whether the excuse would have to be temporary, she said.

Thielen has concerns similar to those of California energy activists regarding whether SCE and PG&E will meet required schedules on the portfolio standard. She also is concerned about the monopoly for energy provision in Hawaii.

The investor-owned Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiaries have no competition on any of the islands — with the one exception being the municipally owned utility serving the tiny island county of Kauai.

HECO’s monopoly dates back about a century, some 50 years before Hawaii even became a state.

“It hasn’t been good. The monopoly utility’s first priority is to make a profit for its shareholders so they don’t rely on renewable,” Thielen said. “We’re 25% dependent on oil from the Mideast, so we’re contributing to the conflict over there.”

HECO says it is pursuing renewable energy.

“Last month, we put out a request for proposals for biofuels. We have the ability to move into biofuel more easily than a facility that uses lots of coal, since the majority of our electric generation is oil based,” said company spokesman Peter Rosegg. “We have only one small coal plant and the rest is all oil. Right now, 92% of Hawaii’s energy needs come from petroleum.”

Thielen doesn’t expect her bill to pass until the second half of the biennium, and she plans on spending the 2007 part of the legislative session educating her colleagues about renewable energy.

“I’m pushing for wave energy, to convert the waves in the ocean into energy. Hawaii is an excellent location for that — some of the tidal waters here are very active,” Thielen said.

She said ocean waves provide a constant form of energy generation, unlike many other alternatives, such as windmills, which don’t work when the air is still.

Thielen has enticed two wave energy generation companies, Sydney, Australia-based Energetech and Edinburgh, Scotland-based Ocean Power Delivery Ltd., to come to Hawaii and pitch their wares to HECO.

She’s also looking for a company that could serve as a test model for wave energy to show her colleagues.

She suggested Maui Land & Pine as a possible company that could ask for $20 million of special-purpose revenue bonds to implement wave energy generation that could serve as a model for other companies looking to go green.

Despite her state’s preference for wave energy, Thielen has introduced another bill that would require all developers seeking to build at least six homes at a time to include solar panels.

That contrasts a 2006 California law requiring developers to include solar panels as an option within new homes, ultimately letting the homebuyers decide whether to buy the renewable energy infrastructure.

Another type of renewable energy might work its way into Hawaiian homes if a supplier contract between HECO and BlueEarth Maui Biodiesel moves forward as planned.

BlueEarth uses oil from plants to generate fuel, and is seeking $10 million of special-revenue bonds to build a biodiesel refinery that would replace petroleum-sourced energy generation for HECO. BlueEarth could replace the petroleum with oil from palm trees and jatropha succulent plants, among other natural sources.

So far, the BlueEarth bond authorization bill, sponsored by Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey, D-Maui, only exists in the Assembly, although it passed a first reading. (c) 2007 The Bond Buyer and SourceMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Sopogy

March 10, 2007

Sopogy News

Sopogy, Inc. has entered the Hawaii solar energy market with a new twist on solar power, offering a product based around solar thermal, or concentrated solar power (CSP), technology. Sopogy, which stands for Solar Power Technology, aims to bring renewable solar energy technologies to Hawaii and its people for energy stability, the betterment of clean air, and independence from volatile imported fossil fuel prices. The company is the brainchild of CEO and President Darren T. Kimura, a local entrepreneur born and raised on the Big Island that has been involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for over 15 years. He built Energy Industries, a business focused on energy efficiency that has grown beyond Hawaii to become an international business with offices in the mainland and throughout the Asia Pacific. The idea for Sopogy came from Energy Industries Labs, his clean energy technology incubator.

CSP is a mature technology that offers greater efficiencies and lower costs than traditional solar photovoltaic, or PV. CSP also has a proven track record, having provided large scale electricity generation in California for the past 22 years. While normally employed in dry, hot climates like the deserts in the southwestern U.S., Sopogy has modified the technology to work in wet and sunny tropical climates like Hawaii to provide solar generated electricity or air conditioning.

Sopogy plans to begin construction on a 10 MW solar farm at the National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) on the Big Island later this year, and will also employ their products to meet the electricity and air conditioning needs of commercial and industrial clients as well. Given the more favorable economics of CSP systems when compared to solar PV, along with the current state and federal incentives for such renewable energy projects, Sopogy sees a great opportunity to implement this clean, renewable energy technology throughout the state.

Sopogy firmly believes that CSP can and should be an important part of Hawaii’s renewable energy portfolio to reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil and to provide clean, environmentally friendly power throughout the state.

More information on this local solar technology company can be found on their website at

Darren Kimura a panelist for Sunrise Rotary 2007 event

March 3, 2007

Rotary Club - Sopogy

Let’s say you’re stuck in a bind. The tables have turned. Perhaps a figurative rug has been pulled out from under you. What then? All of a sudden your mind sparks with an “a-hal” In this year’s Business Game Plan, our speakers wi ll be sharing critical lessons in personal leadership- revelat ions that have shaped their lives, organizations, and in many cases, are contributing to the greater good of our islands.

Darren Kimura founded Energy Industries in 1994 . Today it generates long-term energy and maintenance cos t savings for clients in Seattle, Spokane, Portland, San Jose, Houston , Chicago, Honolulu, Guam, the Philippines and Hong Kong. He has served as a speaker for the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA, and was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona and Guam.

2/9/07 – Sopogy Presents at the Wayne Brown Institute

February 9, 2007

Sopogy at Wayne Brown Institute   

Twenty-Three Companies to Present at the Wayne Brown Institute’s 23rd Annual Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference – Utah

(PRLEAP.COM) More than 20 companies will present at the Wayne Brown Institute’s 23rd Annual Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference – Utah, entitled, “Putting Together the Pieces – Introducing the Fundable Venture,” to be hosted February 8, 2007 in Salt Lake City.0 for any additional conference attendee(s) from the same firm.

The conference provides opportunities for organizations from across the United States to participate in the venture capital process as investors meet with companies and individuals seeking capital for business ventures. Since the conference’s inception 23 years ago, alumni companies have successfully raised a total of more than $1.8 billion based on strategic alliances formed at the conference.

“Participation in the Investors Choice conference is one of the most effective ways a company can raise the capital it needs and reach the next level of its organizational goals,” said Brad Bertoch, president of the Wayne Brown Institute. “We are confident this year’s event will continue to provide education and experience for companies wishing to learn the venture process, build a fundraising presentation and meet with venture, corporate and angel investors.”

The complete list of companies scheduled to present at the conference is as follows, along with each organization’s Internet URL:

§ Alias Semiconductor, no URL available – Seattle, WA
§ AlphaSpine, – American Fork, UT
§ Aviacode, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ Caveon, – Draper, UT
§ Clear Play, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ CoMet Solutions, – Albuquerque, NM
§ eXpresso, no URL available – Park City UT
§ Flying Sensors, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ High West Distillery, no URL available – Park City, UT
§ Innovasic Semiconductor, – Albuquerque, NM
§ iWorld, no URL available – Pleasant Grove, UT
§ Know More Media, – Orem, UT
§ LignUp, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ Lingotek, – Provo, UT
§ Nanopoint, – Honolulu, HI
§ Precision Surveying Solutions, – Provo, UT
§ Q-Therapeutics, no URL available – Salt Lake City, UT
§ Simpliphones, – Orem, UT
§ Sopogy, – Honolulu, HI
§ Techniscan, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ ThromboVision, – Houston, TX
§ Transparient, – Salt Lake City, UT
§ Wasatch MicroFludics, no URL available – Salt Lake City, UT
§ Xapio, – Salt Lake City, UT

Sponsors for this year’s event include Zions Bank, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, Governor’s Office of Economic Development and NASDAQ.

More information about the Wayne Brown Institute is available online at or by calling 801-595-1141.

About The Wayne Brown Institute
Located in Salt Lake City, the Wayne Brown Institute is the oldest, most successful non-profit venture capital accelerator in the world and was formed in 1983 by Dr. Wayne S. Brown. It seeks to educate early-stage companies through mentor-based training in the methods of becoming attractive, viable investments for venture capitalists, while creating value-added relationships between entrepreneurs, capital providers and key professionals specializing in equity-backed business. The Wayne Brown Institute is nationally recognized for its expertise in understanding and applying the venture capital funding processes of Silicon Valley to areas that are capital constrained

Sopogy Receives Mention in 2/1/07 Honolulu Advertiser

February 2, 2007
Sopogy in the Honolulu Advertiser Feb 2007


Nanopoint Inc. and Sopogy Inc., two Hawai’i-based technology companies, will be among the companies making presentations to investors at next week’s Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference in Utah. The conference is billed as a way for companies to meet with venture capitalists as they seek funds to build their companies. Nanopoint is a biotechnology company developing cellular imaging systems for the life sciences market. Sopogy is working on increasing renewable energy production through its concentrated solar power technologies.

Sopogy requests a Special Purpose Revenue Bond from the Hawaii Legislature

February 2, 2007

Report Title:

Special Purpose Revenue Bonds; Sopogy Inc.


Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds in an amount not exceeding $10,000,000 to assist Sopogy Inc. with planning, designing, construction, equipping, and operating a solar farm power plant at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii to produce electricity from solar power.


H.B. NO.


Sopogy featured on Dow Jones Venture Network

January 28, 2007

Solar Company Sopogy Raises Series A Financing

After six years in development, solar concentration technology developer Sopogy Inc. has emerged from a Hawaiian energy incubator and raised approximately $3 million in angel financing, VentureWire has learned.

The Honolulu-based start-up is the brainchild of Darren Kimura, chief executive officer and chairman of the Hawaiian energy project management firm Energy Industries LLC, and its start-up incubator Energy Laboratories.

“Back in 2001, I created Energy Laboratories, which is our cleantech incubator,” Kimura said. “Energy Laboratories and myself provided the angel capital before the Series A financing [for Sopogy].” The latest financing was raised from individual investors and a syndicate of angels.

Sopogy, which stands for solar-powered energy, has developed a solar technology based on thin-film solar cells and thermal fluid heat transfer, Kimura said.

Currently, the company has manufacturing capacity to produce approximately 30 megawatts of power, but Sopogy is in the process of raising an additional round of financing that would be used to increase capacity to approximately 300 megawatts, Kimura said.

The company, which has five employees, has been granted one patent and has another five pending on its technology, according to Kimura.

Sopogy is currently marketing two products: one designed for commercial and light industrial use and a smaller module for consumers. One of its largest customers is Hawaiian Electric Inc.

Sopogy in

January 28, 2007

Sopogy in VentureBeat

Sopogy receives a mention on Click link to visit site.

Green technology rages

By Matt Marshall 01.25.07 11:29 AM

greentech.bmpInvestments into new green technology companies tripled last year, and the trend continues unabated.

The President is pushing for alternative energy investments, and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth gets nominated for two Oscars, which will only add fuel to the fire. The spigot is fully open. We’ve seen more green-related fundings today than ever before. Here are the latest:

–See our story today about A123Systems, the lithium-ion battery company that wants to make better electric cars. It just got $40M.

–Nexterra Energy, of Vancouver, a developer of waste-to-energy gasification systems, has just raised $6.8 million in a third round led by ARC Financial.

–Sopogy, a Honolulu developer of solar concentration technology, has emerged from a long incubation period (six years) and received $3 million in angel financing, according to VentureWire (sub required)

–Sulfurcell, a Berlin solar module maker, using thin-film solar technology (which lets you essentially paint solar cells onto roofs and parking lots), has raised under $10 million in a second round of funding. Masdar Clean Tech Fund LP, managed by Credit Suisse Group, led the round, and previous investors, including angel investor Engelbert Giesen, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Vattenfall Europe AG and Ventegis Capital, also participated. It has raised a total of $32 million to date. Silicon Valley companies Miasole and Nanosolar are doing similar things.

–Vancouver’s Day4 Energy, has raised $11 million more to market its highly efficient solar panels. British Columbia Discovery Fund led the round, after having invested $2.8 million earlier.

Sopogy receives Honorable Mention Award from Hawaii Venture Capital Association

January 25, 2007

Sopogy honored by Hawaii Venture Capital Association

Hawaii Venture Capital Association
Deal of the Year – 2006
Hoana Medical, Inc. Tops the List
Award Luncheon Thursday, January 25, 2007

It was a banner year for venture investing in Hawaii as several of Hawaii’s most innovative companies attracted investment capital from within and outside of the state. Thanks to Hawaii’s vibrant climate for technology start-ups, the Hawaii Venture Capital Association is proud to acknowledge Hoana Medical, Inc., as this year’s Venture Capital Deal of the Year award winner. Hoana Medical, Inc. has raised $20.9 million dollars in a $15 million dollar Series D financing. A medical device company founded in 2001, Hoana Medical, Inc. is a spin-off company from Oceanit—one of Hawaii’s largest and most diversified science and engineering companies. Working with Oceanit, Hoana Medical, Inc. incorporated futuristic patient safety technology into everyday medical applications. “During this round of financing we were able to partner with some great investors – nationally and internationally,” said Patrick Sullivan, CEO and founder of Hoana Medical, Inc. “We exceeded our target in less than 8 weeks, eventually turning down investors. The speed and size of the investment underscores the enormity of the patient safety problem Hoana is addressing, and our ability to capture and dominate this untapped segment. This is just the beginning for us, and we are looking forward to working with our partners and investors to continue our expansion efforts.”

HVCA also acknowledges the following companies for their fund raising efforts: Hawaii Nano Sciences, Hawaii Biotech, Cardax, AssistGuide and Sopogy. The combined total amount raised by Hoana and these companies approaches forty million dollars. “The successful fund raising accomplished by these companies as well as several others demonstrates that Hawaii, mainland and foreign investors are recognizing the significant potential and world-class status of our growing innovation sector,” said Bill Spencer, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association.

Hoana Medical CEO, Patrick Sullivan, will be the keynote speaker at the Deal of the Year Luncheon, being held Thursday, January 25th, 2007 at the Plaza Club. HVCA members and the public are invited to celebrate the accomplishment of Hoana and five additional companies slated to receive honorable mentions. The entrepreneurs behind the companies receiving an honorable mention will also address luncheon attendees about their fundraising and future plans.

San Jose State University – Energy Lecture Series

January 7, 2007
Sopogy at San Jose State University

San Jose State University
Powering the Silicon Valley

Speakers at a Panel Session on
Clean Energy – Challenges and Opportunities

Moderator: Tai-Ran Hsu, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Panelists: Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO, Sopogy Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii (on solar energy technology)
Blake A. Simmons, Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California (on fuel cell technology)
Walter Bacharowski, Founder and President, silicon Valley Biodiesel, Inc., San Jose, California (on biomass technology for California)
Jim Robbins, Executive Director, Environmental Business Cluster, San Jose, California. (on business opportunities)

Walter Bacharowski. Walter is the founder and president of Silicon Valley Biodiesel, Inc. in San Jose, California ( Biodiesel is a liquid fuel that can be used in place of, or blended with petroleum derived diesel fuel. Biodiesel can be produced with wasted oils such as vegetable oil, which is a renewable alternative energy source.
The company was incorporated in 2005 to commercialize the concept of a “distributed urban biodiesel plant” for California.

Walter held a series of engineering, marketing and management positions at General Electric, Monsanto Industrial Chemical Company, Kiethley Instruments, National Semiconductor, NEC electronics and LSI Logics. These positions provided experience in electronic design, instrumentation, process development, and marketing as well as engineering and marketing management.

Walter earned a BS in engineering from Cleveland State University with post graduate work in engineering and marketing at San Jose State University and Golden Gate University.

Tai-Ran Hsu. A Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0087. (

His professional career began as a design engineer in large steam generation equipment industry with Montreal Locomotive Works and Combustion Engineering in Canada, and later as a research officer at the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd specialized in nuclear reactor fuel systems. He was a development engineer at the Large Steam Turbine Division of General Electric in Schenectady, New York prior to joining the academe. He served as chairs of departments of mechanical engineering at both University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and San Jose State University between 1990 and 1998. His research experiences in energy include nuclear reactor fuel systems modeling and simulation, bitumen extraction from oil sands, in-situ coal gasification and silicon solar photovoltaic design and packaging.

Tai-Ran earned a BSME degree from the National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan, an MSME from University of New Brunswick, and a Ph.D (ME) from McGill University in Canada. He has published 72 technical papers in archive journals and authored five books and edited another two in finite element method in thermomechanics, computer-aided design and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Darren T. Kimura. Darren is the President and CEO of Sopogy Inc., Honolulu, HI 96819. Sopogy is a leader in concentrated solar power technology. (

Darren received a degree in Business Administration from University of Hawaii, and a BSEE degree from Portland State University. He founded Energy Industries in 1994 and today serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. He also founded 5 energy companies which were acquired by Energy Industries, an Ozone clean tech company which was spun out and a non-profit organization focusing on renewable energy education. He has significant experience in mergers and purchasing a division of a National Energy Company in 1996, Quantum Lighting (Spokane, WA), Aurora Quantu (Alaska), and Q-Energy (San Francisco, CA) in 2005.
He is a Certified Energy Manager, Certified Demand Side Manager, Certified Cogeneration Professional, and is Lighting Certified. He has published 5 papers on energy and holds 1 US patent.

James Robbins. Jim is the Executive Director of Environmental Business Cluster, San Jose, CA 95113. (

The Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) was the first environmental incubator in the U.S. when it was formed in 1994. The EBC specializes in technology commercialization of clean and renewable energy technology, and it has commercialization contracts with the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Dept. of Energy. The EBC has the largest private technology commercialization program for clean energy start-ups in the United States.

Jim is also the Founder and a Principal in Business Cluster Development. Since 1994, BCD has helped thirty organizations with the formation of sector-focused incubators. The latest BCD projects include clean energy incubators in Toledo, OH, and Sacramento, CA, and defense and security incubators in North Carolina and Colorado. Jim is also currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), the largest professional incubation association.

Jim is a Co-Founder of the Software Business Cluster, the first software incubator in California. The Software Business Cluster was named Randall Whaley Incubator of the Year for 2000 by the National Business Incubation Association. Over $550 Million in venture investment has been made in SBC companies over the last 4 years, and four SBC companies have gone public. Jim was also a Principal in Panasonic Ventures, a $100 Million dollar investment fund. BCD developed the Panasonic Incubator in 1999. It incubates early stage companies in order to create technology partnerships.

Jim has 30 years experience in the fields of new business formation, organizational design, technology development and management, business operations and law. He is also active in international incubation and has worked in New Zealand, Uganda, Nigeria and Brazil.

Blake A. Simmons. Blake is a Principal Member of Technical Staff, Nanoscale Science and Technology Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California. (

Blake was born and raised in Blair, Nebraska. After high school, he joined the U.S. Navy where he served as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator for 6 years. After leaving the Navy, he attended the University of Washington and received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1997. He then attended Tulane University for his graduate studies and received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2001. He then joined Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in September of 2001. His research interests include biofuel cells, nanophotonic materials, microfluidics, nanofluidics, desalination, biomineralization, and enzyme engineering. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He is currently a Principal Member of the Technical Staff in the Nanoscale Science and Technology Department at Sandia National Laboratories. Outside of his work at Sandia, he has served as a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for two NSF Centers (Keenan Center located at the University of North Carolina and the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems [Nano-CEMMS] located at the University of Illinois), has organized several conference sessions on nanofabrication and materials science, and has been a proposal review board member for the NSF CAREER Panel and the NIST Center for Neutron Research since 2004.

Success built on CEO’s work ethic

November 8, 2006
Sopogy's founder in the Honolulu Advertiser


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Posted on: Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Success built on CEO’s work ethic

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Darren Kimura, CEO of Energy Industries, amid some of the equipment and supplies in his company’s warehouse.BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser
“It was a true startup business. You would work your project at night and work in the office during the day, doing accounting, doing sales, doing the marketing, calling people back. And then you would do it all over again.”Darren Kimura | CEO of Energy Industries
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Darren Kimura was forced to work out of his Chevy Blazer when he started his first company as a 19-year-old University of Hawai’i freshman.

The Blazer needed a brake job, and Kimura would worry that he might not be able to bring the vehicle to a stop. But the car and Kimura survived, and there has since been no slowing down for the 32-year-old Hilo native, who has seen his business grow from a one-man operation to a multimillion-dollar, global company.

Kimura is chief executive officer of Energy Industries, which does energy savings, consulting and engineering work from its offices in Mapunapuna. Energy Industries has clients across the country and in Asia, from utility companies to large retail chains such as Fred Meyer.

Kimura’s first job brought in $50,000, and he said his company now does “just below” $50 million in annual gross revenues. But Kimura wants more.

“I’d like to see it in the $200 million range. I think we’re getting there,” he said.

And based on the growth of his company during its first 14 years, there’s no doubt in Kimura’s mind that he’ll reach that goal.

“Energy prices are going up. No one in the world believes energy prices are going to go down, or be like it was back in the ’80s. We will always have motivated customers, and we’re in a global business, so there are always people hurting because of energy, and we want to help them,” Kimura said.

To say that Kimura loves his work would be an understatement. He has no hobbies, except for whatever his 2-year-old daughter enjoys, and he burns lots of energy.

“When I first went to work in my crossover from (Waiakea) high school to freshman year, I had three jobs. I had to put myself through college,” Kimura said. “I used to rake the field at Rainbow Stadium. I worked at the information and computer sciences lab, and I worked at Macy’s selling shoes. I did whatever I could to keep myself going. So when I started the business, it was no difference in routine. It was just hard work.”

Kimura’s first company was an Internet service provider, which he started in 1992. As the popularity of the Internet grew, Kimura realized more energy was being consumed because there were more computers, air conditioners to keep them cool, and more concrete structures to house the equipment.

Two years later, Kimura formed Energy Conservation Hawai’i. He went to prospective customers and told them how they could save money by saving energy. His first client was his church in Hilo, where he consolidated its electricity meters and changed the church’s lights.

“The first year we struggled. It was just me, working out of my dorm room as well as my parents’ home in Hilo and out of my car, really kind of a road warrior back then,” Kimura said. “It was a true startup business. You would work your project at night and work in the office during the day, doing accounting, doing sales, doing the marketing, calling people back. And then you would do it all over again. But I think that’s one of the things about being an entrepreneur.”

After earning a business degree, Kimura left for Portland State University in 1996 and took his business with him. He continued his studies and also built a base of customers in the Northwest. He returned to Hawai’i in 1997 and opened his offices in Mapunapuna. The company has grown steadily since and employs more than 120.

Energy Industries works with hotels, businesses and schools to help them save energy. On average, Kimura said his company saves hotels up to 50 percent on their energy bills and a typical office building between 30 percent and 35 percent.

The company also partners with utilities, including Hawaiian Electric Co., to help them with their consumer rebate programs.

“It was more a matter of why they should give more incentives, what could be derived from that. Like, by giving a dollar more, you’ll get $5 million in demand savings or offsetting future generations,” Kimura said. “They were very receptive. Utilities in general like demand-side management, or energy conservation by businesses, because it helps them reduce their existing load, and it’s an immediate thing.”

Energy Industries also has worked with the University of Hawai’i in its energy-savings program. Last year the company donated equipment and manpower to help retrofit a dormitory with energy-efficient lights.

Stephen Meder, director of the UH Center for Smart Building and Community Design, said Kimura saved the university thousands of dollars.

“We got to the point where we didn’t have any (money) left. We were talking to Darren Kimura about it and Darren said, ‘Look, I’m a UH grad and I want to help with this. Let me allow my company to help.’ ” Meder said. “He’s a real champion for these needed issues.”

Energy Industries has grown from just a consulting firm to doing the project engineering and contracting. The company also has gotten into the “smart building” concept where air conditioning and lighting systems are controlled by computers.

Kimura is never satisfied with his company just doing well, and is constantly trying to stay ahead in the energy technology field. This year he formed Sopogy Inc., a renewable-energy company that Kimura says will convert heat from the sun into electricity on a large-scale basis.

Despite the company’s growth, Kimura said he has no plans to relocate to the Mainland.

“Our operations are probably larger in total outside of Hawai’i, but being in Hawai’i, you get a lot of hard work ethic, you have a lot of the aloha spirit, and that brings together teamwork, cohesiveness, and I think we achieve our goals more effectively,” Kimura said. “And the best part is, we bring all that revenue back to Hawai’i.”

Reach Curtis Lum at

Sopogy featured in Hawaii Venture Showcase

October 26, 2006

Sopogy presents in Hawaii Venture Showcase

Hawaii Venture Showcase

Thanks to Hawaii’s vibrant climate for technology start-ups, the Hawaii Venture Capital Association is proud to introduce a slate of new ventures to members and guests at its October 26, 2006 luncheon meeting. Several companies in different stages of growth will present their “elevator pitch” then participate in a “speed dating for entrepreneurs” session where investors, service providers and others can get acquainted with the entrepreneurs. “This is a fantastic opportunity to meet a host of new companies in the early stages of their growth cycle,” said Bill Spencer, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. “We do not hear much about technology start-ups until they are more established. These companies all have cutting edge technologies and are very exciting to learn about at this point in their life cycle,” he said.

Companies on the roster include Labels That Talk, It’s All About Kids, Sopogy, Honua Power, SeeRescue and Williams Aerospace. The companies will give a short “elevator pitch”, which in essence is what an entrepreneur would say to a prospective investor if they found themselves in an elevator with only a few minutes to discuss the high points of their business plan. The “speed dating for entrepreneurs” session allows as many people as possible to meet the entrepreneur after they give their pitch. The Hawaii Venture Capital Association membership and meeting attendees usually include a balanced mix of angel investors and service providers from the legal, accounting and staffing community. Although meetings allow ample time for introductions and networking, this more formalized session is designed to maximize interaction between entrepreneurs seeking investment and services and those who can possibly meet some of these needs. Another important aspect of the event is to showcase companies at different stages of the venture finance continuum. Some companies are very early stage, others have received financing, but are raising additional rounds.

2006 High Technology Leaders of the Year

October 21, 2006

October 21, 2006: Darren T. Kimura is awarded a 2006 High Technology Leader Award.
High Tech Leaders 6th Annual Technology Industry Awards signify professionals who have made significant contributions to Hawaii’s high technology industry.


Left to Right:
Brian Kealoha, Sopogy Advisor
Darren T. Kimura, Founder, Sopogy
Jon Riki Karamatsu, Representative, Majority Whip
Miles Kubo, Sopogy Advisor

Left to Right
Sandi Kanemori, HTDC
Darren T. Kimura, Founder, Sopogy
Sandy Park, HTDC

Sopogy featured by Hawaii Business Magazine

October 10, 2006

Hawaii Business Magazine - Sopogy

Sun Of A Gun

By Trifonovitch, Kelli Abe

LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR DARREN KIMURA HAS ANOTHER bright idea. The founder of Energy Industries (EI), a national provider of energy services, has pumped $800,000 of the company’s money into Sopogy, a startup that has developed a proprietary solar technology best suited for coastal climates with high humidity. Places like Hawaii.

In fact, at the time of this writing, Kimura was on track to close a $1.5 million round of funding and gearing up for an October groundbreaking on a demonstration project at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA) in Kona. Sopogy’s specially-designed panels capture solar heat and focus that energy into a tube of heat- transfer fluid. The super-heated fluid passes through a turbine to produce electricity. The process can also create other products, such as drinking water, hot water, air conditioning, steam and hydrogen.

Investors have taken notice.

“We’ve had so much interest from [Silicon] Valley, it’s been absurd,” says Kimura. “We’ve had term sheets worth millions of dollars, but they also want you to move to the valley.” So, he hasn’t signed them. Kimura is passionate about keeping Sopogy in Hawaii, for now. For the future, he intends to follow the sun.

Kimura notes that one of the the largest IPO of 2005 was a solar company called Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP), and the man who took it public “is now the richest man in China.”

Copyright Hawaii Business Publishing Corp. Oct 01, 2006

(c) 2006 Hawaii Business. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Source: Hawaii Business

Sopogy Helps Saipan Energy Office

September 15, 2006

By Ferdie de la Torre

Darren Kimura of Energy Industries Holdings Inc. eleborates a point during his speech on the Hawaii-based certified energy manager Darren T. Kimura said Friday that simple energy saving steps could help the situation of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

“May best advice to the consumers is to save energy. When you save energy, we actually help CUC with their situation. And of course in the end the consumers can save money,” Kimura told the Saipan Tribune during a break at the “Helping CNMI Save Money by Saving Energy” workshop held at Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Sandcastle.

Kimura said the first thing that needs to happen is that everyone must be energy-efficient.

“We need to conserve, we need to understand that. Unfortunately, we have a problem. We are in a problem situation, but it is not the end of the day. And we have the opportunity that we can utilize to help the situation,” said Kimura, who was the featured speaker in the workshop sponsored by the Department of Public Works’ Energy Division.

He said residents, businesses, and government agencies should be energy-efficient by saving power at home and installing energy-efficient light and air-conditioning systems, among others.

“ All of all those things can reduce the amount of the demand that we put on the grid and.we can help CUC [achieve] a more stable condition and [we can] collectively move forward,” said Kimura, who is also the president and chief executive officer of Sopogy, Inc.

In the workshop, he talked about how to save energy, as saving energy saves money.

“ So in the end we are talking about how to save money,” he pointed out.

Kimura discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Star Program, which is designed to help people easily save money by reducing the energy that they use.

“We’re talking about simple tips that consumers can use to save energy,” said Kimura, such a reducing shower time by minutes and air-drying clothes instead of using dying machines.

Kimura said a lot of people here are shocked at how their utility bills have gone up since CUC implemented the new power rates “but the most important thing is we have to address the fact that they [rates] have gone up and [we must] collectively work for energy-efficient features that can help us in moving forward. So we need to plan and prepare for the future,” he stressed.

DPW energy director Thelma B. Inos said they brought in Kimura, who is an expert of the Energy Star Program, to speak both at the workshop and at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce forum.

“ It’s a project that we are doing. It’s part of the program that I am putting in the application to the state energy grant. It is an energy awareness project,” Inos said.

Inos said that participants are mostly from government, private individuals, and businesses.

She said she was a little bit disappointed because not too many people showed up at the workshop.

Inos said Kimura is a very good speaker.

“From what I am hearing they are pretty impressed and they want him back,” Inos added.


June 2, 2002

H.R. NO.


HOUSE RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING THE 2002 SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION STATE OF HAWAII AWARD WINNERS. WHEREAS, small businesses are the backbone of our nation and each year since 1963, the President of the United States has designated a National Small Business Week in recognition of the small business community’s contributions to the American economy and society; andWHEREAS, entrepreneurs at local, state and national levels will be honored during May 5 through 12, 2002, designated this year as National Small Business Week with activities by the United States Small Business Administration, in partnership with public and private sector small business supporters; and

WHEREAS, there are ten Hawaii entrepreneurs who are recipients of the 2002 Small Business Administration Awards at the state level; and

WHEREAS, these ten outstanding individuals are as follows: Thanh Quoc Lam – Small Business Person of the Year, Yu-Sen Hwang – Small Business Exporter of the Year, David S. DeLuz, Sr. – Entrepreneurial Success Award, Darren T. Kimura – SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Alan M.L. Yee – Accountant Advocate of the Year, Ray Kamikawa – Financial Services Advocate of the Year, Barry Gay – Home-Based Business Advocate of the Year, Leona Jona – Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year, Jocelyn Kumi Fujii – Small Business Journalist of the Year, Cheryl L. Ka’uhane – Women in Business Advocate of the Year; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii Regular Session of 2002, that this body hereby commends and honors Hawaii’s 2002 Small Business award winners, and extends to them its heartfelt Aloha and best wishes for success in all future endeavors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to Hawaii’s ten 2002 Small Business award winners.

OFFERED BY: _____________________________

Pacific Business News’ – Forty under 40

May 28, 2000

Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

No disrespect to our elders, but the younger generations of businesspeople deserve recognition,
too. PBN is now accepting applications and nominations for our second annual Forty Under 40 awards,
an event honoring the energy, contributions and potential of Hawaii’s young businesspeople –
people who make a difference in Hawaii’s economy and community.
Applying or nominating takes just a few steps. A résumé, photo and letter of nomination must be
postmarked or sent by e-mail by July 5. Self-nominated entrants must include three short letters of
Nominations by others must include the names of two people and their phone numbers for verbal
reference. The cover letter accompanying both forms of entry must include the individual’s name
and age (they must be 39 or younger as of Aug. 10, 2001) and tell why the person is outstanding in
three areas: leadership in his or her industry, having shown a consistent “take charge” attitude;
community involvement (beyond expectations of his or her professional position); and
business acumen that not only represents advanced skills at this point in his or her career, but also demonstrates potential
for even greater success.
The Forty Under 40 recognition applies to businesspeople as well as to those in the public or
nonprofit sector who demonstrate business acumen and sharp businesslike approaches to their
Some of those recognized are future leaders of Hawaii, but many are leaders of today, and PBN
commends your efforts and contributions.
The Forty Under 40 “Class of 2000″ includes:
Darren Kimura Energy Conservation Hawaii

Neal Yokota Stryker, Weiner & Yokota
(Yokota was named the PBN 2000 Young Businessperson of the Year)
Eddie Aguinaldo Dynamic Interiors
Shakil Ahmed PDC Systems
Lynn Araki Lynn Araki, attorney
C. Scott Bradley Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
Caron Broederdorf Re/Max
Pamela Brown Insurance Factors – Kauai Branch
Christine Camp Avalon Development Co.
Matthew Gilbertson Architects Hawaii Ltd.
Art Gladstone Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi
John Harris Re/Max Honolulu
Corine Hayashi HTH Corp.
Teresa Hayes American Savings Bank
Ren Hirose W Honolulu Diamond Head
Gary Hogan Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays
Randall Izuo Izuo Brothers Ltd.
Peter Kay CyberCom Inc.
Darren Kimura Energy Conservation Hawaii
Jen Kunishima Hawaii Doggie Bakery
Christopher Leonard New West Broadcasting
K. Rae McCorkle McCorriston Miho Miller Mukai
Bettina Mehnert Architects Hawaii
Mark Mukai Davis Wright Tremaine
Yuka Nagashima LavaNet Inc.
Gail Nakama American Savings Bank
Paul Oneha Rendezvous Tours Inc.
Michael Onofrietti AIG Hawaii Insurance
Glenn Paul xpedx Hawaii
Barbra Pleadwell Hastings & Pleadwell
Laura Robertson Goodwill Industries of Hawaii
Patrick Saka The Maui News
Stacy Sato
Jody Shiroma Skyward Communications
Dean Spagnoli Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Lanai Tabura KDNN 98.5
Jill Tokuda Office of the Lt. Governor
Allison Ueoka Hawaii Insurers Council
Jon Whittington Countrywide Home Loans
Yvonne Yanagihara VoiceStream Wireless Hawaii
Michael Zhang Blue Hawaii Surf LLC
Members of the Forty Under 40 Class of 2000 are not eligible for future classes.

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – May 28, 2001