Evolve Build: Wharton SBDC Programs Help Serial Entrepreneur Redefine Renewable Energy

Michael Sebright loves to start and build businesses, literally. Through his company Energy Reconsidered and his partnership with Evolve Build, he continues to find new ways to conserve and renew energy in Greater Philadelphia.  
 
Ironically, one of Mr. Sebright’s strengths that contribute to his success is his tolerance for failure and subsequent willingness to redefine himself and his businesses. “I started my first renewable energy business in 2008, but my business partner passed away the following year,” recalls Sebright.  “I took Strategic Business Planning and other courses at the Wharton SBDC to reinvent myself and form a strong executive team. I developed a clear vision of what we had to do, but unfortunately we experienced failure from building contractors’ resistance to learn and deliver our renewable energy construction systems.”
 
After another iteration of business model refinement, today Sebright focuses on energy efficient homes through construction processes, more than fitting properties with renewable solar, geothermal or wind systems.  By doing so, he saves his clients’ money both in up-front costs and in their energy bills. In fact, his firm received The Zero Energy Ready House Award in 2014 from The United States Department of Energy. He steadily employs five people and typically works on ten projects at a time. His firm has risen over $150,000 in equity capital and achieves returns on capital for his investors. 
 
What has Sebright learned that he wants to share with other entrepreneurs considering Strategic Business Planning. "The business planning process helps you discover things that you don’t know that will help determine your success or failure. Planning adds clarity to your thoughts and processes. Bring your team to the table for vision, strength discovery, and going to market to acquire customers. Get your team to gel early and often.”