The story behind SolarCorp

This is story that a lot of people keep asking me to tell. Like, seriously. A lot.

For anybody that doesn’t already know me, I’m an 18-year-old Canadian entrepreneur and the founder/CEO of SolarCorp, one of Canada’s leading solar energy companies known for pioneering solar leasing and developing one of the countries first domestically produced energy storage products.

SolarCorp van in Saskatchewan (Credit: SolarCorp)

It all started in late 2015, I was surfing the web and came across an article on solar and how it was becoming a more viable option for homes and businesses to affordable offset their electrical bill and cut back on their carbon footprint. Being a millennial, of course I am stereo-typically concerned with the well being of the planet and I try do everything I can to help fight climate change, but I’ve also always had a real passion for business, starting up my first “business”, a lawn care service, when I was 11-years-old. From their I went on to start-up RousellHost, a web hosting and domain services provider which quickly gained traction in the U.S., Canada, and South America as a result of our better customer-focused business model.

After reading many more articles and researching the American solar industry deeper, I noticed a massively untapped market in my native country of Canada.

At the time, the industry was dominated by local mom-and-pop style solar operations, and at first glance the market was actually crowded with upwards of five organizations operating in an given city. Despite this, a fact that I couldn’t get over was that no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t seem to find a single home which had rooftop solar installed, one of the biggest markets for our neighbours to the south. That’s when it hit me. We lacked a unified solar brand. There was single company operating where consumers could go to find consistent offerings and easily accessible financing, instead they were stuck dealing with much smaller organizations that didn’t really offer any financial assistance and they risked that company going out of business and no longer supporting their warranties, something that happens all too often.

It was a slow and tedious process trying to build this brand from the ground up, especially at such a young age. Most of the first year after starting the company was spent building infrastructure and partnering with reputable suppliers and 3rd parties who were both willing and capable of providing financing for our customers, something that shockingly no Canadian banks were doing, and most still don’t do to this day. Taking the time to really set up the business greatly contributed to our early success as we were able to pioneer solar leasing in Canada and offer what is still some of the best and easiest options for Canadians looking to finance a new solar system.

After the ground work was laid, we were ready to truly start-up. I sold my personal vehicle, a Ford Mustang, to purchase the companies first car, a 2007 GMC Savanna for $3,500. The rest of the funds gathered from selling my car were put towards the initial marketing budget of the company, as well as upkeep and upgrades for the van, such as putting the company logo on it.

Upon launch we experienced outstanding, but expected, success and quickly grew our portfolio of residential customers in our initial two cities, Saskatoon and Regina. Now, after just over 3 months of actual operations we have expanded to serve four provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C., with expansion plans for Ontario already in the works. We’ve also begun work to launch our Home Battery product which will be one of Canada’s first domestically designed and produced energy storage products, using Lithium-ion technology to store up to 15kWh.

It’s been an absolutely great experience so far, and a truly fun adventure. Being a part of this rapidly changing industry has really fed my passion for technology and innovation, and I feel very honoured and privileged to have seen the success that I have this early on.