By Boaz Ur’s final year at Haas, he knew he wanted to impact the clean tech industry. But he took an unconventional route to get there.
His first job upon graduating was at Pacific Gas & Electric, where he managed its demand response portfolio, including residential and third-party aggregator programs. The experience proved pivotal to his clean tech career. “My time at PG&E gave me an understanding of utilities, regulators, and customers and has been extremely valuable for me and the companies I work with today,” he says.
Ur went on to become vice president of business development and partnerships at Lightapp Technologies, which develops AI bots to help manufacturers manage energy use. Meanwhile, he was working on his own invention: a device that could offer real-time response to oil spills.
The idea won the energy track of the 2012 UC Berkeley Startup Competition (now called LAUNCH). Shortly after, he established HARBO Technologies.
Six years and 350 prototypes later, the HARBO Boom—a lightweight, portable device that could slow an oil spill within minutes—became a commercial success, credited with mitigating damages including in the second largest oil spill in the Port of Rotterdam.
Today, Ur is the chief business development officer for Nostromo Energy, a company that turns commercial buildings into energy storage assets using the IceBrick. This water-based technology stores cold energy in buildings during off-peak hours and then uses that energy to cool buildings during peak hours, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.
It’s one more step on his crusade to positively change the world.