After graduating from Massachusetts Bay Community College, Jonathan Corkum couldn’t find a decent-paying job. So, to solve the problem, he created his own, and began building a business that aligned with both his personal and professional interests. Called Greener Energy Solutions, the company is designed to not only reduce our carbon footprint, but our electric bills, as well.
Corkum took the leap three months ago after posting an add on Craigslist, saying he was looking to start a business and needed some help.
“I wrote down what I was looking for, for a startup,” Corkum said. “Something I believed in that made me happy.”
From there, he met Andrew Lavine, his now roommate, who came on board as the company’s CFO and aided Corkum in narrowing down his vision. “I wanted to sell everything,” Corkum admitted. But with a passion for green energy, he knew that was the field he should be headed into, saying, “I wanted to go to sleep morally knowing I helped people in some way.” With about $5,000 from his parents, he launched Greener Energy Solutions.
Now selling energy-efficient lighting, solar panels and electric-vehicle charging stations, Corkum’s been on the road, helping to install products and educate customers on how they work. Operating in affiliation with the American Solar Energy Society, ENERGY STAR and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Corkum’s continued educating himself on his products, writing “How It Works” descriptions that customers can access directly from the company’s site, as well as an efficient lighting calculator so they can see exactly what it is they’re saving.
Although the team is currently working out of their Brighton apartment, Corkum said he hopes to move into the Cambridge neighborhood soon, with the eventual goal of building his own version of the products they sell online, so he can offer them to his customers at a greater discount.
Corkum is now enrolled in night classes at Boston University’s Metropolitan College, but did admit that starting his own business was the best business education he could ever get.
“As society grows, so do new forms of business,” Corkum said. “When I went to school, what I was taught doesn’t apply today. You always have to adapt.”
Corkum also said the team is constantly looking for ways to improve internally, always on the hunt for new products. “We’re trying to beat our sales every day, every month and every year,” and after making $15,000 in just three short months, we think he’ll be making good on his parents’ investment.