484: "They" said she should resign! Catherine Von Burg on scaling SimpliPhi against all odds


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By Nico Johnson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When VCs told Catherine Von Burg that she probably wasn’t cut out to run (or raise money for) the kind of business that she had mapped out for SimpliPhi, she could have capitulated and sacrificed her personal dignity & self worth on the altar of company mission & vision. Except, the company mission & vision was something that carried her DNA, her blood, sweat & tears. And, ultimately, she believed that it wasn’t a race to be won (ie, “the exit” is not the destination) but a journey that takes more than 1000 miles and more than one person’s determination and grit. This is but part of the insight & context you’ll glean from today’s conversation with one of the solar industry’s best underdog stories of the last few years- SimpliPhi Power and their dynamic leader, Catherine Von Burg.

I originally featured Catherine way back in episode 148 of SunCast (which itself is an amazing interview, especially for you up-and-coming female leaders looking for inspiration!) Since then, SimpliPhi has realized her vision and achieved a storied exit through the acquisition by Century-old reciprocating engine titan, Briggs & Stratton. As you’ll easily see on their website now, SimpliPhi is now the face of Briggs’ move into the energy-storage-backed vision of a resilient home for the modern homeowner.

In today’s discussion, Catherine and Nico discuss how SimpliPhi delivered Gigawatts of storage to the US DOD with ZERO defects in an era when battery startups fail year after year, and how ultimately it was a dogged determination to carve their own path and listen intently to customer needs (along with a lot of introspection and team focus) that underlies SimpliPhi’s exponential growth & success.

I hope you’ll give us some feedback on what you like from this episode.

And, If you want to connect with Catherine, you’ll find links to her contact info (linked, twitter, etc) in the show notes over on the blog.

SunCast is presented by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter brand.

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Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 480 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on Twitter, LinkedIn or email.

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