Entrepreneur Magazine's Hot 500

Hoku Scientific, Inc.

Bright Ideas
Looks like blue skies ahead as some eco-conscious entrepreneurs light the way to clean energy.
By Sara Wilson

Dustin Shindo, 33, and Karl Taft, 34, are in the business of developing clean-energy technologies--and rightly so. After all, they've single-handedly powered Hoku Scientific Inc., growing it from a homebased business with credit card debt of more than $100,000 to a public company that projects revenue of $7 million to $10 million for fiscal year 2008. Operated by a team of fewer than 30 employees, the Kapolei, Hawaii-based company has fueled growth through major deals inked within the last year alone: the building of a $260 million plant in Idaho, a $370 million contract with Sanyo Electric Co. and a $678 million contract with Suntech Power to deliver polysilicon, as well as an agreement to provide the second-largest photovoltaic power system in Hawaii. Serial entrepreneurs Shindo and Taft branched out to solar and polysilicon materials when their original focus, the fuel cell industry, didn't grow at the projected rate. That move, coupled with 100-hour workweeks, solid money management and a strong drive, is what propels the business forward. Says Shindo, "Passion, performance and persistence really are the keys to success--not just for entrepreneurs, but in life."

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This article was originally published in the August 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Entrepreneur Magazine's Hot 500.

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