Author: Hiatt, Shon R.
Source: Harvard Business School
Company Name: Sykué Bioenergya
Number of pages: 24
It was a hot, fall day in May 2011. The three founders of Sykué Bioenergya had traveled 1500 kilometers from São Paulo, Brazil to inspect their company's 30-megawatt biomass power plant, which had become operational six months earlier. While they had experienced a number of problems in starting their company, they had addressed many of them. However, they had now reached a crossroads.
Sykué Bioenergya was the brainchild of Paulo Puterman, an entrepreneur and social scientist from São Paulo, Brazil. His interest in sustainable energy began in the 1990s when he was a Ph.D. student in the sociology of technology. "I was very worried about the impact of innovation on society--how innovation creates jobs and ushers in different perspectives, leading to creative destruction of important practices and sectors," he explained. Puterman had taken a break from his studies to form an Internet consultancy company based on his research that explored the effect of the Internet on the music industry. Of the experience, he said, "You cannot have innovation if you don't use the entrepreneurial side of the society. I decided to leave the university and start a company to have an entrepreneurial experience, because at that point, my life was all theory and no practice."