BRITE Energy Innovators

Meet The Team

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Rob van Haaren

Expert in Residence

Rob van Haaren

As an Expert-in-Residence at BRITE, Rob advises startups on pitching, financial projections and go-to-market strategies. He enjoys helping entrepreneurs pinpoint the true value of their product/service and craft their story so they can determine an effective sales process and raise money from investors. Being an entrepreneur himself, Rob likes to thoroughly understand the context in which his mentee startups operate, analyzing everything from competitive landscape to customer profiles. His background is in solar, energy storage and data analytics, and has experience commercializing machine learning applications, so he can provide actionable insights on bringing software and hardware solutions to market in the energy space. 

Rob is the CTO of, an AI-powered sales & use tax compliance platform which he built from the ground up. He also founded two crowdfunding companies. In the energy industry, Rob worked at First Solar, where he was responsible for setting up a new line of business for the company in utility-scale PV + Storage. In the last couple of years, he has been consulting for developers and OEMs, applying his data science skills to help them set up techno-economic models and explore new spin-off ventures. Rob earned his PhD in at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.