Episode 702

702: From Rock Star to Serial Entrepreneur: Rue Phillips' Journey

Published on: 23rd May, 2024

He came to America with ten thousand dollars and a dream of making it big. A few years later, he was a legitimate rock star, rocking arenas with Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osborne.  So why did this British rocker who achieved the height of music stardom give it all up and start an EV charging business? How did that turn into not 1 but 3 successful exits (his most recent for north of $80M to Enphase) and a fourth energy sector startup sure to find similar outcomes? Rue Phillips, a rockstar turned entrepreneur, has a story unlike any other we’ve told here on SunCast.

Rue has always had an interest in electronics, so perhaps it’s a natural that when he hung up his axe he would find a way to leverage the trade skill handed down through his family.  But in the 90’s, EV charging and solar energy were hobbyist businesses for most aspiring entrepreneurs. Yet, Rue found himself installing EV charging infrastructure for the Hollywood elite, and parlayed that experience into fixing what he saw breaking in the solar industry, literally. 

Now, Rue has turned his attention back to addressing the weak link in our Electric Vehicle (EV) dreams, charging. A considerable portion of EV charging infrastructure is unreliable or inoperable. Phillips, once a guitarist for rock legends like Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, has truly found his rhythm in energy entrepreneurship, founding several successful ventures including True South Renewables and 365 Pronto.

His newest venture, SkillFusion, is a digital learning platform that aims to train skilled professionals to address the critical need for reliable EV infrastructure. SkillFusion offers comprehensive training programs to prepare the workforce needed to maintain and repair EV chargers.  Phillips and his team aim to help EV charging companies achieve their long-promised 97% uptime guarantee.

Expect to learn:

  • Why reliable EV infrastructure will boost the industry's growth.
  • How SkillFusion's training programs are bridging the skills gap in the EV sector.
  • Rue Phillips’ journey from rockstar to renewable energy pioneer.
  • Rue’s strategies for transforming passion into a successful business venture.

Discover how SkillFusion is powering the EV revolution, one skilled technician at a time.

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.

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Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

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About the Podcast

Your resource for developing a clean energy or climate tech career
Nico Johnson takes you into conversations with those at the forefront of Renewable Energy.

SunCast gives an inside look into what is happening in renewable energy. From conversations with the biggest Solar Panel manufacturers in the world to the small startups creating the future of renewable energy, such as carbon capture and battery technology breakthroughs.

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grow and be ahead of the curve in the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Featuring over 600 conversations, Nico has interviewed people from Tesla, SolarCity, Trina Solar, Meyer Burger, Conergy, SunEdison, Energy Vault and even the US Government... to name a few. Covering topics such as Solar Power, Wind Energy, Batteries, Electric Vehicles, Carbon Capture, Finance, Hydrogen, and more.

You can watch SunCast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@SunCastMedia

...or view the full archive of SunCast episodes here: https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes