SparkMeter (www.sparkmeter.io) is a venture-backed company that was founded in late 2013. SparkMeter provides smart metering solutions tailor-made for rural and central utilities in developing markets, where 2.1 billion people live without reliable electricity access. The simple plug-and-play solution enables utilities operating in remote locations to access a range of features - prepaid billing, customer communications, and remote monitoring and control – that improve their operations and help them achieve financial sustainability. Our metering system is being widely adopted by utilities serving customers in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our Mission & Values
SparkMeter’s core value is opportunity: the opportunity for underserved communities to achieve great things. Our mission is to increase access to electricity in underserved communities. Electricity and the services derived from it unlock and create those opportunities.
What Are Energy Poverty and Electricity Access?
Energy poverty is the circumstance of depending on low quality fuels and inefficient end-uses, or conversely, the lack of access to modern energy services. Energy poverty is one of the defining global issues of our time, and access to electricity is essential to eradicating energy poverty and empowering individuals, communities and economies, to reach their potential.
The strong rate of diminishing marginal benefit to the Human Development Index (HDI) from per capita electricity consumption is striking, with a sharp increase in HDI within the first few kilowatt-hours per capita of annual consumption.
From micro-grids to central grid extensions, there’s incredible work being done all over the world to bring electricity access to underserved communities. At SparkMeter, we’re here to design, build, and refine technology to help utilities manage and run sustainable and high-quality power systems and businesses.
Diversity at SparkMeter
We believe diverse teams are stronger teams.
SparkMeter's core value is opportunity: the opportunity for underserved communities to achieve great things. That's why our mission is to increase access to electricity in underserved communities — it is electricity and the services derived from it that unlock and create those opportunities. This value is reflected in our hiring ethos: we believe that the strongest teams have diverse backgrounds. Our approach to hiring has been validated by academic and industry studies that show that workforce diversity improves team and business performance. We encourage applications from members of groups currently underrepresented in engineering.
SparkMeter was founded in 2012 with just four people. If you would like to join our team, check out the Jobs page!
Dan Schnitzer, Ph.D | CEO
Dan has ten years experience in smart grid & rural electrification, and received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus on electricity access. Before founding SparkMeter, he founded EarthSpark International, a microgrid developer in Haiti.
Tristan Escalada | CTO
Tristan has a decade of professional software development experience. He started volunteering with EarthSpark in 2011, and co-founded SparkMeter the following year. He was born and raised in Massachusetts, and has a cabin in Vermont where he gets to play with all forms of engineering.
Arthur Jacquiau-Chamski | COO
Arthur has a decade of energy sector experience with both utilities and microgrids. Prior to his work with SparkMeter, Arthur was R&D Project Manager for GDF Suez, and managed the development of EarthSpark International's first microgrid in Les Anglais, Haiti. He is originally from France.
Nai Phasay | VP of Hardware Engineering
Nai has twenty years experience in electronic design/development for industrial, commercial, and consumer markets. He was born in Vientiane, Laos and grew up in Northern Virginia. Nai likes hiking, partly for the exercise, partly to see and identify plants, animals, and fungus.
Amar Lal | VP of Operations
Amar has 30+ years Aerospace Industry experience. He has PMP, CSCP, and CPIM certifications. Amar was born in Washington, DC to immigrants from Patna, Bihar, India, and grew up in Canada and upstate New York. Amar was Head Coach of Union-Endicott High School Ice Hockey for 12 years.
Jon Thacker, Ph.D | Director of R&D
Jon has a B.A. in Physics from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. from Northwestern in Biomedical Engineering. He has co-authored 2 papers related to wireless metering. Originally from the Bay Area, he spent two years in Boston and currently resides in Chicago. Jon is a sailing racer and instructor.
Katharine Pelzer | Director of Commercial Operations
Katharine has eight years’ experience building and selling products and scaling operations at clean energy technology companies and now manages Customer Success at SparkMeter. Originally from Charleston, SC, she made her way north to UNC-Chapel Hill before landing in DC. On the weekend, you can find her in the woods or in the water.
Cameron Anderson | Hardware Engineer
Cameron is a recent graduate of Olin College with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is a pretty major theatre nerd, and in her free time she likes to do lighting production work for events and theatres. Cameron is from Oakland, NJ.
Bosco Nkurunziza | Field Support Engineer
Bosco has seven years of technical support experience. He has a BA from William Penn University in Iowa and a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a Renewable Energies focus from Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from south Rwanda, Bosco now lives in Nairobi, where he tries to spend as much time outdoors as he can.
Marcelle Huizenga | Customer Operations Team Lead
Marcelle holds a BS in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Before joining us at SparkMeter as a Customer Operations Intern in 2017, Marcelle previously worked with customers and did all things related to customer experience at a startup. Marcelle was born and raised in DC, but she is half-Peruvian. She loves hot chocolate and live music!
Aru Sahni | Senior Software Engineer
Aru acquired a love for computing from an early age when he taught himself to modify the BASIC games on his first computer. Over the past decade, he has developed solutions to make government agile, more efficient, and open, and is excited to tackle the challenge of energy access. When he's not using Vim, Aru enjoys spending time with his dog, Motley, attending concerts, and sampling craft beer.
Grace Perkins | Commercial Operations Associate
Grace has experience building public-private partnerships in energy and agriculture across Africa. Most recently, she worked for Power Africa, the U.S. government-led initiative to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. At work and beyond, Grace likes to bring people together through good food.
Caroline Wahu | Jr. Customer Operations Associate
Caroline has a Bachelors degree in Business and Information Technology and has five years of Customer Support experience. She was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and she loves traveling and adventure!
Simon Wandanda | Customer Operations Associate
Simon holds a bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from The Technical University of Kenya. Prior to joining SparkMeter, Simon worked for micro-grid developers in different capacities where he managed the construction of mini-grids in Eastern Africa. Simon is a big fan of Tiqui-taca football and loves watching FC Barcelona.
Ben Postman | Embedded Software Engineer
Before joining SparkMeter, Ben served in the U.S. Army as an Electronics Technician where he repaired radios and other communications equipment. After his enlistment, he worked as an Embedded Flight Software Engineer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he developed, maintained, and troubleshot the flight software for missions including the Deep Space Climate Observatory and the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System.
Bill Young | Senior DevOps Engineer
With a decade in Cloud Operations Engineering, Bill is a seasoned veteran who enjoys automating all the things, and designing processes for software development. Most recently he spent two years as Director of Platform Engineering at Capital One after the acquisition of the startup Critical Stack where he was a Founding Engineer.
Brian Gurr | Project Management
Brian has 16 years of applied experience consulting on the development of sustainable enterprises of all sizes, from micro-enterprises to large multi-nationals, in the energy, agribusiness, and forestry sectors. Brian takes April Fool's Day very seriously. So watch out.
Matt Malinowski | People Operations
Matt has 19 years experience working with technology and the web, with a broad base of expertise across platforms and languages. He helps SparkMeter hire and retain kind, talented people in both technical and non-technical roles. He likes birds and motorcycles.
Dan Douston | QA Engineering
Dan is a five-year QA veteran with experience in mobile and RESTful API testing and issue management. Originally from Nashua, New Hampshire, Dan has a magnificent collection of Star Trek starship models.
Justin Stanizzi | Software Project Management
Justin has over 10 years of software development experience wth over 20 products shipped. He was born in New Hampshire, went to school in Georgia, and has worked in Boston for nearly 9 years. He is a painter, and photographer with a fine arts background. Justin has a brand new motorcycle.
Chris Camponovo | Market Access and Governance
Chris is a public international lawyer with 20+ years experience in power infrastructure and international law. He has led operations for power project developers, has held senior positions at the White House and U.S. State Department, and advises companies and governments in Africa and Latin America.
Our Current Interns
Sonali Gobin | Commercial Operations Intern
Sonali is pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Finance and French & Francophone Studies at William & Mary. She uses both areas at SparkMeter in her quantitative work, and when working with our French-speaking customers. Sonali is originally from a beautiful tropical island called Mauritius, and moved to the US about 4 years ago. She intends to pursue a career in international development. Sonali still counts in French, and lists the temperature in Celcius and her height in meters and centimeters.
Christina Gabriele | Commercial Operations Intern
Christina completed her Bachelor's degree in Communication at George Mason University where she was a pitcher for the Women's Division I Softball Team. She is currently a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) student at the University of Miami and is a third generation Cane. In addition to being a Business student, she is pursuing a Science Scuba Diver Authorization through the University of Miami.
Our Past Interns
Zoe Hazerjian | Business Administration Intern (2018 Alum)
Zoe is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She originally hailed from Brooklyn before moving to Chapel Hill. Zoe has traveled to over 25 countries, and loves hiking, skiing, and visiting museums.
Zeal Shah | Data Science Intern (2017 & 2018 Alum)
Zeal received his Master's degree in Energy Science, Technology and Policy with a focus on Smart Grids & Grid Analytics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017. He did his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Power & Energy Systems in Gandhinagar, India. Zeal was born and raised in Ahmedabad, and he loves photography.
Anand Krishnan Prakash | Data Science Intern (2017 Alum)
Anand is an Energy Science graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University with a specialization in energy data analytics. Originally from Trivandrum, India, he did his Bachelor's degree in Goa, and worked in Mumbai and Bangalore before moving to Pittsburgh for his Master's degree. Anand loves attending concerts!
Varun Deshpande | Data Science Intern (2016 Alum)
Varun received his M.Sc in Energy Science, Technology and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus on data analytics and machine learning. He was born and raised in Mumbai, and has been studying in Pittsburgh since 2015. He once spent 7 frost bitten days in the Himalayas.
Sally Lee | Software Engineering Intern (2016-2017 Alum)
Sally is currently a Master's student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is originally from Seoul, South Korea, and learned English in New Zealand so her Kiwi accent sometimes pops out.
Allison Archambault | Advisor
Allison co-founded SparkMeter in 2013 and is a SparkMeter board member. She has 10 years experience in smart grid and rural electrification, and is the president of EarthSpark International. Allison hails from Toledo, Ohio. She likes bikes.
Anthony Rowe, Ph.D | Technical Advisor
Anthony is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University with over 10 years of experience in wireless communication and embedded systems design. Anthony grew up in the Boston area, but now enjoys living in Pittsburgh, PA. Anthony thinks coffee is the most important meal of the day.
Alla Jezmir | Advisor
Alla is Vice President at CCM Energy, where she evaluates investment opportunities and spearheads efforts to deploy portfolio company solutions across CCM and partners' real estate holdings. Alla is also Principal at Traverse Venture Partners. She has extensive experience in power generation and distribution, international development, environmental sustainability, and poverty alleviation.