Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tigo Energy adds three cleantech industry veterans to board of advisors

Tigo Energy, a California- and Israel-based solar startup developing technology to increase efficiency in photovoltaic installations, announced today that industry veterans, Professor Takashi Tomita, Mr. Yair Cohen and Dr. Nathan Zommer, have agreed to join the company's board of advisors.
Yair Cohen was previously a Brig. General (Res.) in the IDF and head of the IDF's famous Unit 8200, responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption -- Israel's equivalent to the NSA. As described in this Forbes article, Unit 8200 alumni have founded high-tech companies such as Check Point, ICQ, Nice, AudioCodes and Gilat. Mr. Cohen is now Senior Vice-President of IDB Group, one of Israel's largest holding companies, he occupies executive positions at Clal Energy and Elron, and he is a director of cleantech companies Atlantium and AqWise. In November 2008, Clal Energy announced a collaboration agreement with Tigo Energy.

Nathan Zommer, PhD is the Chairman and CEO of Nasdaq-listed IXYS Corporation, which he founded in 1983. During IXYS' 25 year history, he has been an advocate of energy efficient technologies as strategic investment opportunities. Zommer has served as a director since 1983 and as chairman of the board, president and CEO since March 1993. Prior to founding IXYS, Zommer served in a variety of positions with Intersil, Hewlett Packard and General Electric, including as a scientist in the Hewlett Packard Laboratories and director of the Power MOS division for Intersil/General Electric. Zommer also holds many patents in Power OSFETs and IGBTs.

Takashi Tomita now serves as Visiting Professor of the University of Tokyo, Research Center of Advanced Science and Technology; and as a Member of the Market Strategy Board of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). Prior to this, Tomita provided 34 years of successful leadership at SHARP Corporation. As an Executive Director of Sharp and head of the Solar Business Group, Tomita guided the company to become the largest solar supplier in the world for seven consecutive years, achieved a total solar business volume of $1.5bn in 2006, and established Sharp as the top residential solar supplier in Japan.

The three new appointees will join Gary Gerber, President of the California Solar Energy Industries Association -- SEIA; and CEO of Sun, Light & Power on the Tigo Energy board of advisors.

"We are pleased that these gentlemen -- each a key leader in the energy sector -- have recognized the potential within Tigo Energy's solar solution," stated Ron Hadar, President of Tigo Energy. "Each has committed their assistance towards our goal of accelerating solar adoption."

Mr. Cohen, Senior Vice President of IDB Group stated, "Tigo's innovative technology and great people position the company for strong contributions to the Solar Industry. I'm happy to be part of the team."

Speaking of the recent additions to the board of advisors and future of the company, Tigo Energy CEO Sam Arditi said, "Tigo Energy is honored to have these international industry leaders join as advisors. We will take their recommendations seriously and look forward to contributing to the growth of the industry as a whole."

According to the company's web site, Tigo Energy builds hardware and software intelligence into solar energy installations, making them more efficient, more manageable, and safer. By maximizing the energy output of each individual module, Tigo's advanced balance-of-system products deliver lower cost of ownership and a faster return on investment for existing and new solar installations. Started in 2007, Tigo has raised six million dollars in a round led by Matrix Partners and OVP Venture Partners, and successfully deployed beta installations across US and Europe in cooperation with prominent regional installers.

In October 2008, Tigo Energy announced the opening of an office in Kfar Saba, Israel, that will focus on the company's engineering activities. Mordechay (Modi) Avrutsky heads Tigo Energy's Israel operation and serves as Vice President of Engineering.

More information about Tigo Energy's technology and business plan is available online in this presentation by the company.

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