Alex Hagen is the latest startup mentor to join Rev: Ithaca Startup Works as an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). Hagen, a serial entrepreneur who has worked in the clean energy, high-volume manufacturing, medical, pharmaceutical, and horticulture industries, brings over 14 years of operational, financial, and business strategy experience at both startups and large corporations to Rev. As an EIR, Hagen will offer Rev startups individualized consultations on growing their businesses.
Hagen is currently the CEO at ShrubBucket, an online order aggregation business that has the goal of disrupting the gardening industry. “The Zappos of Plants” is growing rapidly and will be expanding into several new cities in 2020. The startup currently provides service to most of the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) and a large swath of New England.
“We’re very excited to bring Alex on board as an Entrepreneur in Residence,” states Ken Rother, Director of Rev, “With more than a decade of demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership under his belt, coupled with his experience leading Rev member company, ShrubBucket, he will be a great resource to other Rev member companies.”
Prior to ShrubBucket, Hagen served as the Clean Energy Program Director at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator operated by Binghamton University. During this time, he leveraged the knowledge and expertise he gained from his previous clean energy roles—CFO at Renovus Solar, CEO of Weaver Wind Energy, and Director of Business Development at Fortis Wind Energy—to attract, retain, mentor, and graduate clean energy startups in the Southern Tier.
During his time at Renovus Solar, Hagen oversaw a period of rapid growth, taking the company from 7 employees to more than 60 over the course of two years. During his five years leading Weaver Wind Energy, Hagen raised over $1 million in grants and angel capital, and managed the design, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing of the world’s most reliable small wind turbine, one of the first in the country to be awarded full certification by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Additionally, Hagen served in engineering and project management capacities at Hutchinson Technologies, a high-volume and high-precision hard drive component manufacturer, as well as product development and R&D at Merit Medical Systems, which manufactures intravenous medical devices.
Hagen hopes to benefit Rev members with his knowledge. “I have lived through many entrepreneurial lessons, sometimes painfully,” he states, “I’m happy to share those mistakes, so that others don’t have to make them.”
His advice for new startups? “Proceed with the assumption that your idea isn’t precious or unique. Your most valuable attributes are your team and your execution plan.”
Hagen holds an M.B.A. from the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, and a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He lives in Ithaca, New York with his wife and four kids, and enjoys hiking, running, and relaxing with family and friends in his free time.