Power electronics company employs Innovate for Maine interns after they graduate


I’m Ben Polito. I’m the co-founder and president
of Pika Energy. We’re located in Westbrook, Maine. Pika Energy builds power electronics that
help customers to produce and manage their own power. So, rather than buying electricity
from the utility, they can actually make and manage their own power using our technology.
They can cut their costs. We can provide secure power, so that their system doesn’t go down
in a blackout. Even allow them to sell power back to the utility. Actually, the company started out in my basement.
There were three of us at first. We were developing the core technology. As we’ve grown over the
years, we eventually outgrew the basement and moved to Westbrook, where we’re located
now. We have a team of 12 people. The Innovate for Maine Internship Program
has been a fantastic help to our company. We’ve been involved in the program from the
very first year. We had an intern named Tony Nuzzo, who’s the
engineering student out of the University of Maine System. The program matched us with
the absolute perfect candidate. He actually had experience building wind turbines, which
is one of the products we make. He did such a nice job, that after he went
back to school and graduated, we offered him a full-time position. He’s on our team now. We have Jeremy Niles, and Lance Doiron, the
University of Maine electrical engineering student. Both worked with the company full-time
after they finished school. Lance is doing a fantastic job as a design engineer. We’re three for three in hiring our interns
and we hope to continue that trend.

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