The Company

Sunfolding was founded in 2012 with headquarters in San Francisco, CA. Sunfolding designs, manufactures and sells balance of system products that offer cost and performance breakthroughs to stakeholders across the solar industry. Currently, Sunfolding’s main product offering is an advanced solar tracker, the Sunfolding T29 Horizontal Single Axis Tracker.  

Sunfolding’s executive team has collectively built and sold GWs of solar globally, successfully launching new solar products and technologies at leading solar companies including First Solar, SMA America, and Kaco. The Sunfolding team is a blend of top technical talent with recognized industry leaders.


Leadership

Jurgen Krehnke
CEO

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Jurgen Krehnke joined Sunfolding in August of 2017 as new CEO to lead the company into mass production and rapid business growth. Previously, he brought a turn-around to the 10-year old KACO new energy, Americas, business, where he expanded state-side manufacturing and supply chains and turned KACO into a top 5 regional inverter manufacturer. Prior to that, Krehnke was President & General Manager of SMA America, LLC, an inverter company that he successfully managed between 2008 and 2013 and turned into a well-recognized industry leader. Under his leadership the company grew more than 15-fold and established US and Canada based manufacturing as well as a nationwide service network, creating several hundred “green collar jobs” in the process. Mr. Krehnke holds a MEng from Germany’s Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig and completed Executive Education Programs at Stanford.

 

Matthew Schneider
VP Product

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Matt has over 15 years of product development and product strategy experience. Matt co-founded RayTracker in 2008, which was acquired by First Solar in 2011. At First Solar, Matt served as the Director of Global Product Development for PV Mounting Systems. His team delivered over 3GW ($600M) of trackers worldwide. Matt has spent his career creating value by determining strategic routes through complex stakeholder requirements. Matt's experience includes tenures at Microsoft and NASA and he holds degrees from St. Olaf College and Stanford University.

 

Gwen Rose
VP Marketing

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Gwen Rose has more than a decade of operations and business development experience, responsible for budgets and business strategy on government and foundation funded renewable energy projects.  Prior to Sunfolding, Gwen was Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives at Vote Solar.  She has worked on legislative campaigns and regulatory proceedings to establish community solar programs, net metering and interconnection rules, and solar-friendly rates via utility general rate cases in states across the country.

 

Dr. Saul Griffith
Chairman of the Board

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Dr. Saul Griffith has multiple degrees in materials science and mechanical engineering and completed his PhD in Programmable Assembly and Self Replicating machines at MIT. He is the cofounder of numerous companies including Makani Power (acquired by Google) and Instructables (acquired by Autodesk.) Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention including the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Collegiate Inventor's award, and the Lemelson-MIT Student prize. In 2007, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Saul a “genius” award, calling him a prodigy of invention in service of the world community.

Leila Madrone
CTO & Founder

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Leila Madrone founded Sunfolding in 2012 with the goal of developing new solutions to make solar unstoppable.  With over 15 years of automation, robotics, and solar industry experience, she has a talent for bringing innovative technology from concept to product in high-tech industries.  She has a bachelors and masters from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a focus on robotics and mechatronics.   Her early career included automation for the genomics industry and the commercialization of NASA robotics hardware.  For the last 10 years, she’s developed new tracking technology for the solar industry, and for the last 5+ years she’s led the development of Sunfolding’s unique solution from concept to scale.  She served as Sunfolding’s CEO until August 2017, and now as CTO she develops new innovations and drives overall company technical excellence.

 

Ryan Kelly
VP Business Development

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Ryan Kelly joined Sunfolding in May to develop long-term growth opportunities, build strategic business relationships, and  continue to grow market share and expand into new markets. With over 10 years of solar industry experience, Ryan has contributed to the commercial and technical success of over 2 GW of solar projects. Prior to Sunfolding, Ryan was VP of Sales and Marketing at Schletter Inc., a globally recognized leader of solar mounting products, where he led a committed team of experienced solar mounting professionals.

 

John Backer
Head of Supply Chain

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John brings over 20 years of experience running operations at hardware companies in the automotive, solar, and semiconductor industries to the Sunfolding team. John directs Sunfolding’s supply chain strategy, working with suppliers at the executive level to control costs and develop logistics capabilities that accelerate material movement and ensure availability. John has held executive leadership positions at both startups and Fortune 500 companies including Mainstream Energy, Skyline Solar, and Applied Materials. His expertise spans new product introduction, supply chain development and management, manufacturing engineering, and logistics.