Darren Kimura

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Darren Kimura
Darren Kimura.jpg
Born (1974-09-10) September 10, 1974 (age 43)
Hilo, Hawaii
Residence Palo Alto, California and Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation Entrepreneur, Investor, Inventor
Known for Inventor of MicroCSP
Home town Palo Alto, CA
Title CEO of Energy Industries Corporation,
Chairman of LiveAction
Website twitter.com/darrentkimura/ www.darrentkimura.com

Darren T. Kimura (born September 10, 1974, Hilo, Hawaii) is an American businessman, inventor, and investor. He is best known as the inventor of Micro Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology[1][2] otherwise known as MicroCSP.[3]


Kimura was born to Japanese American parents in Hilo, Hawaii and graduated from Waiakea High School.[4] He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as a member in the Boy Scouts of America. He studied Computer Science and Business Management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He later attended Portland State University, studying Electrical Engineering and Stanford University studying Computer Science. During the 2009 flu pandemic, Newsweek covered Darren’s challenges in finding Tamiflu for his wife Kelly due to hoarding.[5]


Kimura began his career as an entrepreneur bringing the sport of paintball to Hawaii while still in high school.[citation needed] When attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa he worked in the Information and Computer Sciences department, where he launched Nalu Communications, an internet service provider.[6] Later he created and expanded Energy Industries Corporation. With the support of Energy Industries he created Energy Laboratories,[7] as an incubator for start-up companies, and Enerdigm Ventures,[8] a venture capital firm to seed and support early to growth stage companies. MicroCSP Technology and Sopogy, Inc. began as a spin-off of at Energy Laboratories and was initially funded by Kimura and Enerdigm Ventures.[9]

He also supported the construction of the world’s first MicroCSP project, called Holaniku at Keahole Point.[10][11] He served as a director to the State of Hawaii Venture Capital fund.[12] His entrepreneurial accomplishments has led him to be featured on the cover of MidWeek,[13] on the cover of Pacific Edge,[14] in Entrepreneur,[15] and in the 2007 book The Greater Good: Life Lessons from Hawaii's Leaders.[16] He was also a live guest with Al Gore on The Climate Reality Project on 24 Hours of Reality – The Dirty Weather Report.[17] He was featured in the Hawaiian Electric Company's clean energy promotion, which was highlighted during the APEC United States 2011.[18]

Energy Industries Corporation[edit]

Kimura started Energy Conservation Hawaii in 1994,[19] from the back of his SUV,[20] using his surfboard as his desk.[21] In a few years the company reached $50 million in revenues and began national expansion.[22] Kimura changed the company name to Energy Industries Corporation to appeal to its national markets, and he remains the largest shareholder. The underlying concept for creating Energy Industries Corporation was to help make energy efficiency simple. In his work at Energy Industries Corporation, Kimura provided Energy Star consulting services in such locations as Hawaii,[23] Palau,[24] Guam[25] and Saipan.[26] Energy Industries Corporation was featured in the 2008 Wall Street Journal article "Alternative State", about renewable energy projects created in Hawaii.[27]


The concept for MicroCSP technologies were created when Kimura attempted to install a conventional Concentrating Solar Power trough in Kona, Hawaii. Realizing that it was uneconomical and not practical to ship, install and operate such large components in remote locations like Hawaii, Kimura worked on reducing the dimensions of the solar collector which led to reconfiguring the technology and incorporating the use of state of the art materials.[28] MicroCSP is used for community-sized power plants (1 MW to 50 MW), for industrial, agricultural and manufacturing 'process heat' applications, and when large amounts of hot water are needed, such as resort swimming pools, water parks, large laundry facilities, sterilization, distillation and other such uses.[29] MIT also studied the use of MicroCSP technology in power generation using the Organic Rankine Cycle.[30] Kimura trademarked the term MicroCSP [31] and later released the term for use in the public domain to help accelerate MicroCSP adoption. His US Patent on the idea (U.S. Patent 20,080,127,967) served as the basis for other MicroCSP inventions. Companies producing MicroCSP technologies include Rackam, GlassPoint Solar [32] Abengoa Solar [33] Aora [34] Sun2Power[35] Chromasun [36] SolarLite [37] NEP Solar [38] Novatec Solar [39] Industrial Solar[40] Focal Point Energy[41] SunTrough [42] Focused Sun [43] Heat 2 Power [44] and Nanogen[45] and Tamuz Energy.[46]


Sopogy, a solar thermal technology supplier, was founded in 2002 at the Honolulu, Hawaii–based clean technology incubator known as Energy Laboratories.[47] The company began its research on concentrating solar thermal energy to produce solar steam and thermal heat for absorption chillers or industrial process heat. The company has also developed applications that incorporate its solar collectors to generate electricity and desalination. Kimura created the company name from taking sections of key words including "SO" from Solar, "PO" from "Power", and "GY" from "Energy and Technology".[48] The company's OEM and IPP sales teams are located in Honolulu along with its research and development,[49] and in 2006 it expanded its manufacturing, C&I, and oil and gas sales teams in its Silicon Valley facility.[50] Sopogy has installed 200 megawatts in China,[51][52] and 360 megawatts in Thailand.[53] Kimura and Sopogy, along with First Solar, were featured in the Whole Foods Market documentary Thrive.[54] In 2011 Sopogy was honored with the APEC Business Innovation Award,[55] and was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times.[56]

Darren Kimura at the U.S.–Japan Council 2013

Sopogy completed a Series E preferred financing in October 2012 led by Mitsui & Co. and SunEdison, a U.S. solar company, Sempra Energy, 3M, and others.[57] The company announced that Darren Kimura had stepped down as the chairman, chief executive officer and president in March 2013, and SunEdison installed one of its executives as president of the company.[58] After completing a hand-over period, Darren Kimura left the company in May 2013.[59] Sopogy was acquired by Hitachi Power Systems in 2014.[60]


Enerdigm Ventures invested in LiveAction, an enterprise network management software company founded in 2007 at Referentia Systems, Inc.[61] and Kimura joined the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Executive Chairman[62] and later as Chief Executive Officer.[63] The Company is best known for its NetFlow visualization capabilities[64] and Quality of Service monitoring and configuration capabilities.[65] Kimura led LiveAction to achieve a place on the Cisco Solutions Plus Program "LiveAction Cisco GPL".  and completed LiveAction's Series A financing that included participation by AITV and Cisco Systems "LiveAction Secures $5.35 Million Series A Financing from AITV and Cisco Investments".  LiveAction expanded its capabilities in scale to achieve an industry leading 1 million flows per second[66] and began expanding as a network visualization platform including capabilities in Software Defined Networking and SD-WAN.[67] LiveAction completed a $36 million Series B financing led by Insight Venture Partners, Cisco Systems and AITV in early 2016.[68]


Kimura received the 2002 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.[69] He was honored as the 2007 Green Entrepreneur,[70] and received the Blue Planet Foundation award in 2009.[71] He also received the Hawaii Venture Capital Association Deal of the Year award in 2012.[72] He was named to the 2010 Hawaii Business Magazine's "10 for Today", along with other Hawaii luminaries such as professional baseball player Shane Victorino, and founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar,[73] and was named to the Pacific Business News's "10 to Watch in 2013",[74] along with video game developer and video game Tetris distributor Henk Rogers.

Non-profit activities[edit]

Kimura is active in community and philanthropic activities with a strong focus on Hawaii. He serves as vice president and director at Blue Planet Foundation,[75] and vice president and director at SEE-IT (Science Engineering Exposition of Innovative Technologies),[76] He is also on the board of directors at PBS Hawaii,[77] is entrepreneur-in-residence at Punahou School,[78] is on the board of directors at Enterprise Honolulu, the Oahu Economic Development Board,[79] and is on the Dean's Council of University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Engineering.[80] Kimura sponsors the Hawaii Island Science Fair "Kimura Award for Innovations in Clean Energy[81]" which was awarded to Felix Peng (2016) of Waiakea High School.[82]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Niche Markets for micro-CSP Page". 
  2. ^ "MicroCSP - Concentrating Solar Power". 
  3. ^ "United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark MicroCSP". 
  4. ^ "Darren T. Kimura Class of 1992". 
  5. ^ "Newsweek: Why individual stockpiling of anti-flu medication is a bad idea". 
  6. ^ "Saipan Tribune Rountable". 
  7. ^ "Energy Laboratories". 
  8. ^ "Enerdigm Ventures". 
  9. ^ "Sopogy closes Series E funding". 
  10. ^ "Sopogy inaugurates the World's first MicroCSP solar thermal plant using Sopogy's products". 
  11. ^ "Sopogy introduces new solar technology at NELHA". 
  12. ^ "HSDC Annual Report" (PDF). 
  13. ^ "Midweek: The future's so bright". 
  14. ^ "Pacific Edge: The Energy Within". 
  15. ^ "Entrepreneur Magazine: Riding the Green Wave". 
  16. ^ "The Greater Good: Crazy to Visionary" (PDF). 
  17. ^ "The World's Oceans & Hawaii". 
  18. ^ "Hawaiian Electric Green Energy". 
  19. ^ "The Future's So Bright…". 
  20. ^ "Success built on CEO's work ethic". 
  21. ^ "From surfer to renewable energy entrepreneur". 
  22. ^ "Success build on CEO's work ethic". 
  23. ^ "Hawaii Business: Energy Savers". 
  24. ^ "Energy Star in Palau". 
  25. ^ "Energy Star in Guam". 
  26. ^ "Energy Division sponsors energy-saving workshop". 
  27. ^ "Wall Street Journal Alternative State". The Wall Street Journal. 
  28. ^ "MicroCSP Beginnings". 
  29. ^ "MicroCSP Uses" (PDF). 
  30. ^ "MicroCSP Beginnings". 
  31. ^ "MicroCSP Trademark". 
  32. ^ "CSP Today Glasspoint Solar markets". 
  33. ^ "Abengoa Solar for Industrial Applications website". 
  34. ^ "Aora cuts blue ribbon". 
  35. ^ "Sun2Power". 
  36. ^ "Chromasun" (PDF). 
  37. ^ "SolarLite". 
  38. ^ "NEP Solar website". 
  39. ^ "Novatec Solar website". 
  40. ^ "Industrial Solar". 
  41. ^ "Focal Point". 
  42. ^ "Suntrough website". 
  43. ^ "US' Focused Sun and China's Xiang Yang Institute partner to develop micro-CSP systems". 
  44. ^ "Energía solar micro-CSP". 
  45. ^ "Nanogen". 
  46. ^ "Tamuz Energy Website". 
  47. ^ "Sopogy Website". 
  48. ^ "About Sopogy". 
  49. ^ "Sopogy returns to Manoa Innovation Center". 
  50. ^ "Hawaii tech firms move offices and expand facilities to Mainland". 
  51. ^ "Sopogy announced the installation of 200 megawatts of CSP in China". 
  52. ^ "Sopogy Lands 200MW China Project for Thermal Storage". 
  53. ^ "Sopogy signs agreement on Thai solar project". 
  54. ^ "Whole Foods features Sopogy and First Solar". 
  55. ^ "Sopogy is APEC Honolulu technology showcase winner". 
  56. ^ "Darren Kimura, CEO of Sopogy, at the firm's solar facility on Hawaii's Big Island". Los Angeles Times. 
  57. ^ "Sopogy strengthens its financial status". 
  58. ^ "Sopogy Names SunEdison Exec to top leadership role". Bloomberg. 
  59. ^ "Darren Kimura Blog - What's next?". 
  60. ^ "MicroCSP still looking good in Sopogy's wake". 
  61. ^ "ActionPacked Networks Rebrands and Launches as LiveAction". 
  62. ^ "LiveAction Leadership Team". 
  63. ^ "Darren Kimura joins LiveAction as Chief Executive Officer". 
  64. ^ "Network Visualization Tool Now Supports 1M Flows Per Second". 
  65. ^ "Cisco: Rule the World of Application QoS". 
  66. ^ "ActionPacked! Network Visualization Tool Now Supports 1M Flows Per Second". www.tmcnet.com. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  67. ^ "LiveAction the Visibility Solution". 
  68. ^ "LiveAction Secures $36 Million Series B Financing from Insight Venture Partners, Accelerate-IT Ventures, and Cisco Investments | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  69. ^ "No small success Page". 
  70. ^ "Darren T. Kimura wins Green Entrepreneur of the Year Award". 
  71. ^ "Darren T. Kimura receives Blue Planet Foundation Award". 
  72. ^ "Entrepreneur, Deal of the Year awards announced". 
  73. ^ "Hawaii Business Magazine: 10 For Today". 
  74. ^ "10 to Watch: Hawaii business leaders face risks and rewards in 2013". 
  75. ^ "Blue Planet Foundation Board of Directors". 
  76. ^ "SEE-IT Foundation Board of Directors". 
  77. ^ "PBS Hawaii Board of Directors". 
  78. ^ "Punahou Entrepreneur in Residence". 
  79. ^ "Enterprise Honolulu". 
  80. ^ "College of Engineering Dean's Council". 
  81. ^ [pic.twitter.com/jyyU0cYRIb "Twitter Hawaii Science Fair"] Check |url= value (help). 
  82. ^ "Hawaii Island Science Fair 2016" (PDF). 

External links[edit]