Jack West (inventor)
Jack West is CTO of Ojjo, Inc and Principal Inventor at Glissphonic. He was, until February 2017, the CTO of Zep Solar, a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting and grounding equipment based in San Rafael, California. West is also an inventor, entrepreneur, and musician. He is most known for inventing rail-free mounting technology and leading Zep Solar's commercialization of that technology. Zep Solar was acquired by SolarCity in 2013, and SolarCity was acquired by Tesla in 2016. West founded Zep Solar in 2009 along with Christina Manansala and Daniel Flanigan and helped to grow the company into the market leader in residential solar mounting equipment. In 2014, one in three residential solar systems installed in the United States contained Zep Solar technology. While at SolarCity, and subsequently at Tesla, West led the development of the product that became known as the Tesla Solar Roof. West also invented a new type of pick for guitar, known as a fingernail pick, which is currently being manufactured and sold by Tiptonic.
In the early '90s, prior to founding Zep Solar, West launched the photovoltaic division of Light Energy Systems, a PV design and contracting firm that designed and installed the San Francisco Bay Area's first grid-tied PV system The company was later acquired by Acro. In 2000, West and Manansala co-founded High Sun Engineering, one of the first engineering consultancies focused on PV system design. West was inspired as a college student to end reliance on fossil fuels and served in 1990 as co-director of the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, a student-run sustainability organization at Humboldt State University.
West is also an accomplished jazz guitarist, having released five albums with his band Jack West & Curvature and one solo album. Acoustic Guitar Magazine awarded Jack West's fourth album, As We Know It, top honors in its self-released CD competition in 2000. West's music is frequently used as segue music for NPR programming and he was a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2004 for his composition, “This Life May be Monitored for Quality Assurance”.
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