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Charging Ahead: Jane Chen's Electrical Revolution with StepWise


In this episode of the Latitude podcast by 43North, Justine Palkowski, Senior Marketing Manager, hosts the co-founders of Stepwise, a Y9 cohort company that recently relocated to Buffalo. Stepwise aims to revolutionize electrification, making it affordable and accessible for homeowners.

Meet the Team:

  • Jane Chen, Co-founder and CEO, brings a business background and a passion for impact.
  • Austin Hunt, Co-founder and CTO, is an engineering expert with experience in aerospace, defense, and medical tech.
  • Ethan Brewer, Co-founder and Chief Electrician, offers hands-on expertise in residential electrification, blending industry know-how with innovation.

The Stepwise Mission: Picture this – you recently bought an electric vehicle (EV), but if you try to charge it at home, you’ll either overload your panel, or it’ll take a very long time to charge. The Stepwise EV Tap taps into your current electric capacity to allow EV owners to charge their vehicles at home without a costly panel upgrade. ¬†This innovation simplifies the transition to cleaner energy sources, benefiting both homeowners and the environment.

Choosing Buffalo: Buffalo’s vibrant community and supportive ecosystem attracted Stepwise. From their first day, they experienced the warmth and opportunities the city offers. Stepwise sees Buffalo as the perfect hub for innovation, with its blend of history, industry, and emerging tech scene.

Target Audience and Impact: Stepwise primarily targets electricians, recognizing their pivotal role in implementing electrification solutions. By empowering electricians with innovative tools, Stepwise aims to reach homeowners across income ranges, making clean energy accessible to all.

Women in Tech and Climate: As a female founder in a male-dominated industry, Jane reflects on the challenges and opportunities for women in tech and climate. She emphasizes the importance of representation, mentorship, and building a supportive community for future generations of women in STEM fields.

Stepwise’s journey exemplifies innovation, impact, and community collaboration. By reimagining electrification, they’re paving the way for a sustainable future while leaving a lasting imprint on Buffalo’s startup ecosystem.

To list to more inspiring stories, visit 43North’s Latitude Podcast.

Tags: Highlights, Jane Chen, Stepwise

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