A seasoned entrepreneur, Jim Poss has dedicated his career to leveraging renewable energy and technology for good. In a conversation with THRIVE, Jim discusses mindsets for innovation and the Internet of Things, growing ideas into successful companies, and lessons learned navigating change.
Jim is the CEO of Modifi, Inc., an Internet of Things company that taps into the sensors on up-cycled smartphones, combining sensor data with workflow management tools. These "sensor-verified workflows" replace paper-based operations with very cost effective, powerful tools that make work and workers more productive, less risky, and just plan smarter.
Prior to Modifi, Jim founded BigBelly Solar. Jim and his team built BigBelly Solar into a global leader in waste management by applying renewable energy and cellular communication to the complex and expensive process of waste collection. Over ten years and five product generations, BigBelly brought operational efficiency and environmental benefits to customers—municipalities, colleges, and universities—in 50 U.S. states and more than 50 countries. BigBelly has been recognized by Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Discovery Channel, and other outlets as a leading innovator in the environmental field. BigBelly was the world’s first IoT company (Internet of Trash).
“People talk about making a difference in the world, and in the grand scheme of things, what we’re doing is small compared to some problems. But to change something from being tremendously inefficient and wasteful to a lot better feels really good.”
– Jim Poss, interview with Babson Magazine
In 1999, Jim co-founded a non-profit corporation called DoGooDates—a social network around volunteerism, which brought thousands of people together to meet each other and do good.
Jim began his career in renewable energy with a Pew Foundation grant to build a wave-powered energy generator. He further developed his focus on renewable energy in technical and business roles with Spire Corporation (solar) and Solectria (electric vehicles).
Jim has been recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and as one of Business Week Magazine’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs. He is also a part-time professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College’s MBA, undergrad, and Executive Education Programs.
Jim received a dual bachelor’s degree in Geology & Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University and an MBA from Babson College.