Photo Credit ©Michael Paras Photography, LLC
Innovation is vital. If you are not innovating, you are not just standing still, you are moving backward. Growth can come from expanding existing operations, but sustainable growth comes from constantly innovating to find new products and services that solve customer pain points. Innovation comes from observing, asking the right questions, building a knowledge base, and then connecting the dots when it’s most critical. Challenges and limitations can often be the best environment for innovation as they necessitate creative thinking and action. The larger the limitations, the bigger the breakthrough you can solve for. Stepping away from existing operations to see adjacent industries and emerging technology can be when inspiration strikes. Fueled for Growth brings that approach to solve problems that are most critical to your organization.
Fueled for Growth is a consultancy founded by Cecily Kovatch who has over 20 years leadership experience within energy & industrials, retail/consumer and financial services industries. She specializes in solving complex problems through innovative thinking with a focus on commercialization and sustainability. She has the ability to see the commercial opportunities in challenges and executes to make that vision a reality. Throughout her career, she has worked on groundbreaking projects and has built numerous new business lines. She leverages this “intrapreneurial” expertise to advise and mentor startups in tech, cleantech, and fintech. She also helps corporations by developing successful innovation programs, solving for new customer solutions, and fostering fruitful relationships with the startup ecosystem.
Cecily generally works as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) and currently is developing new circular business models at a consumer electronics manufacturer. Previously, she was an EIR for Itron Idea Labs, the innovation arm of the smart meter company, where she developed a cloud-enabled, real-time energy, water and emissions data monitoring service to assist C&I customers in making the best energy efficiency investments with the most impact on emissions. Working with the Digital team at Conduent, she helped reinvent the way companies do business by leveraging the latest digital technologies to gain efficiencies and provide greater customer value. Previously, Cecily created, launched and led the innovation and knowledge sharing programs at Covanta, the world’s largest waste-to-energy (WTE) company. She led the development of the groundbreaking solution to separating and reusing millions of tons of WTE residual material. She also built and led their marketing department where she conducted a strategic rebranding initiative to reflect the renewable energy company’s expanded mission, vision and sustainability offerings. On the financial services side, she built the energy, industrials & basic materials research team for Vista Research, an independent research firm and then part of Standard & Poor’s. She also revived and grew Vista’s retail/consumer research practice. At American Express she worked in business strategy, most notably developing and rolling out a reorg of their US Commercial Cards salesforce in order to increase market penetration and expand into new customer segments. Prior to that she was a regional manager at Hess Corporation running the P&L for their retail locations in Nassau County, Long Island. She was also category manager handling purchasing, marketing and merchandising for Hess’s 800 company-owned gas stations and convenience stores. Cecily started her career in upstream oil & gas as a field engineer at Schlumberger where she ran wireline & testing services on over 300 oil rigs. She won the prestigious Schlumberger Wildcatter award for discovering hydrocarbons in Brazoria County, Texas at age 24.
Cecily lends her expertise to Stevens Institute of Technology where she is an Adjunct Professor teaching Entrepreneurial Thinking to prepare engineering students for successful careers as innovative thinkers.
She is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Stevens Venture Center advising student, faculty and alumni startups and is a mentor to early stage startups domestically with Cleantech Open, PowerBridgeNY and in emerging economies as a consultant for VentureWell. She volunteers with E-School4Girls entrepreneurship program and Covenant House International. She holds a bachelors degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.