Hudson Harr is a quintessential entrepreneur known in the Gulf Coast area for his work with renewable energy. Now he’s reinvesting his profits from solar into land.
At 29, Harr has already successfully built two businesses: ReRev, which turns “gyms into power plants,” and SunQuest, a solar power company. In 2006, after borrowing $10,000 from his neighbor for parts and turning his mom’s living room into a lab, Harr discovered a way to harness electricity from fitness equipment. The technology made people working out more aware of how much energy it takes to produce a kilowatt hour, Harr says. His technology is installed in 70 university gyms around the country.
In 2008, he cofounded SunQuest Energy, expanding it into a 75-person, multimillion dollar company providing solar planning and design services. Though most of its work was out of state, SunQuest worked on projects at the Dalí Museum and the James A. Haley VA in Tampa.
But a couple years ago, as Harr started to see the big firms turning to solar, he knew it would become harder to compete. So he reinvested the profits from the business and redirected his employees’ attention to real estate investments. He’s declined $25 million in work for SunQuest to focus on the local development business instead.
Today, SunSure is developing $17 million of real estate in Tampa and St. Petersburg, including townhomes, single family units and condos.
Harr is hoping to get back to that feeling in his mom’s living room, when he figured out his invention. “I’m trying to get back to that place, but the idea has to come to you,” he says.
— Traci Beach
Name: Hudson Worthington Harr
City of residence: St. Petersburg
Twitter handle: N/A
Employer: SunSure Living, Currently developing $20 million of real estate in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Title: Founder and President
Years on the Gulf Coast: All my life.
Marital status/children: Single
Alma mater: UF
Best place to network: Art openings, cultural events, development forums.
Coolest business experience: The moment I discovered the necessary breakthrough for technology behind ReRev.com in my mom’s living room. A close second is holding my company’s first multimillion-dollar contract.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: You can only grow as fast as your cash flow lets you.
One website that makes your job easier: Google Drive and Dropbox.
One community group you’re most involved with: Sailing
Favorite off-hours activity: Sailing
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Elon Musk and Richard Branson. Dead would be Tesla and Einstein.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Theoretical physicist.
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Investing 100% of my net worth in blank land. Close second: summiting half dome in Yosemite without a plan.
What’s at the top of your bucket list: Going to space.
What new skill would you like to learn: To play the saxophone.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Leonardo DiCaprio
If I had a magic wand I’d: Bring more high skilled high paying jobs to Downtown St. Petersburg!