Boise State University Entrepreneurship Day keynote luncheon speaker is serial entrepreneur Steve Hodges, an Idaho Technology Council Hall of Fame 2011 inductee. ITC’s recognition is for innovations from diverse sectors of the U.S. economy: information technology, energy — and fishing.
Steve arrived in Idaho fresh out of the University of Texas, when Hewlett-Packard assigned him to Boise as an electrical engineer in its Disc Memory Division.
After six years at HP, Steve founded Computrol, which designed and manufactured industrial computer controls and marine electronics products. The most successful product was a fish finder called The Bottom Line depth sounder. Computrol was sold in 1987 for $15.5 million to Armstrong International and continues today in Meridian.
Steve then moved into the energy sector. In the last decade and a half, he has founded three Boise-based companies that provide products for electric utilities:
Design Concepts International (DCI), which designed and manufactured power quality reporting systems and automatic meter reading equipment. The company was sold in 1997 to Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) for $15 million.
Telemetric, whose design and manufacture of web-to-wireless remote monitoring and control equipment for utilities was sold for $11.7 million to Sensus in 2009.
M2M Communications, which designed and manufactured web-to-wireless remote monitoring and control products and services for a variety of industrial customers. By 2010, M2M evolved into an energy management company, remotely controlling equipment at more than 15,000 industrial sites in the U.S. and abroad, primarily to help reduce peak demands for electricity and natural gas. M2M was sold to EnerNOC (NASDAQ: ENOC) in 2011 for $33.3 million.
Steve is known for his consistently-Hawaiian style, maintaining the ‘ideal’ corporate culture…. so much so that employees follow him from startup-to-startup…. and developing relevant solutions that generate real company value.