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Executive MBA 2005: Founder, Business Manager, Clearstreme LLC
Kevin Haley’s cohort in the Executive MBA program in 2005 made a creditable business plan for a new “clean-tech” product that would virtually eliminate soot from diesel engine emissions. It wasn’t until the project was completed that Haley revealed he was an expert in thermal technologies and knew that the product also was scientifically viable.
“I said, I know what this is and it’ll work. We’ve got to make a company out of this,” recalled Haley, a former 20-year engineering manager at Intel Corp. and holder of 19 patents. He had to wait until he retired from Intel in 2010 to found Clearstreme LLC to market the product. He anticipates that by the end of 2011, the product will be on the market after being approved by the regulatory agencies that monitor emissions-cleaning laws and compliance.
Haley likens his experience with the new company to his early days at Intel 20 years ago.
“We had a lot of autonomy,” he said. “(Intel founder) Robert Noyce told us, ‘Don’t be encumbered by history, but go out and do something wonderful.’ We went out and changed the industry. We were all over the world talking about technologies that are in every laptop now.”
Today, instead of striking deals with Sony executives on Japanese trains, he’s talking up Clearstreme to Central Valley farmers who use diesel generators extensively.
“ I’m pretty sure we’re going viral,” he said. “Farmers love to talk to you and one farmer will tell you about three other farms who have adjoining properties.”
Haley contends the Clearstreme technology is less expensive and more reliable than current auto anti-smog devices, adding that he started the MBA program as preparation for leaving Intel.
“I was an engineer and manager there for 20 years. When I retired, I didn’t want to be just another engineer,” he said. Haley, who received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington, said earning his MBA gave him the confidence and training he needed to become an entrepreneur.
“A lot of what I learned confirmed what I’d been doing at Intel, but it also exposed me to different aspects of business,” he said.” I’d had no exposure before to accounting, international business or money policy. When Clearstreme becomes successful, it will be because of Santa Clara.”