Catalyst: Empowering Rural America

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Leo Guzman
Photo by Stanford Graduate School of Business

Leo Guzman’s company is switching electric cooperatives from coal to clean energy.

The problem: Rural regions pay more for electricity and rely heavily on coal-powered sources.

The plan: Disrupt the rural energy economy and lead the transition to cleaner power.

Leo Guzman wasn’t looking to start a revolution when he cofounded Guzman Energy in 2013. Raised in a “very, very small town” in Cuba, he’d come to the U.S. alone as a teen, attended Columbia and Stanford (MBA ’71), and had a successful career in finance. He was still running his own brokerage firm, Guzman & Company. But he loved creating businesses, and his team was scouting for new opportunities in energy markets.

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