Kilian Hagemann

It has become a tech law that people amass a list of failed start-ups before they finally succeed. Not Kilian Hagemann. By 2007 he had started Redbutton, a wifi hotspot provider that flourished, winning an entrepreneurship award. That was while pursuing a full-time PhD in Atmospheric Science, which he achieved cum laude. He always wanted to be an entrepreneur. “I have very specific ideas, which I know I can realise if I am running the show myself.” Redbutton, of which he is still a shareholder, was an IT hobby that turned into a business. G7 Renewable Energies, which specialises in wind energy project development, is a passion; one that has secured R27-million in funding. As the farm developer, Hagemann finds the best locations for wind farms, the basis of optimal electricity production. He has high hopes for South Africa, with technology developing so rapidly and the government so committed. His own standards are even higher: “My vision is 100% renewables by 2050.” — Joonji Mdyogolo