Family Dinner Recap: Nathan Hazard of Chargermate

Event Recaps
Jake Noda
Mar 14, 2024

On February 21, 2024, Residents of The Garage heard from Nathan Hazard, Kellogg ‘18. Nathan is a “jack of all trades” who has worked in various sectors including consulting, investment banking, and tech. He is now the founder of Chargermate, a company that caters to EV charger maintenance specifically for businesses.

Nathan began his talk by discussing the beginning of his career path. As an engineering major, he completed his capstone project, but realized that he did not want to work in design, but in business. Desiring experiences around the world, he turned down two jobs in the United States and instead went to the United Kingdom, where he found a job at PwC, where he worked for six years. At PwC, he worked in Mergers and Acquisitions, where he consulted for various companies and groups of people from around the world. Nathan mentions that the biggest takeaway from his time at PwC was engaging with a multitude of cultures, as he was able to put himself into others’ shoes.

During his sixth year at PwC, he began to think about pivoting his career back to the United States. He then applied to the MBA program at Kellogg, where he took classes on consulting and business strategy. His experience at Kellogg helped him understand perseverance, which he applied later to his startups. After earning his MBA, he applied as a consultant at Roland Berger, where he focused on the EV market, which was experiencing a boost at the time. As a consultant, he got exposure to  various projects, which helped him garner business development skills, which he still uses today. This experience also fostered his interest in startups.

As his interest in startups grew, he decided to make a shift to the startup scene. Through his transition, he engaged in coffee chats with various industry leaders and leveraged his industry experience to help manage the risk-taking nature of startups. With these things in mind, he began working with Embark Trucks, which was a software company that specialized in autonomous driving software for trucks. Through this experience, he learned about managing startups, along with which risks to take and when to take them.

Using his experience, he decided to begin his own company, Chargermate. With his understanding of the EV and startup scenes, he started a company that repairs chargers for electric vehicles. He explained the importance of doing extensive research, as it helped him target a niche market and create a backup plan. He prioritized partnering with an established manufacturer, as it establishes trust for customers. He stated that he hopes to eventually offer “mission critical” solutions to companies throughout the United States.

As he wrapped up his talk, Nathan reiterated the importance of building a diverse network and continuing education. He mentioned that, “You can only be really good at one area, so a strong network is important so you can draw upon people with that expertise to achieve something.”

Residents left The Garage interested and hopeful that they can apply these skills to their own lives and startups.

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