Original article is published  in Shield & Diamond of Pi Kappa Alpha, Summer 2016.

When Charles F. Blaschke IV (Missouri S&T,Alpha Kappa ’04) decided to accept a job in Dubai and move around the world to a country he had never visited, many people thought he was crazy. Later again, when he decided to quit a successful UAE based technology consulting startup company that he helped found and build to start a venture of his own, people thought he was crazy. However, Blaschke took the risk because he knew he would achieve his goal of establishing a successful company aimed to help building owners, operators and individuals reduce their energy and water consumption and related operating costs and carbon impact. It was the support, help and motivation from Blaschke’s chapter brothers and AK alumni that pushed him through these big decisions and ultimately helped him reach his goal.

“Our core group has stuck together since college, doing amazing things individually and together, and I know that without their support every step of the way, taka solutions would have not been possible. This goes from sitting in the office of the Alpha Kappa Chapter house in November 2007 and making the decision to pack up and move to Dubai, to founding and now growing taka solutions to be a key part of the energy efficiency market in the UAE and world. Joel A. Schrenk ’04 and Eric M. Dixon ’04 made the move to Dubai for a few years as well, living, working and exploring together at the engineering company that brought us over. Although my AK brothers Phil Schloss ’04 and Will Kirby ’04 have not made the move overseas [yet], they have been a key part of our journey along the way, remotely supporting and helping us grow in many ways.

It can be hard to be away from friends, family, Kansas City barbecue and sports, but it has been an amazing, life changing experience that has offered me personal, professional, cultural, world travel and business opportunities , which would have otherwise not been possible in the U.S. I would not replace my time here for anything. I make it back to the U.S. about twice a year, and when the guys and I get together, it is even better because we live the year spread around the world. This invaluable experience and the ability to start my own business all began at the Alpha Kappa Chapter house and grew from the relationships that were formed and built throughout our time there.”

Blaschke and taka solutions now plan to give this chance to the younger PIKE generations by starting an internship, co-op, work-study and part-time support structure targeting undergrads and new graduates. This setup will draw quality, hardworking, educated young blood coming into the company with fresh ideas, energy and a chance to grow and lead the company around the world, now and into the future. Blaschke says, “There is not a better group of talent, morals and work ethic anywhere in the world; 613 W 9th St., Rolla, Missouri produces the highest potential engineers. We want to tap that hidden resource, while providing the guys this unparalleled opportunity to change the world and make a positive social impact.We are also exploring opening a small branch in the MS&T tech park and having a team on the ground doing work while in school; but first we need to get a few guys over here in the desert paradise to show them what’s really going on and how we work.”

Blaschke can be reached at charles@takasolutions.com.

ABOUT taka solutions

The name taka comes from the Arabic word “Taqua”, meaning “Energy”. taka solutions = Energy Solutions. Founded in Dubai, UAE in 2012, taka solutions is an energy efficiency company that uses technology and engineering to help buildings and individuals reduce their energy consumption and costs. They are on a mission to help reduce the world’s energy consumption by 20% using efficiency.

The startup has been built upon extensive design, construction, technology and finance experience in the Middle East. The founding team has grasped an opportunity to apply their expertise and knowledge through sustainable solutions to help reduce the energy and water demands and associated costs in UAE buildings – an increasingly challenging national issue. Taka solutions’ kickoff milestone was winning and presenting the 2012 Emirates Green Building Council Annual White Paper Competition, Innovations in Sustainability, Using EPC to Reduce the UAE Energy Consumption.

WHAT THE COMPANY DOES

The core focus of the company is to offer building owners and building operators’ energy and cost reductions in their existing building by using an innovative paid-from-savings business model that allows customers to have no upfront cost and all payments are made after savings are generated.

Taka solutions performs all financing, design, implementation and management work on the building. This is done following a three-step process. First comes an initial analysis of the asset in order to identify and understand energy consumption habits and to determine potential energy savings measures. Using this information, taka solutions then performs a thorough energy and financial analysis to conclude the potential savings. They design, engineer and implement custom solutions to begin reducing energy use and to begin realizing these cost savings immediately and at no cost to the client. Finally, once the systems and upgrades are complete; they monitor and maintain building performance over the life of the contract to ensure that energy usage goals are met.

At the end of the contract the owner receives a better building that costs less to operate, with new equipment, technology and engineering support.

THE FUTURE

Taka solutions is continuing to grow and expand their building retrofit and technology deployment, while developing a new mobile application to help individuals understand their energy consumption, cost and impact, and how to save. This will help taka solutions become the energy efficiency platform for the world, and make the name synonymous with energy and technology.

Taka solutions has been selected as part of the 27 top entrepreneurs having a social impact in the world. They are competing in New York City in July 2016 for the grand prize of $1,000,000, representing the Gulf region.They have also won the prestigious Disruptive and Innovative SME Award, Esquire right up, Entrepreneur of the Week and many other accolades. Using The Venture global competition will help taka solutions reach millions of people, scale their impact, and continue to expand into more markets.