Ben Johanns

Co-Founder in Chicago, Illinois

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I was born in 1997 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and from my earliest memories I have been interested not only in how things work, but how they could work better. I have grown up in a family of entrepreneurs including my father that has taken risk to solve big problems and my mother that has been a source of support and encouragement to dream big. This has allowed me unique life lessons.

By the age of 12, I had lived in 4 different states building great friendships from Minnesota to North Carolina, Pennsylvania to Illinois. At 13 as a computer enthusiast, I was introduced to bitcoin mining. Fascinated and interested in the technology, I became one of the early miners of bitcoin learning everything I could about bitcoin, crypto-currencies, and the blockchain.

At 15, I started my first company, BPJ Design, doing website design and branding for small companies and non-profits giving them a web presence and online payment and donation capabilities. From there I began building my own computers, and then began custom building computers for others. At 16, I built my first custom liquid cooled desktop leading to my interest and involvement in virtual reality where I was one of the first to purchase the Oculus Rift VR development kits.

I was exposed to the Commercial Space business through mentoring from Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, a pioneer in the field. He gave me the opportunity to participate in meetings with Boeing and other innovative executives opening my eyes to the possibilities of human ingenuity having no limits of age but only thought, passion, and courage to figure it out.

I was fortunate to have an opportunity to learn about the global renewable energy and micro grid market through an internship with New Generation Power International opening my eyes to the desperate need of the planet for cleaner energy.

My life experiences have led me to this point where I believe there is a convergence of technology underway with the advent of the blockchain and the Internet of Things leading us to an electricity internet. This creates the potential to tackle the planets biggest problems of climate change and electrification of the 1.5 billion people we have left behind. That's my current mission with Wattcoin Labs, a company I co-founded. I'm blessed with great minds and people all around me that inspire me everyday while I also pursue a degree in electrical engineering at The University of Wisconsin Madison.

  • Work
    • Wattcoin Labs