Playing their A-Game
Alpha Energy and Electric
Gabriel Okafor + Ike Nwabuonwu | Kansas City, MO | Second Stage
We featured Alpha Energy and Electric in our first ever We Create KC report in 2014. In celebration of Black History Month (and anticipation of our next We Create KC report, coming your way in the spring), we have a few updates for you.
What have Gabriel and Ike been up to since 2014? About the same thing they were up to when we first featured them . . . winning!
Certified SBA 8(a), SDB, MBE, DBE, energy and electrical company
2017 Small Business of the Year and Mr. K Award recipient
Alpha Energy and Electric’s latest award certainly won’t be lonely.
Named the 2017 Small Business of the Year by Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, this energy and electrical company located in the Troost Corridor has steadily added prisms and obselisks, blocks and plaques to its teeming trophy table.
2017 was Alpha Energy and Electric’s second year in a row as a Small Business of the Year Award finalist. It was their first going home with the top prize and the coveted Mr. K award, which honors a small business that embodies Ewing Marion Kauffman’s business philosophy and values.
These awards were added to an already impressive lineup. There’s the 2014 Diverse-Owned Business of the Year by the KC Chamber, 2013 25 Under 25 Award from Thinking Bigger Business. Another from the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizing them as the 2012 Minority Small Business of the Year for the Kansas City District. And others, recognizing their role as mentors, as a company to watch, and as a rising star of entrepreneurship.
Together, these awards tell the story of a company committed to their employees, their customers, their community—and to taking advantage of every opportunity to test their worthiness, widen their inner circle and advance their business.
Finding their Energy Supply
AlphaEE is no stranger to the law of conservation of energy: in a closed system, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. You can’t make energy out of nothing. And perpetual motion? You can’t have unlimited energy without some kind external supply.
Success, like energy can’t be created out of nothing. Which is to say, you can’t grow with a little outside help. The earth has the sun. Alpha Energy and Electric had its mentors.
Incorporated in 2005, AlphaEE had its humble beginnings in a two room office space at the 18th and Vine Incubator with just two employees, founders Gabriel Okafor and Ike Nwabuonwu. They figured out early that if they were going to grow into a strong business they needed help from strong businesses who had already overcome the challenges they had yet to face.
So before they opened their business, they knocked at the doors of successful construction companies and minority businesses around Kansas City. Rather than running into doors closed to competition, they found them flung wide open to collaboration.
Companies in Motion Stay in Motion
Step by measured step, they’ve stayed on course, building their company and their portfolio.
In 2006, Alpha Energy and Electric was chosen to be a part of the first JE Dunn Construction Minority Contractor Business Development Program (MCBD Program), one of only 13 companies selected year out of a competitive pool of about 50. In 2008, they left the incubator and moved into a new, green energy 10,000 sq. foot corporate headquarters. In 2011, AlphaEE expanded, opening its second office in Knob Knoster, MO, quickly followed by offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Fort Riley, KS.
Recent projects include Cerner’s Trails Campus, a contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers for a project at Nellis Air Force Base, installing electrical systems in Dean Machinery, the Sprint Center, Kauffman Stadium, and JE Dunn’s new corporate headquarters, among others.
Powering the Economy
Knowing that it takes energy to create energy, AlphaEE has made sure to lend its expertise back into its community.
Paying forward the debt they owe to those who lent them their talents, resources, and rolodexes, Okafor and Nwabuonwu mentor other businesses, giving insight ahead of any impasse. They also lend their skills pro bono to the redevelopment of the Troost Corridor. InMay 2014, AlphaEE was selected as one of 20 U.S. companies to join the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on her trade mission to West Africa. They pay this knowledge forward by speaking at business roundtables and helping other entrepreneurs improve their international business.
Build the Business of Your Dreams
If all of this award talk has you hungry to earn a trophy for your business, head to our constantly updated competition and awards page. And get your blueprint to business success by dropping us a little info at our MyPlan page. Stop doodling on a napkin and start working now.