Did you know that people over 50 are among the country’s most active entrepreneurs, starting businesses at rates higher than their young counterparts?
At age 78, Hiroshi Morihara runs marathons. Throughout the year, he’s very active — running, weightlifting, and hiking in the mountains.
Morihara also needs strength to run HM3, a business he launched in 2008, at age 70. The company, which is pre-revenue but has several million dollars in investment, is developing a form of clean energy made from the waste wood. According to Morihara, “This is a very disruptive technology. It is a great coal-replacement fuel.”
When he retired, his wife said, “Hiroshi, you look bored,'” he recalls. “I said, ‘OK. I have to think of something.’ And HM3 was formed.”
Interested in energy from his days at Union Carbide, Morihara learned that Oregon’s only coal-fired power plant was scheduled to close in 2020. Finding an alternative fuel intrigued him. So he enlisted help from four scientists, some of whom he’d known for decades, and began experimenting in a facility at Mount Hood Community College.
“Retirement means you can do whatever you want to do,” says Morihara. “That is what I’m doing now.”
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