Once a Division-I quarterback, Jamail Carter ’10 now makes big plays for Power2SwitchBy Eric Butterman
Jamail Carter ’10 seemed like a good fit for business.
As a quarterback for Lamar High, a legendary prep program in Houston, Carter thrived in a world where being competitive was a necessity. He parlayed that into a full scholarship at Division-I Vanderbilt, where he lettered three out of his four years.
But it was watching his parents run a janitorial company that showed Carter what it took to succeed in business.
“They owned it for 20 some-odd years and had big clients like Coke and Uncle Ben’s,” he said. “I saw entrepreneurship’s peaks and valleys and that was always attractive to me.”
So when the founder of Power2Switch, a company dedicated to electricity comparison shopping, offered him a job, Carter didn’t hesitate. As the company’s director of business development, Carter used part of $1 million angel investment to help develop a web-based application that allows users to compare rates of competing vendors.
“It made sense to me,” he said. “So many people hardly think about who they’re paying for electricity. When you think of the size of your yearly bill, it’s one of your biggest payments.”
Becoming a presence
The Chicago-based company has been growing steadily since it launched in 2009, expanding from Illinois to include Texas, New Jersey and, most recently, New York. Power2Switch wants to be a presence in all 15 deregulated states, Carter said.
“You had [a] time when nobody was using our service, then 5,000-6,000 users,” he said. “Now we’re at this point [of] trying to get in new places. It’s exciting with a small company because you really feel you were responsible for making something happen when you get a big deal.”
“Get up and do it again”
Carter credits his determination and refusal to quit for his success, something he learned during his gridiron days. And though his playing days are behind him, Carter continues to draw inspiration from them.
“If you weren’t doing well, you had to get up and do it again,” he said. “Just keep at it. That attitude translates to any area you want it to.”