Kentaro Kawamori, ‘15 MBA

Young Alumni Achievement Award

This award recognizes an alumnus or alumna within 15 years of graduation who has excelled in his or her profession and has contributed to Arizona State University and/or the ASU Alumni Association and the community.

Kentaro Kawamori, the CEO and co-founder of climate technology leader Persefoni, is this year’s recipient of the 2024 Young Alumni Award.

  • CEO and co-founder of Persefoni, a leading company in the climate technology space.

  • Featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2020 and named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022.

  • Persefoni named #2 in the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2023.

Kawamori helps lead Persefoni’s Climate Management & Accounting SaaS Platform, which is used by companies and financial institutions worldwide to account for, disclose and manage their carbon emissions. Persefoni takes various data points within a company that are required to calculate a carbon footprint, brings them together and structures them into a data system. It then comes out with carbon footprint calculations which can be used for things like annual sustainability reports and investor disclosures, and can be assigned down to a business unit level, team level or category. The company aims  to bring the same level of transparency and capability to companies to manage their carbon transactions much like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system does for their financial transactions.

Kawamori's leadership has helped Persefoni land strategic partnerships with industry giants like AWS, Deloitte and IBM. His entrepreneurial journey extends beyond Persefoni, however, as his initial venture-backed enterprise software business, Umbrage, caught the attention of Bain & Co, leading to its acquisition in 2023.

After completing his undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University, Kawamori earned his MBA from Arizona State University. As a Sun Devil, Kawamori combined his academic excellence with an innovative mindset. He journeyed into the corporate world by way of Accenture, a necessary first step before his career-altering leap to Chesapeake Energy as the Chief Digital Officer. It was at Chesapeake Energy that Kawamori crossed paths with his future Persefoni co-founder, paving the way for their eventual collaboration and partnership.

Kawamori’s innovation and expertise has resulted in numerous accolades in his young career, including being featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2020 and being named a finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022. Fast Company added to his growing legacy by ranking Persefoni No. 2 in its list of the World's Most Innovative Companies in the Energy & Sustainability category in 2023.

Kawamori's impact has positioned him at the forefront of developing solutions to climate change, as his innovation and expertise are shaping corporate response and action.