Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bye Energy, a leader of the "new energy economy"

Bye Energy, a new firm based in Greenwood Village, is the first client of a new cleantech incubator started last month, the CleanLaunch Technology Incubator, which promises to "stimulate the development and success of early-stage companies who will provide the next generation of clean, renewable, and efficient energy technologies" to the nation.

The quote is from the CleanLaunch website, which you can reach by clicking on its title in this text. At the site, you will find the rest of CleanLaunch's mission statement: "CleanLaunch helps companies assemble solid management teams, secure adequate funding, and accelerate the commercialization of sound product ideas into the market."

You are going to hear a lot about cleantech companies in the next few years if you haven't already heard the drumbeat coming from the Obama and Ritter administrations and Congress, which is working on a bill to fight global warming. For those readers who might not be familiar with Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado, that's who he is, our governor.

I'm going to be one of the writers in the media who is beating the clean-energy drum.

I'm writing a story for ColoradoBiz magazine's September issue on Gov. Ritter's record trying to create what he calls a "new energy economy," and the political fallout from that effort, especially in the Colorado business community, which was a critical supporter of the governor during his 2006 eelection.

Clean, "green" energy production is a key element of both Ritter's "new energy economy," and President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan for America. I've found out a lot about the industry while working the ColoradoBiz story, and hope to bring you several pieces here in the next few months that emanate from that reporting.

A front-page story by Peter Jones in the July 31 Centennial Citizen, is an example of the drumbeat, too. "Flying nose first into the emerging world of clean aviation technology can be a bumpy and unpredictable ride," Jones wrote about Bye Energy, which is developing a hybrid electric engine for small airplanes as well as a biofuel to run the engine on.

I talked to George Bye, founder of the company, on Thursday, while he was attending the annual air show for small-plane manufacturers and consumers in Oshkosh, Wisc., to ask him what he planned to get out of joining CleanLaunch. Essentially, he said: Marketing.

Bye said partners in the incubator will help Bye "get our message out better than we can do ourselves." The partners in CleanLaunch are Burt Automotive, the South Denver auto dealer, the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, Clifton Gunderson, an accounting firm, and Fairfield and Woods, a law firm.

Bye said his Bye Energy is an outgrowth of its two-year old parent company, Bye Aerospace, which he founded after developing the ATG Javelin, a private-size, twin-engine jet aircraft put together at Centennial Airport. Both Bye Energy and Bye Aerospace share about a dozen full-time employees whose work is augmented by part-time and contract workers, interns and volunteers who are interested in seeing Bye's groundbreaking, clean-aviation technology brought to market.

Bye said joining the incubator allows his people to connect with other "great folk with like minds" to further develop all kinds of new, clean, green energy.

I plan to write more about that kind of product development here as my blog develops into a source for news and comment on small business, minority business, women-in-business and other topics as well.

The Centennial Citizen, by the way, is one newspaper -- albeit a small, free one -- that seems to be making it in the harsh business environment all newspapers have been thrown into of late, as I wrote about in the post below this one.

I will also use this space to promote the reading of all newspapers, and intend to quote freely from them, with proper attribution, as a bow to paid journalism, which I think is an important protector of all Americans' First Amendment constitutional rights. I hope you'll continue to read them and me for the same reason.

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