Davidson’s “green” business incubator – the Project for Innovation, Energy and Sustainability – said it has added three more names to its roster of early-stage environmental and energy-related companies. The new companies are Energy River, Eco-Revolution and Climate Control Systems of the Carolinas.
The incubator, which goes by the acronym “PIES,” is a public-private partnership with the Town of Davidson and area academic institutions to help nurture start-ups. The latest additions mean PiES now has six companies within its walls, at The Business Center @ South Main Square in downtown Davidson.
“We’re pleased with our growth. Having six companies in 18 months is encouraging,” said Kathleen Rose, the project’s executive director.
Like current incubator companies, the new arrivals all work in areas related to sustainability.
- Energy River is a home-energy management and utility services company that works with consumers and utilities. Its e-dux energy management system combines hardware and software to control energy load and demand for home appliances on. The company also works with utility providers to aggregate data and make load control more transparent and effective. The company has 5 employees and plans to grow to 6-10 by year end, including sales/marketing and project managers.
- Eco-Revolution was founded by Richard Lloyd-Roberts, a “serial entrepreneur” in the Charlotte region. This company, founded three years ago, offers a business-to-business program for energy-efficient lighting, with a team of direct sales experts. With the change in lighting from traditional bulbs to LED and induction lighting products, the company already has landed a series of contracts from parking garages to large buildings. Clients include CBRE and Bank of America. Eco-Revolution currently has 3 employees a sales team of 10 independent sales representatives around the country. Plans call for hiring 50 sales reps by year end.
- Climate Control Systems of the Carolinas is a division of CoolingTheCarolinas.com. After nearly three years in business, the company decided to launch its newest product from PiES. A self described “MacGyver”, founder Randy Rutkai developed a new solar technology from his efforts with his outdoor mist cooling company. PiES said in a press release that this new consumer product “will grab the attention of every swimming pool owner. With patent pending, this will be announced and launched by the end of 2011, ready for installations in 2012.” Climate Control Systems of the Carolinas has been accepted as a non-resident member of PiES, with full residency expected by the 4th quarter of this year.
THE FOCUS AT PiES
PiES continues to work in three areas, Ms. Rose said: incubating new businesses, education, and networking.
On the education side, the project is working on two initiatives to be announced this fall, one a partnership with an academic institution to offer more educational programs, and another with area high schools to provide scholarships and encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology, Ms. Rose said.
PiES is a public-private partnership with the Town of Davidson and regional academic institutions to provide business assistance and acceleration.
PiES is in The Business Center @ South Main Square, off South Main Street. For further information visit: www.pies-northcarolina.org
GREEN DRINKS THIS THURSDAY
One of the regular programs at PiES is a monthly networking event called “Green Drinks Lake Norman.” The gatherings bring together professionals who work or are interested in sustainable business.
The series continues this Thursday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. at Campania Cafe, in South Main Square. Guest speaker is Terence Groveas from SolarMax, the 2011 Student Winner of the 5 Ventures Competition at UNC Charlotte. He’ll talk about his work on solar cells.
The program includes a social gathering, a 15-minute talk and discussion. It’s open to the public.
HONORS FOR ROSE
Kathleen Rose, executive director at PiES and president and CEO of Rose Associates Southeset Inc., in Davidson, was honored recently with the Charlotte Business Journal’s top 25 Businesswomen achievement award for her work in economic development and the PiES pilot project.
Ms. Rose also recently was awarded the CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) credential by The Counselors of Real Estate. The organization’s members provide advisory services to clients on complex real property and land-related matters. She received CRE credential May 4 at the counselors’ 2011 Midyear Meetings in San Diego.
At Rose Associates, Ms. Rose specializes in real estate market analysis, economic development, due diligence and asset strategies for both public and private sector clients throughout the Southeast. She also is involved in redevelopment projects, such as South Main Square in Davidson.