Oregon BEST Entrepreneur to Lead Energy Co.
August 19, 2014
After a year mentoring startups for Oregon BEST, Chris Ulum to serve as company president
At Oregon BEST, Ulum mentored a range of Oregon startups – including Building Energy – as part of Oregon BEST's Commercialization Program, which offers a suite of catalytic tools to help Oregon cleantech companies move from launch to product commercialization, including formation of public and private capital to fuel growth.
As part of his entrepreneur-in-residence role at Oregon BEST, Ulum was introduced to Building Energy and, while helping the company prepare to raise the next round of private capital, the founders asked him to join the company as president, said Ken Vaughn, Director of Commercialization Programs for Oregon BEST.
"This transition from entrepreneur-in-residence to startup executive at an Oregon cleantech company is a good example of how Oregon BEST's entrepreneur-in-residence program is designed to work," said Vaughn. "We're delighted to see Chris go from providing mentoring support to joining the company. He was a key 'force multiplier' for our Commercialization Program "
The entrepreneurs-in-residence program at Oregon BEST is modeled on the process used by venture capital firms to leverage experienced entrepreneurial executives to find, evaluate, mentor and sometimes join startup companies. Oregon BEST's entrepreneurs-in-residence identify high potential companies and provide mentoring and assistance in defining and achieving the critical steps in the life of an early-stage company.
Building Energy will join a growing list of Oregon BEST Companies – startups that are investor-ready and promoted by Oregon BEST. Thirty of these companies will be exhibiting at Oregon BEST FEST on September 15-16 in Portland.
Ulum came to Oregon BEST after co-founding Agilyx Corporation in 2006. He served as the company's CEO for more than six years and raised more than $70 million from angel investors, venture capitalists and strategic investors. Ulum led the firm to initial commercialization and built a cleantech company that has won numerous industry awards. Prior to Agilyx, Ulum worked in various functions for companies such as Sun Microsystems, IBM and Frito-Lay.
"During my time at Oregon BEST, I was impressed not only with the quality and passion of Oregon startups in the cleantech sector, but also with the range of tools Oregon BEST offers these companies," Ulum said. "I'm proud to be joining Building Energy and helping contribute to energy savings in the built environment."
Building Energy is developing a platform of data and applications that allows business managers to quickly integrate data from disparate sources and improve energy use. The company has aggregated the largest database in the world of building energy and attribute data, with more than 755,000 buildings.
In addition to its entrepreneurs-in-residence, Oregon BEST's Commercialization Program provides commercialization funding, connects companies to university labs and researchers, assists companies seeking federal grant funding and facilitates introductions to private investors and other resources.
About Oregon BEST http://oregonbest.org
Oregon BEST is the nexus for clean technology innovation, building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Since establishment in 2007, Oregon BEST’s 225-plus Member Faculty have generated more than $100 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of shared-user research facilities. Oregon BEST Commercialization Funding is awarded to collaborations between entrepreneurs and Oregon BEST member faculty at partner universities.
About Building Energy http://buildingenergy.com
Building Energy Inc. (BE) has developed the standard software platform for open building data and applications, which has already been used to implement the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Buildings Performance Database (BPD) and Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) platform, and is being used by major U.S. cities, leading institutions and large portfolio owners across the U.S. BE designed its platform as a vendor-neutral, open, and extensible system to serve as a catalyst for liberating building energy and asset data. BE makes its system available to an ecosystem of owner/managers, financial institutions, technology and service vendors, and researchers to improve building performance and save BTUs and money. The BE platform is built on an open source code base and designed so that algorithms, services and apps may be developed globally to solve specific problems using objective data and shared best practices.