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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Morgantown Software Startup Wins Air Force SBIR Contract

Iconic Air is a Morgantown software startup pioneering a new way of emissions monitoring and data reporting. Iconic Air was founded by two West Virginia University Industrial Engineering graduates, Kyle Gillis and James Carnes. The budding new company has been awarded a Phase I & Phase II United States Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract. The goal of the project is to keep Air Force personnel safe and healthy as they work to protect and defend America.

The $700,000 SBIR contract will be used to create an automated and scalable software architecture that will interface with modern environmental instrumentation data. The Air Force will be able to draw insights and make informed decisions relating to air quality at their facilities.

“This is a major step forward for Iconic Air and offers validation that a startup company, born out of West Virginia University, can compete at the highest levels,” said James Carnes, Chief Technology Officer of Iconic Air.

“Cost-effective, occupational exposure sensor networks and personal monitoring systems have developed rapidly over the last few years,” said Kyle Gillis, Chief Executive Officer of Iconic Air. These tools monitor air quality and emission levels but lack a central software system. Iconic Air will create and implement a data analytics software infrastructure that interfaces with environmental monitoring sensors. The new software platform will equip the Air Force with actionable metrics.

Gillis noted that the company may have never applied for the Air Force contract had it not been for West Virginia’s Small Business Innovation Research Matching Grant Program. This initiative offers state matching funds for companies winning federal SBIR awards.

“The State’s Small Business Innovation Research Matching Grant Program provided the incentive we needed to go after this award,” said Gillis.  “The assistance we received from the West Virginia Small Business Development Center’s In-Tech Program and TechConnect West Virginia’s FAST Grant Program was instrumental in helping us through the grant process.”

Iconic Air, a spin-out of the Vantage Ventures entrepreneur assistance program at West Virginia University, is now one of the world’s fastest growing startups in the energy sector.

In addition to the SBIR award, the company has successfully secured four pilot projects across the country in the oil and natural gas industry. Over the next decade, Iconic Air plans to make a global impact across high emitting industries by helping companies achieve metrics that are in alignment with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to reduce the world’s dependency on global Greenhouse Gases.

For additional information, contact Kyle Gillis at (304) 780-2391.

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