West Virginia innovators make Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy Sector list

MORGANTOWN, WV (WOAY) – The innovators behind a West Virginia-based start-up company that is making waves in the global energy sector with a new emissions monitoring and reporting software technology that also has national defense applications has been recognized with the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 designation in the critical energy category.

Kyle Gillis and James Carnes founded Iconic Air in Morgantown during their senior year at West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering.  Two years later, the company is one of the world’s fastest growing startups in the energy sector.

In addition to securing green lights for pilot operations in three key oil and gas-producing regions for 2021, the company has been awarded a 15-month United States Air Force Small Business Innovation Research contract to adapt the technology for U.S. Department of Defense applications.

Iconic Air is pioneering a new way of emissions monitoring and data reporting–a critical need because of evolving efforts to address climate change.

Carnes, Iconic Air’s chief technology officer, said the company is creating and implementing a data analytics software infrastructure that interfaces with methane and environmental monitoring sensors.  The platform will equip the oil and gas industry with an effective way to achieve transparent, continuous and automated processes for complying with higher standards related to climate change; Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting requirements; and other evolving data demands.

Gillis, who serves as the company CEO, explained that, “Early users have referred to the software as their ‘Environmental Hub’ because it combines leak detection, operations and emissions targets use in data-driven reports that help organizations stay on track for emissions reduction goals.”

“It’s just a matter of time before the energy industry is required to present continuous environmental data to keep operating,” he explained.  “The Iconic Air platform will be a central piece in bridging the gap between operational excellence and environmental sustainability.”

Both innovators believe that over the next decade, Iconic Air will 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.

Carnes said the Forbes recognition “is a major step forward for the company and offers validation that a startup company, born out of West Virginia, can compete at the highest levels.”