SunTech Drive CEO Bud Michael recently attended the APEX Awards to accept a Top 3 Award for Colorado Emerging Technology Company of the Year. See the full press release from the Denver Business Journal and SunTech Drive below:

For Louisville-based SunTech Drive, the inspiration to democratize solar power began during a founder’s visit to developing countries in Africa, where scarce grid power makes it difficult to run water pumps.

Launched in 2013, SunTech Drive now sells solar electric power controllers to run industrial applications like water pumps for farms and fans for commercial dairies.

SunTech Drive’s newest product, introduced in 2018 and called the PicoBlender, blends solar-generated DC power with AC power from grids to run standard AC motors. That same year, SunTech inked a three-year multimillion-dollar original equipment manufacturer contract with Pentair, which sells industrial and residential pumps, that will multiply shipments of its controllers by tenfold.

“Pentair shifted us from a startup into a growth company,” said SunTech Drive CEO Bud Michael. In 2019, the company is on track to grow annual revenue ten times over its 2018 total and plans to add up to 15 Colorado employees, he said.

The challenge now is not to become too dependent on one big customer.

“If they sneeze, we all catch the flu,” Michael said.

Moving forward, the company is looking at new applications for its solar controllers, like industrial humidifiers for cannabis greenhouses, as well as geographic expansion to the Southern hemisphere.

As a five-time technology CEO, Michael brings strong leadership to the company, which he also shares with the local technology community by mentoring new companies. Michael says the biggest lesson he’s learned is the difference between managers and leaders. “Managers are people who do things right,” he said. “Leaders are people who do the right thing.”