Partner Education

Young Entrepreneur Of The Year: Francois Renaud Byrne

Meet the AIR MILES® for Business Small Business Achievement Awards 2017 Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

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What motivates a 26-year-old engineering grad with an MBA to shy away from a well-paying job in aircraft warning light sales? “I took a step back and thought, €˜Is this what I really want to do?'” recalls Francois Renaud- Byrne. “Deciding your own future is one of the scariest things you can do, but also one of the most motivating.”


By leveraging improvements in battery technology and applying those capabilities to supply battery power in industrial applications, Francois is tackling the challenge of clean, quiet power delivery for job sites. The bootstrapping approach to the business and Francois’ all-in approach is a classic example of entrepreneurial spirit.

Renaud-Byrne took a leap of faith and moved back in with his parents to start up Hybrid Power Solutions in 2015. He had the idea to provide industry-grade, smart battery systems after creating the power generation system for a Formula Hybrid race car while he was at CarletonUniversity. Thegasoline-andelectric-powered vehicle won Carleton a prestigious collegiate competition.

“You’ve got Tesla battery systems making a huge impact on the market, but the industrial, construction, railway and mining industries haven’t thought of these systems. This is a perfect time to jump in,” he says.

Renaud-Byrne’s business model is simple: by collaborating with manufacturers so that the battery is compatible with their existing products, “they’ll want to pitch to industry as much as we want to push it.” And pitch it they will: what separates his pack from competitors is how much power it can deliver while still remaining portable.

Renaud-Byrne is focusing on ensuring his early-stage company is ready to scale up. “If I get an order for 25 units next month, I can get them built,” he says. In the meantime, he’s working long days on his start-up, and driving an Uber after hours for extra money. “There are sacrifices,” he says. “But I haven’t had a morning where I’ve driven into the office without a smile on my face. I don’t think many people in the world can say that.”

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