Chris Bentley is one of my best friends.
A few months ago he asked me to write something about his new company for a local solar magazine. What I wrote had very little to do with his new company and everything to do with how wonderful Chris is. The magazine didn’t publish it.
But I want it published.
Yesterday was Chris’s birthday so I think now is the time to let the world know how dope this guy is.
I met Chris Bentley at the Unreasonable Institute Launchpad two years ago.
The Unreasonable institute is this badass organization in Boulder that mentors and incubates startups on a mission to positively impact at least a million people. I was there with a few pals and Chris was in the row behind me. At one point we had the opportunity to chat with the folks around us and Chris quickly tapped me on the shoulder and said “we gotta talk.” Apparently, every time he was on the edge of seat, cracking up or applauding, I was doing the same. To him, that was an obvious indicator that we were on the same page and had to connect.
Two years later this guy has become one of my best friends and among the most influential people in my adult life. He’s a master at impact, a diehard environmentalist in the most genuine and contagious way, he has impressively good relationships with damn near everyone (if you don’t know him yet, you’re no more than one connection away) and he has that X factor. I’ll explain more in a sec.
When we met, Chris was still at natural pet product company I And Love And You. He might not admit this, but anyone there would confirm that he was instrumental in taking them from startup to industry leader in record time. But for a master at impact, running an industry-leading company is low-balling. So he founded the Pet Sustainability Coalition: an active and effective organization that is uniting and greening-up the entire pet industry.
Impact: made. On to the next.
When he left I And Love And You, he began his mission to find a high-impact product or initiative that’s worth his investment of time, energy, connections, and will hold up when he takes it to scale. And this time around, he was clear that he wanted to play a direct role in getting the world off of fossil fuels and onto renewables asap.
I’ve never seen someone attack a goal so epically. Chris went to every event that even hinted at sustainability (and pulled me along to many of them, including the COP21 in Paris in November). He was averaging 3 face-to-face meetings a day (and, side note, Chris leaves a trail of newly connected strangers everywhere he goes. So often, these meetings resulted in all kinds of new relationships and possibilities, regardless of Chris’s personal involvement). He was relentless.
The Good Energy Guild
Remember how I mentioned the X factor?
What all these new connections had in common was some commitment to the greater good— some sense of social or environmental responsibility. And there was another variable: some of the people he met left an impression, an intangible spark, a certain type of resonance.
So he started a nonprofit called The Good Energy Guild. Good Energy. As in sustainable, renewable energy… but also as in good vibes. Intuitive, resonant human energy.
How cool is that?
Chris is incorporating something subtle and fundamentally human into the DNA of his organization. Intuition and resonance is regularly overlooked, yet it’s the reason we make the choices we do. It’s why we are unique individuals. It’s why we choose the outfits, partners, homes, jobs, and beliefs we do.
The Good Energy Guild is a nonprofit connector of like-minded people who all have good energy. Here’s the mission statement: The Good Energy Guild is a curated collection of jump starters who take people and organizations with good energy to a new level. We provide expertise and collaboration in renewable energy, business development, growth strategies, and smart sustainability.
This is how Chris operates; this is the X Factor. It’s the inner voice he listened to that told him to tap me on the shoulder at the Launchpad… and now he’s incorporating it into what may become the epicenter of good energy and sustainability in Colorado.