Bill Gates has started a mysterious new company, called bgC3, possibly to be focused on creating catalyst business ideas to spin off to Microsoft, the Gates Foundation or elsewhere. Little is known about the company, which doesn't appear to have a public web page, but a fair number of details have been ferreted out by the Seattle area tech reporters Todd Bishop, Eric Engleman and John Cook.

The three well-known tech and venture capital writers posted the story to launch their new tech blog TechFlash. It's a sweet scoop by a group of former mainstream reporters bravely striking out into the blogosphere.

TechFlash says that "whatever the ultimate role of the company, the circumstances surrounding its creation provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the new era of Gates' life." The company has a federal trademark as a think-tank and is classified under broad terms that include "scientific and technological services," "industrial analysis and research," and "design and development of computer hardware and software."

Sources told Bishop that the small office near Gates' home is filled with high-tech Microsoft paraphernalia, including one of the touch-screen tables used as a guest book.

We're excited to see what Gates does with the company and we'll be watching these top-notch reporters' coverage as it unfolds on their new site.