Imagine driving an electric vehicle into Manhattan, reserving a Preferred Parking Zone with a smart phone app, and then leaving your car to recharge wirelessly as you shop or visit friends. Further, imagine that delivery trucks for your pharmacy or grocery could do the same, no longer causing noise, pollution, or traffic as they idle along major avenues. This is the efficient urban future envisioned by HEVO Power, a startup based out of the NYC ACRE incubator space in SoHo.
InSITE fellows Lee Cooper, Pranav Goel, Josh Goldman, and Frederico Lourenco have been working with HEVO over the past several weeks to hone the company’s business strategy and strengthen its pitch to early-stage investors. HEVO’s founder, Jeremy McCool, is a former Infantry Platoon Leader in Iraq, and he is committed to U.S. independence from foreign fuels. McCool met the other members of HEVO’s executive team in an MPA program at Columbia University.
From the beginning, all of the fellows were impressed by HEVO’s passion, energy, and knowledge. Further, they were ready to work hard and were receptive to openly sharing new ideas. The challenge, however, was prioritizing the right elements for an effective pitch. Despite scheduling shake-ups in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the group met several times at HEVO’s home in SoHo. Through our discussions (and PowerPoint iterations by HEVO), a major takeaway was the power of narrowing the focus, which can be counter-intuitive.
While HEVO wants to provide wireless charging solutions for all vehicles (passenger, commercial, military), which also raises top-line market potential, the most powerful message is the clearest path to profitability: commercial fleets. By focusing just on the needs of commercial customers, HEVO can best articulate their strengths and competitive advantages in terms of strategic partnerships, technology, and fast-to-market strategy. Additionally, most people have fewer preconceived notions about the commercial electric vehicle market, which allows HEVO to leverage their deep knowledge.
Whether talking about foreign fuels or investor pitches, sometimes less is more.
Many thanks to HEVO for their efforts. Check them out at www.hevopower.com
This post was written by Lee Cooper, Columbia JD/MBA (2015)