USD
Home / Blog / SparkCharge CEO Talks to FuzeHub About Company Growth and Gives Advice to Future Entrepreneurs
SparkCharge CEO Talks to FuzeHub About Company Growth and Gives Advice to Future Entrepreneurs

SparkCharge CEO Talks to FuzeHub About Company Growth and Gives Advice to Future Entrepreneurs

As the CEO of SparkCharge, Joshua Aviv understands the struggles that electric car owners face whenever they experience range anxiety.

He recently sat down with Steve Melito from NYS Manufacturing Now (powered by FuzeHub) to catch up on everything he's been working on after winning FuzeHub's Commercialization Competition last year, where he won the $50,000 top prize.

Key highlights from the podcast:

Getting to know SparkCharge CEO Joshua Aviv...

I'm originally from Dallas, Texas, where I grew up. Came to Syracuse to get my B.A. in economics from Syracuse University. Ended up staying to get my Master's in information management and data science from the iSchool. And while I was in college, I started SparkCharge from my dorm room. 

On how Joshua came up with the SparkCharge idea...

A friend of mine let me borrow their Jeep for a week, and the stipulation was that I had to return their Jeep with a full tank of gas. I remember driving the Jeep around for a week and having, you know a lot of fun, and when it came down to putting gas in it, I almost went broke. I remember driving it from the gas station back to the house and, in that short little trip, the notch in the gas tank had already moved down. It got me thinking: there has to be a better way to get from point A to point B in a car via motor transportation. I started looking into electric vehicles and the electrification of vehicles, and this problem kept popping up called range anxiety. I think it was actually coined by Jay Leno at the time. He had tested all these electric cars and found it was a really big problem. I started working on an idea to end range anxiety by installing or developing a really ultrafast charger for electric vehicles. 

On choosing the portable charging station solution...

From the market research, I realized there was a huge gap in the industry. Everybody wanted electric vehicles but there was a massive problem with infrastructure. And I realized that nobody was doing it right. It made no sense to have these poles sit out in the open where nobody was using them. Some were behind dumpsters - from doing the research. A lot of the research came from Syracuse, with a bunch of charging stations that sit downtown, empty most of the time. And I said, this is really inefficient. Why can't the charger go with the electric vehicle owner? Why can't it go in the trunk, that way you're not having a parking space sitting empty from time to time? You're not spending billions of dollars on infrastructure. If electricity is all around us and it could be harnessed, why can't it be harnessed from the trunk of my electric vehicle, and then use whenever I want it. 

On working with other NY state-funded agencies...

We definitely have. We've worked with Clean Tech Center in Syracuse, with space at the Tech Garden. We've worked with NYSERDA a lot as well. There's a really good ecosystem for entrepreneurs, here, in NY state, including FuzeHub. I think that's only going to continue to grow, but I think being a NY state company definitely has its benefits because of the devotion to clean tech and funding behind getting these renewable ideas out there.

Advice to companies competing in commercialization competitions...

Find really good mentors and practice a lot of pitches. One of my dearest mentors, Linda Hartsock, who runs the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University. Leading up to FuzeHub, I was pitching her 2-3 times per day. Going over the pitch; going over what's the idea we're trying to get across. What are we trying to sell? What's the key problem that we want people to understand. When you're pitching.. I think FuzeHub only gives you six minutes, right? So you have six minutes to go over this huge problem that you're solving, how you're solving it, and why someone should pick you to help solve it. And the best thing you can possibly do is get a really good mentor who can help you through that. Mine was Linda Hartsock, as I said and, pretty much every single day leading up to FuzeHub for a couple of hours. Just going over and over and over the pitch...

On goals for the rest of 2018 and beyond...

We're gearing up to manufacture our first 1,000 units. We plan on shipping those out. Pre-orders will start opening up the beginning of next week (update: reservations are now open). We have a lot of people lined up to take their spots already for our pre-order campaign. So if you're out there, sparkcharge.io to get your pre-order. And then we'll be manufacturing 1,000 unit hopefully to be shipped by the end of this year, and then heading into next year, ramping up again.    

 Listen to the full podcast here:

_______________________________________________

SparkCharge is revolutionizing the way EV owners charge with the first fully portable and ultrafast charging station for electric cars. Learn more