Today we can wirelessly charge many of the devices we use every day including cell phones and laptops, no cords necessary. Now, imagine having the ability to wirelessly charge your electric vehicle; never having to deal with the hassle of plug-in charging again. This is becoming a reality thanks to HEVO POWER.
In November 2011, former U.S. Army Captain Jeremy McCool founded HEVO (Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization) Inc., a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. McCool says that the idea for HEVO POWER was “born in the fire and ash of the Iraq war.” He wanted to find a way to reduce US reliance on foreign fuel. HEVO’s creation and goal is best put in McCool’s own words: “I tried to find a solution to the biggest problem that I had with electric vehicles. How could you provide a simple, convenient and easily accessible charging network for electric vehicle owners to be able to simply pull up and charge at any time of the day?” He goes on to say, “My friend told me to look into wireless charging: is this something that could work? It kind of helped forge this new idea of how this whole thing could be rolled out as a full strategy for urban environments. At that point, I began to seek out the technology that could help us to do that. Ultimately, we needed to create our own technology.”
HEVO’s mission is to “accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles through the deployment of our wireless charging network.”
During his time in the military, McCool developed numerous skills that he has been able to translate into business ownership, including “organizational management, creating and executing a vision, thinking out of the box, and creating new and innovative ideas in our defensive world and technology.”
When asked what it is like to run his own company and how he has had to grow intellectually, personally, and professionally, McCool said, “Owning your own business is the dream. Everyone dreams of being their own boss…In terms of intellectual, personal and professional growth, it is required, absolutely required, for us to become skilled in financial modeling, business acumen, and customer acquisition…We’re developing a technology. We’ve had to become adaptive to learning and understanding, doing research, and continuing to grow and learn from each other as to how the technology works.”
After he launched HEVO in 2011, he began to build a team of six entrepreneurs, including Steven Monks. Collectively, they have launched and exited several companies, and have raised $50 million for various projects, events, and ventures. In addition, uniquely, they have all worked in green technology in one way or another in the past.
He says that when starting and running a business “the part that requires the most trouble is being fully committed and knowing that you’re committed for a very long time, years even. After a few months, you kind of start to enjoy the commitment…Once you have done it long enough, it’s a drug of its own source. It’s a drug that creates what it makes. Once you’re in, you’re in and you cannot go back to the other way of life.”
One of the most difficult parts of starting the business was funding and gaining investors. Because the company and the technology were so new, investors were hesitant. Overtime, they have been able to steadily lower the risk for investors. Their funding has come from Veterans Affairs, friends and family. Also, in one year, they have submitted ten grant applications; they were successful with five.
McCool and Monks both attended and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from Columbia University. Even with their level of education, HEVO POWER benefited from the VA Accelerator courses, jokingly calling the program a “crash MBA course.” HEVO was “very impressed with the breadth of the program.” The accounting section, in particular, being “incredibly impressed that it covered all of the essential information and it was a great refresher.”
What is the best part of owning and running HEVO POWER? McCool says, “I feel like I don’t come to work. I feel like I’m coming to hang out with my friends and we just happen to be working and creating technology together…Business Ownership is the American dream.” https://www.hevopower.com