as long as foreseeable In the future, the global market will require billions of highly specialized electrical machines that will outperform the inefficient relics of the past.
Initially, we approached this as a hardware challenge until we decided that the key to meeting the demands of the next generation of electric motors really lay in software. So we moved to a SaaS model.
There were some “a-ha!”s as well as major startup redirects. It involves trying to make it all work. Luckily, the SaaS direction has paid off. Achieved relatively strong product market fit and cash flow positive status without significant VC funding or burn rate.
The process wasn’t exactly linear, but we did four main things to conclude (in retrospect) that SaaS was our model:
- We valued our technology for being truly disruptive, scalable, and profitable.
- Engaged candidly with the board and investors.
- Research global market and technology trends.
- We took our MVP to market quickly and chose to refine it in the public rather than perfect it in the private.
Moving from hardware to SaaS was the right move for an electric motor design startup, but the process wasn’t exactly linear.
ECM PCB Stator Technology was founded on the innovation of Dr. Steven Shaw (Chief Scientist), an MIT-trained electrical and software engineer. After launch, we began developing our own printed circuit board stators to replace bulky copper windings, a central component in electric motors, and used in-house software to turn them into lighter, faster and more efficient machines. Did.
Two years later, I joined as growth stage CEO after leading two energy technology companies through scale-up and acquisition. At that point, we were still in the relatively early stages of fundraising and product market fit. The startup had raised a venture round to become an axial-flux electric motor manufacturing company. The initial impetus for the move to SaaS came when I took a fresh look at the company and started engaging Steve and the board on our unique advantages and path to profitability.
At that point, we also brought in some new investors.
At the macro level, we consulted to determine competitive advantages and available markets. Early observations indicated that there were already several large, well-established players producing off-the-shelf electric motors. An assessment of global trends (massive electrification, automation, reduction of carbon emissions, etc.) also reveals rapidly changing needs and requirements for the next generation of electric machines.
After thorough analysis and numerous board meetings, the following assessments have emerged. The global market will need more efficient, high-performance, custom-designed electric motors that can be produced in the hundreds of millions more sustainably.
With that in mind, I asked Steve and the board to assess the best business model. Concludes that the most competitive aspect is the ability to leverage printed circuit boards via “motor CAD” software to create bespoke electric motor designs that require less raw material and outperform conventional products I got
We then addressed the key question of how to bring this technology to market quickly with a favorable capital investment profile.