Swiftmile - The Road to Autonomy

Gas Stations of the Future: Electric Charging Hubs

Colin Roche, Co-Founder & CEO of Swiftmile joins Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss gas stations of the future – electric charging hubs.

The conversation begins with Colin telling the story of how entering a raffle during a Christmas party and eventually winning an electric bike inspired him to co-found Swiftmile.

Taking a step back in history, Colin shares the story of how he came up with the idea for Penagain during an all-day Saturday detention during High School. Penagain has gone on to sell millions of pens around the world. Colin tells the story of how he grew the business, secured manufacturing, and had a positive impact on society.

Grayson steers the conversation back towards Swiftmile and asks Colin about one of his first bosses, Alex Edelstein who told him to:

Go Make Something Happen

– Alex Edelstein

Later Alex Edelstein became the first investor in Swiftmile after a dinner in which Colin said:

What if the world really adopts these PETS (personal electric transports)?

– Colin Roche

Alex wrote the check on the spot, reinforcing the strength of life-long relationships.

2015 was a banner year for Swiftmile as the company raised its first investment and was one of the winners of Verizon’s Powerful Answers contest. Swiftmile won $250,000 and developed a long-term relationship with Verizon.

What is the big picture? How can we impact the world?

– Colin Roche

Colin asked this question to his team prior to entering the contest. Today, Swiftmile is having a positive impact on the world by increasing renewable transportation in cities around the world.

With investment and guidance from Thayer Ventures, Swiftmile is expanding into the hospitality industry.

A big part of our plan is working with hotels.

– Colin Roche

By having a micromobility hub at the hotel, guests will be able to experience cities in new and fun ways with little to no friction. The hubs will end up becoming part of the experience and integrated into the hotel’s guest app.

Micromobility solutions are also being deployed on Military bases to assist troops moving around the base. Colin discusses Swiftmile’s current deployments at U.S. Military bases and the positive impact that their solution is having on base life.

From cities to hotels to Military bases, Swiftmile is aiming to become the gas station for micromobility solutions.

Swiftmile will become a gas station for scooters.

– Colin Roche

Building upon this comment, Colin expands upon this statement while taking history into account. This evolves into a conversation about Standard Oil and the initial roll-out of Standard Oil gas stations.

Grayson raises the question, what would Standard Oil be without Henry Morrison Flagler? Would there have been vertical integration and distribution innovation that would have allowed Standard Oil to stay ahead of the competition?

Staying ahead of the curve, Swiftmile is planning to add new forms of charging to the stations while planning for the eventual consolidation in the micromobility industry.

Closing out the conversation, Grayson asks Colin about the economics of micromobility charging and why charging infrastructure is one of the keys to enabling profitable scooter deployments.

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Recorded on Tuesday, November 17, 2020