Entrepreneurship Electrified | Cal Poly Alumni Create a New EV Power Solution
By: Lauren Arendt
Electric vehicles (EV) are taking the world by storm. NeoCharge, an incubating company in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), is working to provide better-charging solutions for residential EV owners. NeoCharge CEO Spencer Harrison and CTO Akhil Veluru designed their first product, a smart adapter for EV’s at home, to save EV owners time and money, ultimately making residential EV ownership more practical and accessible.
“As an [electric vehicle] owner, level two charging is crucial,” Harrison said. “Our product gives you the fastest way to get the affordable charging you need at home.”
The team says their residential focus is was sets them apart in the EV world. They focus on how people charge their EV’s at home, what that experience looks like and how to make it as seamless as coming home and charging a cellphone or laptop overnight.
“Whatever way we can make [charging EV’s] as seamless and convenient as possible,” Veluru said. “That’s really what our goal is.”
NeoCharge developed the first iteration of their product and currently allows customers to sign up for beta testing. They plan to make tweaks and add features based on customer feedback. WiFi functionality and software that lets customers choose whether they want to use renewable energy to charge their EV’s are on the short list of features they are already looking to add in the second round.
To prepare for manufacturing and the necessary safety testing preceding it, the NeoCharge team is in search of funds.
Harrison and Veluru didn’t get to where they are today overnight. They started their entrepreneurial journey alongside the CIE as a part of the hatchery program, an entrepreneurial epicenter on the Cal Poly campus where interdisciplinary groups of students congregate to solidify ideas, form teams and receive the early mentorship and guidance they need.
“There are tons of people to reach out to and tons of connections who can help you with anything that you need help in,” Harrison said. We’re new to this so getting help from other people is a huge thing that the CIE can provide.”
From the hatchery, the NeoCharge team entered the 13-week-long summer HotHouse accelerator program. Here, they not only received seed funding, but a network of peers, seasoned mentors and industry connections to get their company off the ground.
Today, NeoCharge can be found in the CIE HotHouse as a part of the two-year-long incubator program supported by mentorship and the vibrant CIE community.
“Definitely consider the CIE Incubator program,” Veluru said. “It’s a great way to get off the ground, especially if you’re new to running a startup. I didn’t know anything about running a startup when I first came here and I have learned a lot.”
You can learn more about the products offered by NeoCharge and even sign up to be a beta tester at www.getneocharge.com.