Narrator: Hello and welcome to Keeping Innovation Alive, hosted by Bill Nottingham of Nottingham Spirk. Sit back and dive in with us, as we speak with corporate innovators and founders that are driven to keep innovation alive.
Bill Nottingham: Burning rubber, but not fuel. That's the concept behind LAND Energy's e-moto. Their Flagship e-moto is The District. We will learn more about that today with my guest, CEO and founder of LAND Energy, Scott Colosimo.
Scott Colosimo: Thanks for having me.
Bill Nottingham: Well first, Scott, how does it feel to be the first of our guests recording in our on-air-ish studio?
Scott Colosimo: Studio is beautiful. Appreciate you setting this up. We have professional mics, we have a sound editor, and it's nice to have a professional setup.
Bill Nottingham: Isn't it relaxing?
Scott Colosimo: Yeah. you have all the sound deadening on the walls. So it's super, super quiet.
Bill Nottingham: It's a safe place for creativity.? All right, so Scott, you know the drill. First question: How have your innovation efforts been challenged?
Scott Colosimo: Well, in the innovation space, probably the hardest things is to convince people that your ideas are good. And that's been one of the hardest thing over the years. Especially being really young - in your twenties - and coming up with some really big ideas and convincing people that you're actually going to execute. Now that I've been doing this for almost 20 years, it's getting a lot easier to convince people that, maybe some of these ideas aren't so out there or aren't so crazy.
Bill Nottingham: Well, that's great. You know, I personally know your background, and since we got a couple more minutes; I thought I'd say has there been a time in your career - previous to LAND - that was the challenge that fueled what you do today?
Scott Colosimo: Yeah. I think it's a pretty good question. So in 2008, coming out of the recession, I found myself jobless and trying to figure out what I was going to do. I went around and told everyone I was going to start a motorcycle company. So that didn't go over very well right after the recession, right? It's 2008-2009 and the whole world is trying to recover and I went to a bunch of American manufacturers, you know, in my early twenties. And sitting across the table from old gray hairs telling him I'm starting a motorcycle company, I need to have some help getting this going looking for manufacturers to work with and that was really, really challenging.
So, Cleveland Cycle Works actually grew out of me moving to China and finding partners in China to help me scale that. Snd, you know, I did that for 12 years, and I'm sure if you've ever heard me speak before, you know, everything that happens in China, your ideas become their ideas, your IP becomes their IP and you essentially build another company's entire factory off your ideas.
So land was kind of my redemption. This idea of reshoring American innovation, American manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and bringing all these kind of School of Hard Knock ideas. Scaling it, learning what works what doesn't work, and then really transitioning that and deciding, okay. I'm not going to continue to do this in China. I'm not going to continue to give all our IP away. And really focusing inward, focusing on Cleveland, right? That's where the LAND name comes from. And just focusing inward and building our network here and really doing it, where we live.
Bill Nottingham: You know, I just want to say one side note, you know, relationships are built on trust and I could understand where you're coming from with your experiences. You know, from our experience at NS, we've been working for about 50 years or so, and I'd have to say, it doesn't matter where the city or the country, where the suppliers are from. We've got some Chinese manufacturers, we work with for over 30, 40 years, some have been multi-generational but, you know, listen, it's the wild west, its global. You don't know who you're working with until you have an extensive decades of experience. So certainly I can appreciate that. You know, you're moving light speed - Especially with LAND - you need to have partners now. You don't have four decades to build those relationships. Listen, you took the bull by the horns and made it happen.
I'd like to talk a little about today. We all know about the LAND e-moto and the district - which is actually currently upstairs -but how have you been keeping Innovation alive?
Scott Colosimo: I would say there's a couple different areas were looking at LAND. One of them is really embracing the new energy movement and the clean energy movement, and really exploiting that for everything it's worth. From a manufacturing standpoint, an IOT standpoint, and a technology standpoint, and really bringing in a ayounger, smarter group than I am to understand the tech aspect of that. So, you know, a lot of that is building the team bringing in a team who has expertise outside of of anything that I know. So, I see myself as really the person cultivating this garden, right? I'm bringing in the iot experts. Obviously I have the design expertise and the manufacturing expertise, but, you know, keeping innovation alive is really cultivating our business and putting everyone in a place that will help us scale.
Bill Nottingham: That's very interesting. So, you really established in the culture first. The thing that I found really interesting about LAND is it's a vehicle, right? But it's also an electric vehicle you get to pop wheelies in. and I saw you did some video where you were at some sort of a motorcycle chopper event, and then here comes Scott on the district popping a wheelie on this e-bike and I just have never seen that before. Can you talk about how that all came to be?
Scott Colosimo: Sure. So one thing I'm culturing at land is this idea of we're not pushing tech for tech's sake and unfortunately that seems like we're the majority of the market is right now. So the way we smart started was with a cool little ebike but being designers and going deeper into what makes this e-bike tick, what makes it more usable. You know, that's where we really started to get into the usability of the power and that's where we started getting into higher voltages and higher power.
And then looking at what the energy did outside the vehicle, now that's globally, right? That's a lot bigger. But we didn't lose sight of making that vehicle have to be a really, really substantial standalone product. So, you know, we're in a podcast if you don't know what the vehicle iss, I'll explain it. So we call it The District. It's a two-wheel electric, we call it an e-moto. But it's really the first vehicle of its kind that can be an e-bicycle - legally a class 2 e-bike, it, can be an e moped, or a full-on 500, ft lb torque motorcycle. and we do that through technology, we do it through an algorithm.
What we saw was the opportunity, again looking at what brings more value to the market, is to get these kind of moto-curious, right? People that are interested in motorcycles, but they're scary they're too big, they're too powerful. And we've started at a very kind of basic way to get people into the vehicle. So e-bicycle step them up into e-moto, and then keep them interested by you know, a full-blown 500 ft lb torque motor cycle. So it's one vehicle that can really transition much much farther than traditional motorcycles can.
Bill Nottingham: So I have to say that it's like one vehicle to rule them all.
Scott Colosimo: Yeah. I mean that's, that's a good way to put it. So, yeah, and again, that's looking at usability, right? What's more sustainable than having to keep buying new vehicles and throwing away the old ones? And that's really where the battery swap came in. Right? Is you keep the vehicle on the road and as the battery technology increases you simply swipe new technology into it.
Bill Nottingham: So is it safe to say that you could almost create new entrepreneurs out of gasoline shops? Technically, they could sell or lease batteries or do something of a generator business. Is that right?
Scott Colosimo: Yeah, I would say it's slightly different. So we've created a platform that smaller manufacturers could use to integrate directly into their vehicles. And that's the biggest tech effort goes into the platform. So, you know, our main focus is really our own vehicles and, you know, outside of our own vehicles it would be fleet vehicles for like UPS or FedEx or Amazon. These last mile delivery. And that's what swap enables. So you can keep Keep your Fleet going all day all night and you simply swap in and out the energy.
Bill Nottingham: So is your next vehicle to be going to be called the pink bunny?
Scott Colosimo: Keeps going? No. We already have the next vehicle developed but can't talk about.
Bill Nottingham: All right. All right, Hey. Listen, this is, this is great. You know Scott this was fantastic. Thanks for breaking in this new studio. You know, it's hard to believe. This is only our second episode. We've been spending the last few weeks booking guests through 2022.
Hayden Grover (Producer): Who's we?
Bill Nottingham: Correction. Hayden, our producer, has been doing the heavy lifting. Thanks Hayden. Thank you Scott. I want to say, thanks. Really enjoyed the conversation.
Scott Colosimo: Thanks. Appreciate it. I would encourage everyone to check out land.bike or landenergy.io to learn more.
Narrator: Thank you for listening to this episode of Keeping Innovation Alive. We hope this conversation empowers and inspires you. If it did, please feel free to share, leave a review, and visit NottinghamSpirk.com for more content.