Potential Motors was in our Energia Cohort of 2018. They were creating a method to convert gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles by installing their drop-in system that would adapt to your drive system. We recently caught up with Potential Motors CEO, SAm Poirier, to see how the current pandemic has affected their business and to see what they have been up to in recent months.
Potential Motors recently closed a round of $2.5 Million in May 2020 with investors across the country. By doing so, they doubled their team size which has helped to further the development of their product. However, a major change for them has been in their product development. “After Energia, we started to look at the trends in automotive industry,” says CEO, Sam Poirier. “Conversions looked promising, but they were limited, so we decided to focus on how we could bring growth and development to the electric and autonomous vehicle space.” Potential Motors now focuses on the software side of both EV and AV. By doing this, they believe that they have positioned themselves as leaders in the upcoming change to the automotive sector. “The way vehicles work is changing significantly, and it’s now time to change away from the older drive systems.”
With the global pandemic changing how we work, the team at Potential Motors has also shifted the way that they do things. Their team, like many across the country, does fully remote work and continues to meet regularly online. “We were kind of lucky, as many of our new team have done remote work before and adapted to the change really well,” says Poirier. The team is not slowing down, and with the addition of Chris Newton and Marcel LeBrun as partners this last year, Potential Motors has been pushing forward significantly with progress on their new software pivot.
Closing the round during the pandemic was a major milestone for the team. Although, Poirier does admit that they were quite lucky with how things aligned for them. “We had been working for months on getting everything lined up with our investors, and it happened that we closed just before COVID-19 really ramped up in our region.” One insight that the team did bring forward, was that investors might have to rethink how they meet entrepreneurs for the time being. “Investors invest in people, then ideas. It’s really hard to meet people right now, ;you can’t just go grab a coffee with someone. So, there’s going to have to be a different way of vetting these things.”
Potential Motors has no plans of slowing anything down. Although the hardware side of the company has had to shift how they do things, the software side is moving as fast as ever. Additionally, they are looking to grow their software development team, and are currently looking for software engineers. “We are continuing to stay tapped into the industry and are always looking to grow our network, which we’ll keep doing even with everything going on.”
The Globe and Mail recently announced that Sam is has been named one of their Changemakers making global impacts with their businesses.