CEO & co-founder Rokas Danusevicius
I was very fortunate to be able to represent CHRG Network @ startup acceleration Programme in Singapore which happened on 27 May — 03 June organised by LATTICE80 in collaboration with MITA. We were selected amongst few most promising startups in Lithuania.
This trip turned out to be very successful. During a very well organised week we met Amazon Web Services, PayPal’s Incubator which hosted TenX in their early days, OCBC Bank’s Vault which is the most forward thinking initiative by a bank, BLOCK71 Singapore by National University of Singapore, met with lots of FinTech, AI and blockchain experts, investors and FinTech companies.
At the end of the trip I had a pitch session in front of local investor audience. CHRG Network presentation got a lot of attention. Result — we are in talks regarding 2 valuable partnerships. Also in negotiations with undisclosed VC fund. Hope to have good news soon!
Big thanks for Viktorija Brazdziunaite (from MITA), Gina Heng and JoeSeunghyun Cho (from LATTICE80) and Andy Lim (from Tembusu partnersVC) to organise this.
Every day I get a lot of questions regarding the roots of my passion for electric vehicles, green movement and CHRG Network. I think that everything started in 2007 when I first saw documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?”. There were two cornerstone ideas which stuck in my mind:
1. Our dependency on oil is harming us health wise, limits momentum of our prospering and creates all kinds havoc in geopolitics.
2. Governments and corporations will not make fast transition to clean energy. They are too much addicted to oil and will protect status quo.
It was very sad to realize that in the beginning. Anyhow, I started to follow EV development which began with TESLA Roadster (2008) and NISSAN Leaf (2010). I kind of realized that transition is only possible when there is willingness from public to demand clean transport over ICE powered one.
TESLA has done it. Elon Musk introduced Roadster and Model S. He managed to change public’s attitude towards EV. I was super excited. For me Elon was a hero fighting alone against “old world dinosaurs”. I got so emotional about it that in 2015 I decided to buy Model S myself. I did not need a car at all. In fact I lived in Copenhagen at the time and was commuting using bicycle or train and was perfectly happy with it. Furthermore, financially it was a bad idea. A lot smarter move would have been to stay on safe side and invest into real estate or money generating business. Somehow, I pushed all rational ideas to the side. Emotions prevailed. I wanted to be a part of the change Elon was making.
Carrier wise I was struggling. I knew that I want to be a part of something new and growing. I began visiting startup community. I even joined one startup for a short period. Had some ideas of my own which I was testing on spare time.
Challenge Cup @ Vilnius Tech Park, Sep 22.2017
Hackathon @ Vilnius Tech Park with Vladas Lasas
In 2017, I came back to Lithuania to start a new life. I brought my Tesla with me. Charging infrastructure in Lithuania is very underdeveloped. I was totally dependent on public chargers and wasted too much time adding energy to my battery. This was real problem for me. I realized that if we want fast transition from ICE to EV’s we need to dramatically increase number of charging points. The challenge is to break “chicken-egg” cycle which prevents big corporations to invest into slow charger network before there is substantial EV number on road. The only way to scale charger network fast is to use shared economy model.
I attended hackathon in April 2017 to develop EV charger network idea. After this event I started working on APP connected to IOT device which would reduce charger cost and would allow peers to share EV charger. However, in autumn 2017 I met Zilvinas and Gintaras who were thinking to approach same problem from another angle. Gintaras’ idea was to make open software platform for EV station owners and EV drivers. I understood that it was the only way to scale EV charging network fast.
I joined them and this was the day CHRG Network was born.
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