Josh Aviv ’15 G’17 gives a Fireside Chat on June 25: Lead The Charge

Man with a trophy
Josh Aviv cuts the ribbon for LaunchPad expansion

LaunchPad alumnus Josh Aviv ’15, G’17, founder and CEO of SparkCharge, will give a Techstars Fireside Chat open to LaunchPad innovators and entrepreneurs Thursday, June 25 at 11 a.m. via this Zoom link

SparkCharge, creator of portable ultrafast electric vehicle chargers recently closed a $3.3 million seed round, led by Point Judith Capital.  Aviv worked with the LaunchPad on the raise which included participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, M&T Bank, and Tale Venture Partners, in addition to other investors. This brings SparkCharge’s total funding to $5 million since its launch as a Syracuse University student startup in 2017. The investment will be used to help the company scale manufacturing, meet rapidly growing sales demand, and aggressively expand development.

SparkCharge’s goal is to make electric vehicle (EV) ownership as easy as possible by removing obstacles to EV adoption such as “range anxiety,” lack of infrastructure, and access to convenient charging. SparkCharge works with roadside assistance companies, insurance firms, delivery companies, hotels, auto manufacturers to make ultra-fast EV charging available at any location.

Joshua Aviv, SparkCharge’s founder, and CEO says, “We focus on listening to our customers and the EV market to create a product that will effectively remove the barriers to electric vehicle ownership. Our product opens the door for Utilities, Cities, Roadside Assistance and On-Demand Service companies to provide range to EVs faster and more effectively, regardless of location.”

“We are very excited to invest in such a remarkable company” stated Zaid Ashai, Venture Partner at PJC. “EV sales growth is far outpacing the infrastructure growth needed to support such a thriving market. This dynamic puts SparkCharge’s innovative portable ultra-fast chargers in a position to partner with new and existing businesses to cure “range anxiety”.

SparkCharge’s pioneering new technology allows anyone to deliver range to an electric vehicle owner anytime, anywhere. It opens the door for electric vehicle owners to have their cars charged in a way that was not possible in the past by removing the limitations on when, where, and how an electric vehicle gets charged.

Aviv was honored last fall with the Generation Orange Award at Orange Central.  “Without the LaunchPad, there would be no SparkCharge, and that’s simply the way it is,” said Aviv when he accepted the award on stage at the Oncenter Convention Center.

man holding a sign that says I am the boss
Aviv with his LaunchPad office desktop sign, which he left behind to inspire future student entrepreneurs

Aviv launched SparkCharge as a Syracuse University student working at the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars and is now a dynamic figure in the clean-tech community. SparkCharge makes portable, ultrafast charging units for electric vehicles, and has been featured in major technology and clean energy publications.

As a student, Aviv won the grand prize in the New York Business Plan Competition, as well as top honors in more than seven business competitions while earning his degrees from Syracuse University. He worked closely with the LaunchPad on his product and business roadmap, and incubated his company after graduation at the Syracuse Center of Excellence (CoE) where he built his first initial prototype.

He won the top prize of $1 million at 43North, a Buffalo-based startup competition, receiving his trophy from New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul ’80 at the 43North awards ceremony. He was also the recipient of a NYS FuzeHub Commercialization Competition award. He has won the California Climate Cup, Startup Fest’s global pitch competition, and Plug and Play’s clean energy innovation award. TechCrunch most recently named Spark Charge as a top tech disruptor.

After graduating from the Syracuse LaunchPad, and winning the first ever Blackstone Launch Pad – Techstars Training Camp global pitch competition, he was selected for the prestigious Techstars accelerator program in Boston.  SparkCharge was then accepted into a residency at 43North in Buffalo where the company is starting manufacturing operations. The company has an engineering division based at Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts, a Boston-based facility that is the world’s largest clean-tech incubator. SparkCharge also has a residency at the Plug and Play Tech Center, a renowned industry-focused accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

Working with Syracuse University’s innovation ecosystem and with industry and economic development partners, SparkCharge launched its first charging unit at a June 2019 Demo Day at Greentown Labs, attended by government and industry leaders, and investors. 

Aviv is a member of the LaunchPad’s Founders Circle and a mentor for current Syracuse University student startups. He is a new member of the Syracuse University Libraries’ Advisory Board, supporting work being done by the LaunchPad around innovation, invention and entrepreneurship.  He frequently speaks on behalf of the LaunchPad at Syracuse University alumni events around the country.

He recently established a clean energy prize through the LaunchPad and SU Libraries for a student team launching an innovation that tackles sustainability and climate change through a clean energy solution.