SparkCharge founder and Shark Tank winner Josh Aviv ’15 G’17 joins us April 13

Josh Aviv

Josh Aviv ’15, G’17, founder and CEO of SparkCharge, will be the featured guest at the LaunchPad Spring Speaker Series on Tuesday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m.  Aviv recently walked away with a million-dollar deal for his portable ultra-fast, modular electric vehicle (EV) charging system on last fall’s season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank.

Aviv started SparkCharge in the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University, built his first prototype in the Kimmel MakerSpace and graduated into his first R&D lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems Innovations. After graduation he went on to become a dynamic figure in the clean-tech community and remains an active member of the LaunchPad, serving on the Founders Circle and as the LaunchPad’s alumni entrepreneur in residence. 

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.

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. He won the top prize of $1 million at 43North, a Buffalo-based startup competition and 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 SparkCharge as a top tech disruptor.

After winning the first ever Blackstone Launch Pad – Techstars Training Camp global pitch competition, he was selected for the prestigious Techstars accelerator program in Boston after graduating from Syracuse.  The company now has an engineering and sales division in Somerville, Massachusetts, and a manufacturing facility in the Buffalo area.  SparkCharge also held residencies at the Plug and Play Tech Center, a renowned industry-focused accelerator program in Silicon Valley and at the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator (LACI).

SparkCharge recently closed on $3.3 million to scale production of its portable, modular charger, led by Point Judith Capital (PJC) with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, M&T Bank and Tale Venture Partners. This round brings SparkCharge’s total funding to $5 million since its 2017 launch. The company plans to use the new investment to scale up manufacturing and aggressively expand development of its products.

This spring SparkCharge partnered with Allstate Roadside, Spiffy, HONK Technologies, and Mark Cuban to launch BoostEV, the first-ever on-demand mobile EV charging network.  SparkCharge recently launched the new service in 12 cities including New York, Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. EV owners can order a charge to be delivered to their vehicles by using SparkCharge’s BoostEV mobile app. SparkCharge plans to open up in a different city every month and roll out the service in 25 cities by the end of 2021.

SparkCharge’s goal is to build the world’s largest mobile electric vehicle charging network through hardware, software, and partnerships.

Aviv will be speaking about his Shark Tank experience, offering tips on how startups can prepare to become investment ready, talking about how to approach investors for funding, and crafting a sales strategy.

The link to attend is here.

four headshots of founders

Next up in the series:

  • April 13, 6:30 p.m. — Shark Tank Winner and founder of SparkCharge, Josh Aviv who raised $5 million for his ultra fast EV charging platform, including a $1 million investment on Shark Tank.
  • April 20, 7 p.m. — Founder of Huddle social media platform, Jack Kuveke, formerly program manager at Antler accelerator, who recently closed on several million dollars for his new venture
  • April 27, 7 p.m. — Founder of MMP Digital, Jordan Fox, formerly with SocialCode, then the largest social media buying agency in the world and VaynerMedia, the vaunted brand-building agency
  • May 4, 7 p.m. — Elizabeth Ruscitto, founder of Elizabeth Ruscitto Consulting, previously director of Developer Relations at HubSpot and director of developer Programs and platform integrations at Leap Motion, now adjunct faculty in the iSchool