We spoke to the founders of Rim Drive Technology to hear about their startup journey to date, why their solution is needed in the marine industry and how they got over the hurdle of convincing their first customers about their product.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
The concept of Rim Drive motors was introduced to us in 2016. As a result of intensive work with existing Rim Drive motors in 2017, we gained a great deal of experience. After a year, we discovered Rim Drive motors' many advantages and identified the existing solutions' technology gaps.
Thanks to successful pilot projects and investments from private and commercial parties, we were able to bring our product to the market in 2019. For the next few years, we constantly improved our products and signed worldwide distribution agreements.
Why does the industry need the solution you're providing?
Our product is 100% electric and is compatible with petrol engines. In contrast to petrol engines, our engines do not need any sealings or petrol to function, which makes them eco-friendly.
For boat builders, we provide an easy-to-assemble package that consists of a plug-and-play system that is easy to integrate into any boat. For the user, it is a product that consists of few compartments making it easy to repair. We offer a wide range of accessories which increase the user-friendliness of our motors. To provide the best customer experience, our accessories work efficiently with all our rim drive products.
Describe your product and why it's important.
A Rim Drive contains electric winding in the outer (stator) housing. This housing is cast to avoid any use of sealings. The inner housing which contains the magnetics is also potted to avoid any internal corrosion. The bearing system is water-lubricated and will last for thousands of hours for normal use. Because of the shaftless design, our product will never suffer from stuck fishing nets, plastic or other products that can cause engines to seize.
What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?
The most rewarding part of launching our company has been the journey from ideation to tangible impact. It is fantastic to see that our electric motors are part of countless projects and applications around the world. By including the customer's opinion from the very beginning, we managed to create a complete product portfolio for the customer.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
It was a challenge to convince the first customers about the benefits of our product. There are virtually no barriers to the use of our product, it may take some time getting used to an electric engine, but that's the only aspect they need to get used to.
What's the plan for the future of the business? Where do you see the company in 3-5 years?
In the coming years, we plan to continue expanding our distributor and dealer network. We want to work toward service points that will increase the quality of service even more. We also want to digitise more.