We sat down with Bex Rempel, co-founder of ZeroJet, to talk about the journey to date and plans for the future of the business.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
We started out building high performance electric jetboards that hit speeds up to 70km/hr. We spent a lot of time tuning the jet and the hull for maximum efficiency and became electric jet experts. After going out to raise capital to commercialise the product, we saw a much bigger opportunity to focus on jet systems for boats. After a lot of discussion, we decided to pivot the business at the end of 2019.
Why does the industry need the solution you're providing?
The marine industry is a decade behind land vehicles for electrification. But no wonder - there's a ton of extra challenges to overcome (continuous power draw, corrosion, waterproofing, etc). Our electric jet system is changing what consumers can expect from electric boating. Our low voltage system is high performance, meaning you can easily get up on the plane with 2 people and it's really fun!
Jets have a ton of benefits – much safer for kids or watersports, can access shallow waters and reefs, no exposed propeller to damage things and they fit much better in a tender garage.
What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?
It’s been incredibly rewarding to grow something from an idea into reality. I also particularly enjoy creating an environment and culture at ZeroJet where people can be the best versions of themselves.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
We’ve faced innumerable challenges. A ton of rejection, navigating investors and capital raising, all kinds of uncertainty, Covid-19. But this is part of the journey, and is summed up by a quote I’ve had on my wall for the past 7 years…“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."
Any bits of advice for entrepreneurs getting started in this space?
Just start. Being naïve at the beginning is great, because if you knew how long and difficult the journey might be, you might give up before you started! Also don’t believe that investors know what they are talking about. There are many "investors" out there who will talk you down but at the end of the day, you know your domain and your space better than anyone else. Have that confidence.
What's the plan for the future of the business? Where do you see the company in 3-5 years?
ZeroJet is just getting started. We’ve only recently headed out on the international stage and garnered a ton of interest. Our goal is to replace at least 10,000 combustion outboards over the next 5 years while continuing to invest heavily in R&D and scale up our system for larger craft.