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Detachable eVTOL: A Solution for Flight Range Limits? – Jamie Gull

Podcast Summary

Jamie Gull, CEO and cofounder of Talyn, is working hard to make eVTOL a cheaper and more efficient reality. After working together at SpaceX, him and his cofounder Evan Mucasey decided to embark on an aerospace venture of their own – unmanned electric vertical takeoff and landing for cargo transport. Current eVTOL technologies are expensive, requiring large and pricey batteries to enable vertical lift. They also have huge speed and range limitations thanks to added drag from the propeller design. Talyn’s solution? Forget the props and use staged eVTOL.

In this episode, Jamie talks about his journey creating Talyn, his plans to grow the team, and the incredible future potential of eVTOL:

  • Quieter, cheaper, and more climate conscious, eVTOL offer many benefits over traditional helicopters. Talyn’s design takes it one step further, using staged systems – similar to how a rocket jettisons heavier fuel-laden stages after reaching altitude. The main flight vehicle is a long-range, high-speed electric plane, carried to flight altitude and speed by a detachable VTOL lift vehicle. Once the main craft is released, the rotor-powered VTOL lift vehicle returns to home base to recharge for another mission. When the plane is ready to land, another VTOL system rendezvous with the vehicle in midair and lowers it back down to the landing pad. 
  • Jamie describes his target market as those transporting relatively light, high value, and fast turnaround goods – pharmaceuticals, electronics, replaceable parts for large industry such as power plants. He even imagines uses for humanitarian response. By enabling autonomous flights into remote or compromised regions, Talyn’s technology can provide disaster aid without putting flight crew at risk. 
  • Talyn’s team is currently small – only 15 people. Jamie plans to grow the team substantially in the near future to allow the company to scale up larger prototypes. Ultimately, he envisions the company as both the manufacturer and the operator of their eVTOL systems. 
  • The company is a successful recipient of Y Combinator funding, one of the most prestigious and competitive startup accelerators. Jamie describes fundraising as a full-time job, stressing the importance of leveraging your network to open doors in the startup world. 

Peter Perri 0:00
We are live on the podcast. And we are excited to have Jamie Gull. And Jamie is with Talyn. Spelled t a l y n. Really cool spelling for that. And the company is perfecting electric vertical takeoff and landing. For unmanned vehicles. Jamie, welcome to the podcast today.

Jamie Gull 0:40
Thanks, Peter. And it’s awesome to be here.

Peter Perri 0:42
Hey, so tell me more about electric vertical takeoff and landing. Particularly for unmanned vehicles. What are the applications? And tell me about the journey to get there?

Jamie Gull 0:53
Yes, so a lot of the details in the name there. It’s electric. We’re doing fully battery electric. It’s electric propulsion also. And it’s vertical takeoff and landing. So it’s just like a helicopter takes off from a pad and on a runway. And this enables you to not use runway so you can take off from buildings from parking lots, from Warehouse roofs, etc. And we’re developing this for unmanned applications. So cargo to move around, whatever you want in our aircraft system. And this is a relatively nascent industry recently kind of brought around by Tesla actually developing battery packs that have good enough energy density like and carry enough energy in a small pack to actually make flight possible, not just electric cars. And so it’s growing. And he’s got a lot of really cool benefits over helicopters that make it viable, which is low noise, low climate impact, and much lower cost because the vehicles are actually less complex. Without having these really big turbine engines and the rotors with a single point of failure. You know that somebody breaks on a helicopter, it usually falls out of the sky, which isn’t great. In eVTOL, have redundancy there with multiple voters and so they’re super,

Peter Perri 2:19
super cool. But it sounds like there’s got to be a bunch of technical challenges to overcome to do that. I mean, it sounds futuristic to me. I’m picturing Jetsons, you know, what was the hardest part, that biggest technical challenge you had to overcome or other challenge to get to where you are today?

Jamie Gull 2:36
Yeah, well, so we’re really just getting started. And we’re making it even harder. We are what we call staged eVTOL. And my co founder and I work at SpaceX for about five years each and worked on Falcon nine reentry and landing. And the idea behind the stage rocket is you get rid of the heavy part when you’re done with it. So you can fly the lighter part actually into space. And we’re applying the same thinking to that to eVTOL where you do a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that launches a fixed wing aircraft, it’s much more efficient and wider, that can fly a lot further and faster than an eVTOL. And then we’ll do a mid air docking with another Vito aircraft to perform the vertical banding. And that’s really the hardest part is taking two aircraft and re linking them back up in the air. We look at that as a similar challenge to the stage rocket reentry and landing that a lot of people said couldn’t be done or it’s too hard. It wasn’t worth it. And here we are a number of years later, and it’s happening multiple times per month, and it’s completely changing industry. So we’re looking at that is an unlock for our key technology. We’re currently flying some scale prototypes of our tech to develop it. And we’re actually scaling up right now to a much larger prototypes. We’re working closely with the Air Force on both of these programs for development and funding. And we’re gonna start flying much larger aircraft than this year. So we just moved into a new facility in LA, it’s got the space to grow the team and build the aircraft.

Peter Perri 4:19
It sounds awesome. And it looks like you guys are funded by Y Combinator. Is that right? Yeah, we

Jamie Gull 4:25
went through YC in 2020, and got some additional funding coming out of there from a variety of people. So that was a great experience. I highly recommend it,

Peter Perri 4:36
though. Awesome. So I’m going to dig a little bit more into that if you don’t mind because I know a lot of people that watch our founders of companies that are trying to figure out how to get funded. Can you talk about what the journey was like to go into Y Combinator and how did you get in and what are some of the pain points and how did you overcome that?

Jamie Gull 4:56
Yeah, so I mean, YC is pretty famous, is probably The most prestigious salary are out there. And it’s harder to get into than top tier colleges. I think it’s less than 1% acceptance rate? And how do you get in the mean network with people who’ve actually gone and ask them how, because everybody in that community is willing to help you with your application and how you’re thinking about your company. And what you need to do to stand out. Everybody likes to give back to that community. Once they’re finished, and it is hard, it’s really competitive. It was a really fun process, we went through in COVID hit. So we didn’t get to do the in person Demo Day. And they’ve transitioned mostly virtual demo days now, I think. And it was awesome. And it really just, what it really does is at the end, that is exposes you to investors, you know, very process oriented manner. But fundraising still hard anyway. If you can’t get on there, like keep at it. And I would say, my one piece of advice for fundraising is it’s a full time job. It takes a long time. And it’s most successful when you network your way, rather than trying to cold email or call investors.

Peter Perri 6:22
Yeah, for sure. I can, I can definitely agree with that on what about the fundraising process? What was like a total shock to you compared to like, what you thought, you know, I’m sure it’s super different from an engineering process and what was like, totally a surprise when you first went about it.

Jamie Gull 6:41
Yeah, I think, you know, everybody says, and I just said it to full time job, and you’re like, okay, cool, whatever it is. And that was a bit of a shock. The other part that was a shock is it’s also incredibly repetitive. In draining, you’re given the same pitch over and over to a lot of people and I don’t, you know, it’s very rare for a company to pitch five investors, especially at seed stage, and succeed that comes later on when you have traction. I think people miss misjudge how many people are gonna have to pitch and YC says to like, look, you’re gonna make 100 pitches after Demo Day. And you get a little wide eyed, and you know, the best companies, the hottest ones in the batch, they might make 2030 pitches, average is probably more like 100. And there are people that pitch two and 300 people. And so it’s a grind, and it is repetitive, but it’s also kind of fun.

Peter Perri 7:38
Yeah, for sure. And I keep, you know, thinking with all the innovations in technology, right around, you know, things like electric vertical flight, we ought to be able to figure out a way to sort of scale investor pitches, because it’s, you’re given the same pitch, it’s so repetitive. And we really need to be using digital media, I think to simplify that process, you know, sort of take a great video of a founder giving his best pitch, and then build a portfolio of of frequently asked questions and use some AI to allow the investors to ask those questions and have it delivered, at least in some sort of a personable way. But there’s got to be a better way of doing this isn’t smart engineers are gonna

Jamie Gull 8:21
like loom and stuff. But it the part that doesn’t scale is like everybody’s got different questions and different approaches to things. And it the best pitchers are really good at reading that out of the investors and focusing on the things that matter to them, rather than just, you know, running through their deck for the 100th time.

Peter Perri 8:43
Yeah, for sure. That’s true. We always said the best pitch is when you don’t even go into the pitch deck, you know, and

Jamie Gull 8:48
that’s absolutely true. You don’t bring up your pitch deck, you

Peter Perri 8:52
probably did a really great job. Yeah, for sure.

Jamie Gull 8:55
Definitely counterintuitive to most folks who just want to put their desktop and talk through it.

Peter Perri 9:01
Gotcha. No, I think that’s, that’s really helpful. Let’s, let’s jump back into the company a little bit. You know, if a new engineer is starting out today, let’s say to try and solve a big problem. What do you think is something that they should do first, to try and get going and and be able to figure it out? Because I imagine that process is long, especially in the beginning.

Jamie Gull 9:28
Figured out here? Yeah, say

Peter Perri 9:30
like, how can how can a new an engineer trying to do a project like the way you guys did it? How could they get started and solve a big problem?

Jamie Gull 9:43
Yeah. I’m gonna start by putting a plug in. We’re hiring. So go to our website and check out our job listings. And especially younger engineers, the thing that really stands out is somebody who’s actually built stuff and Whether that’s code, if you’re a software engineer, or hardware of your structures, or an electric propulsion system, if you’re an electric propulsion, build something and test it, because that’s what engineering is. It’s not writing papers, it’s not doing problem sets. And getting really good at theory you have to implement. And it really stands out when a young engineer has a portfolio of either coursework that had projects or their own independent products even better. And here’s what I built. Here’s what I tested. Here’s what I learned here. With that that’s, like, far and above more indicative of, can you actually cut it? versus, you know, getting a perfect GPA at a top university.

Peter Perri 10:48
Gotcha. Yeah, I think that makes that makes so much sense. Because what you guys have are doing has to be done in the physical world. And it’s different from software, right? Because of software breaks, you just change a line of code, hopefully, and you fix it. But if some of this stuff breaks, it can be dangerous, I imagine. Yes.

Jamie Gull 11:07
And we got lots of software work to this. But it’s different than consumer software. Yes. It doesn’t have just a broken line of code, it could crash the vehicle.

Peter Perri 11:16
Yeah, absolutely. So you got to have a certain level of rigor. Let’s talk about real world applications for your technology. What do you see is the biggest, let’s say, lowest hanging fruit most near term application for this type of electric, vertical propulsion system.

Jamie Gull 11:35
Yeah, so things you want to move in the air are relatively light, high value. And something that people want fast, is really the three main drivers, otherwise, you’re going to put it on a much cheaper mode of transport on the ground. And what falls in that category are like parcels interested in electronics. Pharma is a great one. Because drugs and other pharma products are relatively late. People want them quickly, they’re specialized, they’re very valuable. So you want to move that around in the air, rather than on the ground, you’re not going to put you know, a couple pill bottles on a large truck, that’s slow. So that’s a really good example of what to move in the air. Other things are things that aren’t commonly thought of, but parts for things that when they break, are very expensive. So plants, aircraft, oil and gas rigs, when something goes down on those, you know, those areas are losing, sometimes 100k, sometimes a million dollars a day. And they just want one little part they want to now that’s a really good example, you’re always going to put that in the air. And the fastest thing and one really cool thing about Vitaly is you don’t have to go through an airport, right? So rather than flying something into the closest airport, going through customs, if it’s international, and then putting on a truck and driving it over. You fly directly there. So you can fly, depending on what the vehicle is really close in or maybe even on the property.

Peter Perri 13:15
Wow, no, that’s cool. What’s the what are the range limitations with this type of stuff? I mean, have you run into any? Oh, yeah, for sure. I

Jamie Gull 13:23
mean, batteries are good or not that good. They’re not nearly as good as gasoline, for better for worse, and they are getting better, but it’s slow process. So the large urban Air Mobility companies that folks have probably heard of, like Joby and archer, for our good examples. They’re looking at about 60 miles of range, the tall max. And that’s one of the limitations we’re working to overcome with our storage system. So you get rid of a lot of the drag mass and power mismatch associated with the tall plate and you start looking at ranges in the 200 plus mile range. So you’re no plates, which is actually pretty close to a helicopter. So you’re you can really get a lot more performance that way. But you’re not flying across the country. Like it’s not happening anytime soon, without putting some sort of fossil fuel onboard.

Peter Perri 14:21
Sure, sure. So the the big industrial facility example maybe use a freight air freight to get it to the airport. And then from the airport, you move it with your technology

Jamie Gull 14:34
for the regional distribution.

Peter Perri 14:37
Sure, that makes total sense. And what about weight limitations or, you know, you mentioned big industrial apps, you’re able to support those large scale heavy things.

Jamie Gull 14:48
Interestingly enough, most of the things for those industrial applications that they need quickly are not that big, so you know hundreds of pounds, not 10s of 1000s So we’re not gonna we’re not flying in a train car. But you can do pretty significant way. well past the drones that are flying around five and 10 pounds.

Peter Perri 15:12
Gotcha. So now you mentioned military a little bit. Is there any cool military application you can tell us about that you’re allowed to talk about?

Jamie Gull 15:21
Yeah, currently a lot of talk about any of it. So I’m good. Yeah, so we’re, you know, they’re looking at the logistics capabilities of the industry. But they’re also looking at us for a couple other reasons. And one is being able to provide other fixed wing aircraft with be tall capability. So how do you divorce the requirement from having a runway for these aircraft operators, so other unmanned aircraft that are deployed all around the world that have to operate over a runway? How can you give them the flexibility to land on a pad somewhere, so that you can go fly these long range long endurance missions with those platforms within them vertically without a runway, that’s something that only we can address. So there’s no other tech out there that can do that. And then they’re also looking at shorter range stuff, you talked about that earlier, humanitarian disaster response, which is super cool. So a lot of places out there with not great infrastructure that, you know, we fly in aid, for whatever, there’s an add natural disaster, or just generally ate, and you gotta get it out to the folks there. It’s much easier to do it through the air autonomously without putting people in harm’s way. So that you can help out.

Peter Perri 16:42
Now, for sure, those are those are great applications. And imagine the impact you can make, because I think a lot of the places that need that that sort of aid are located in places without great infrastructures mentioned. I’m curious to know if you know, maybe it’ll actually leapfrog some infrastructure building, because you think about cell phones, for example, a lot of third world countries, they didn’t even build landlines because of the cell phone. So maybe with this, instead of building roads everywhere, you’ve got these vehicles to move stuff around from a logistical standpoint, and it reduces the need to build call it perfect infrastructure at every corner of a place. That’s

Jamie Gull 17:22
a great example of how that can happen. Even in areas that have the resources like Alaska, they don’t put roads in a lot of places, right? They’re flying in Bush planes or fairies. And that’s really the only way to get to a lot of places. So it’s another good place for the tech where, you know, they could vote in those roads. They’re capable of it, they have the money, but it just doesn’t make economic sense. And doing it like this. It’s a great way to get around that.

Peter Perri 17:50
Yeah, for sure. I think I’m getting ready to go down to Ecuador. My fiancee is originally from there, and it’s a small country, but it takes a long time to get in between certain places because of the roads. And and I’m sure they’d love to be able to get delivery of let’s say Amazon from a single centralized location to all the different points. If they could have this kind of delivery service, I think it would be awesome.

Jamie Gull 18:15
Yeah, exactly. And one really cool thing about the electric is the price reduction from a helicopter. And so the only people using helicopters are the ones flying in something that’s needed really badly, or very wealthy people. This will drop that price enough where other other use cases become possible and make economic sense. That’s an addition, obviously, to the climate impact, which is positive.

Peter Perri 18:41
Yeah, for sure. And the other country I think of as Indonesia, you know, which a lot of people don’t realize it’s about 250 million people, one of the largest countries in the world, but it’s really a an island nation. So a place like that it could be a home run.

Jamie Gull 18:56
Yeah, absolutely. You can move people back or move water food back and forth really easily. For a lot less money.

Peter Perri 19:05
Super cool. So we talked about the nice stuff, but now we got to get back into the business stuff. Right? So what’s the revenue model? I have you guys developed a revenue model? Is it licensing of the tech? Are you guys gonna build out your own delivery services? We’re gonna do that we’re early

Jamie Gull 19:20
stage, we’re looking at a bunch of options. We’ve gotten multiple revenue models we’ve built. And we’re trying to figure out one which, which actually makes sense, which is all I’ll really talk about right now.

Peter Perri 19:33
Okay, all right. Cool. I like it. I’m sure the it’s it’s nice that you’ve gone through Y Combinator because you’ve got access to good financial ideas and advice that can help drive that forward. And I love how they focus on technique, technically let companies because in the end, if you’re building great tech, I feel like the revenue model will come. I remember the late 90s Everybody was talking smack about Google because they weren’t making any money. But then when they rolled out their AdWords product, it went from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars and multiple billions of dollars very quick and same thing with Facebook is, you know, the idea is build a fantastic product that users love. And then you can build a revenue model later. So I think it’s important to remember that that stuff does work for the right tech. And you know, whenever you start to go through a downturn like we’re, it seems like we’re going through now a little bit with the public markets, everybody comes in and wants to beat everybody up about the revenue model. Same thing happened in World. So to all the founders out there, just stay the course. And you’re going to be fine. It’ll take a couple of years and things will be on the upswing again.

Jamie Gull 20:47
Yeah, you know, a lot of the best companies were born out of those downturns. The worst? Sure, we can muddle through it and come out the other side, are the ones that grew into the biggest companies.

Peter Perri 20:59
No doubt, no doubt. Well, that that leads me to ask, what are your aspirations for the company? How big would you like to see it yet? And are you thinking of, you know, partnering with somebody else down the road with a bigger company? Or do you want to be a founder led company and just see it all the way through?

Jamie Gull 21:17
Yeah, I mean, our primary goal is to grow it into both manufacturer and operator of the product. We’re always like, interested in what makes the most sense, though, for the for the company. And so one thing that’s hard about Aerospace is, it’s really hard to build out the infrastructure, build all the products, there’s a lot that goes into that. And partnering with somebody who already has that in place actually can make a lot of sense, especially to get moving faster, and not have to pour all that capex in to that process. So we’ll definitely look at that when we’re ready. But we, our primary goal is to build it ourselves.

Peter Perri 21:56
Yeah, for sure. That makes a ton of sense. And I think there’s going to be so many companies that come out of this, let’s call it physical innovation movement. I think the last 20 years, we had a digital innovation movement, that now there’s a lot more innovation happening in physical infrastructure, which I think is super awesome. And I think there’s going to be even more companies than there were in digital, because I think there’s fewer, let’s call it network effects winner take all. So you’re gonna have a lot of companies. And I do think that to your point, there’s going to be a lot of m&a activity among some of the bigger companies that have the infrastructure in place. You know, if you’re a media company, there’s no way you could have bought Google, it’s just what’s going to happen. But when you think of aerospace, when you think of energy, think of these different oil and gas infrastructure. And also the idea of energy transition. In the end, it’s physical stuff, right? So I think this is going to be an amazing movement, even bigger than the digital movement that we’ve seen with affecting more companies, more people and affecting the physical world in some really cool ways.

Jamie Gull 23:04
I’m biased, but I couldn’t agree more. Super excited to see that hardware and deep tech is is got a lot of momentum starting the last five ish years. And hope it just keeps growing. So

Peter Perri 23:20
yeah, for sure. So you mentioned your hiring, talk about building a team, how big is your team? Now? What are some of the pain points to building a great team? And what are your goals with that going forward?

Jamie Gull 23:32
Yeah, so we’re 15 People now got 10 open roles. That’s kind of what we view as our required core team for, for scaling up to these bigger prototypes to start. So it’s mostly engineering focused. I mean, the hardest part is finding folks who can thriving in an environment in the hardware world, it’s similar to the more traditional startup world where, you know, it’s not well defined, you don’t get handed requirements, or you get to go generate those on your own ad hoc with your teammates, and you’re moving really fast. And everything changes week to week. And, you know, people that are good at that are good at that, and they love it. And it’s when in my opinion is way more fun. You’re, you’re actually making an impact every day and making progress every day, you have a say, in everything. And you get to build something that’s much more impressive, with a small team and a faster pace than if you’re, you know, plugged into a giant company that’s got all these processes in place and things take forever. And you get to get pigeonholed over here work on this widget. And that’s it. So I mean, those books are hard to find, but it’s really great when there’s a good bit.

Peter Perri 24:55
Yeah, for sure. Were you the only founder of the company or did you have other founders on your Team.

Jamie Gull 25:00
Now I’ve got a co founder, Evan and we know each other from our SpaceX days, so we overlap Nice. So three or four years. Yeah.

Peter Perri 25:11
So SpaceX Did you ever get to meet Elon?

Jamie Gull 25:14
Yeah. Multiple times.

Peter Perri 25:17
Good stuff. How early on in the company? Were you there? How many employees were there when you got there?

Jamie Gull 25:23
I was 1000. I got there in 2010. It’s 10,000. Now I think are more

Peter Perri 25:32
Oh, my gosh.

Jamie Gull 25:34
When I left, which was a little after five years of my tenure there. It was it five or 6000? So it grew a lot while I was there.

Peter Perri 25:44
Gotcha. I should know this. But is SpaceX a separate completely separate entity? Or is it under the Tesla umbrella? Or how to how’s it structured? It’s separate. Gotcha. And I don’t think it’s public is it is so private, like a private entity,

Jamie Gull 25:57
not private. Think it might be the most valuable private company in the world?

Peter Perri 26:02
Yeah, for sure. It’s got to be up there.

Jamie Gull 26:05
Yeah. It’s going up more right now. I think they’re just announced a fundraising around 125 billion valuation? I

Peter Perri 26:15
think that’s not too bad. Now, did you guys get any equity? Did he Did he hooked?

Jamie Gull 26:21
Is a startup? So there’s the equity involved? Yeah.

Peter Perri 26:25
So that’s so that’s a good thing and a private company like that. I think there’s there’s liquidity now available with some of these exchanges, or is it or is it completely illiquid?

Jamie Gull 26:35
Now? Yeah, they provide some liquidity options for employees.

Peter Perri 26:41
Yeah, that’s awesome. I think that’s a huge change, you know, call it financial or FinTech innovation that’s happened the last 15 years is make it possible for people to get some liquidity, so they don’t have to just sit there and hold the stock forever and ever. When it’s not public.

Jamie Gull 26:56
Yeah, especially for companies that are focused on not being publicly exposed to excellence.

Peter Perri 27:02
Yeah, makes sense. So walk me through the process of okay, you’re at, you’re at SpaceX, and you’re thinking, Alright, I want to go off and do my own thing. I think this is one of the things that is like, most everybody wants to know, how do you take that leap, move from, you know, call it a nice safe thing like SpaceX, and then make the leap to do a new thing.

Jamie Gull 27:27
Spell a little bit of a dream of mine for a long time. And Evan, and I started putting together concepts, before we took the leap, and actually did some basic engineering work to prove to ourselves that it could work, so that we knew it was possible and knew it made sense. But at the end, you just gotta go for it. I mean, like, there’s, there’s no way to beat around the bush, I think it’s really tough to have one foot, you know, in the door, the startup and one foot back in your old job, where you’re trying to do it on the side, which is safer, and like, reduces risk. But I think when you’re ready, you just got to go for it. Obviously, set yourself up so that if, three, six months in, it’s not going anywhere, you can go back or go somewhere else. But you just gotta go. And the other thing is, you know, investors and other people want to partner with you. potential employees, like, if you’re working on a part time, they’re probably not going to join in, right, like, they just don’t know if you’re committed. So

Peter Perri 28:37
yeah, I think that’s a great point.

Jamie Gull 28:39
You need to you need your personal support system, and you got to just go for it.

Peter Perri 28:44
So a lot of founders telling me they had like this Oh, shit moment, right? Like they they broke away from the dream job. And then they’re there on their own. You know, let’s say it’s been a couple of months since the last paycheck from the regular paycheck. Did you guys go through that process? Or you looked at each other? Like, oh, my gosh, what did we just do? Yeah, for sure.

Jamie Gull 29:06
I think it’s pretty common. Getting into YC really helped. That was kind of our first big validation that, okay, there’s something here, you know, we can make a little bit of money. Nothing like you’re used to before, but you know, enough to survive. And so that was great. But yeah, there’s definitely a period where we’re like, you know, this, this doesn’t go up. At some point in the next X number of months. We’re gonna, you know, cut loose.

Peter Perri 29:40
Yeah, for sure. And how did you how did you get through that? You know, how did you guys what was it that propelled you guys to keep moving forward?

Jamie Gull 29:52
I don’t know. I think it’s part of it’s just our nature. It’s just like, we said, we’re doing this let’s do it. Um, And we’re just gonna go full speed ahead. And, you know, if we don’t make it at least we tried. And so you just got to get over that first hurdle. But yeah, dwell on it too much. It’s just gonna get in the way.

Peter Perri 30:15
I’ll throw out some advice. Having done done it a couple of times myself is keep personal overhead to a minimum. Because it always takes a lot longer than you think.

Jamie Gull 30:27
Yes. Now that’s a good piece of advice, both like obligations and monetary.

Peter Perri 30:33
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, that’s a that’s a good one. Well, cool. So when you guys got the Y Combinator, what tell me about like, when it was the moment when the deal was sealed? Did you guys celebrate? Did you like go out and have some drinks together? Did you say oh my gosh, here we go. We better work even twice as hard now.

Jamie Gull 30:56
Yeah, I mean, we were in an air b&b in Mountain View. We just had the in, in person interview. And it’s notorious for them saying, like, no matter what you’re going to feel like you bombed the interview. It’s exactly how we felt. So we were just hanging out, you know, kind of, I go that didn’t seem to go so well. When we got the call, and like you’re in. And so, you know, we went, we went got a little celebratory whiskey and call a few people went home and went back to work.

Peter Perri 31:34
Nice, good stuff. So so it’s up in Mountain View. So is it uh, is it? I don’t know that area too. Well, but I know it’s Northern California. Is that around the famous Sand Hill Road? Is that around in there? Yeah, it’s right in that area. Super cool. So when you guys were driving in, there must have been you have a little trepidation going in. It’s I’ve driven around there before. And you can just kind of feel the sense that oh, my gosh, there’s a lot of major companies that have come out of this area.

Jamie Gull 32:04
Yeah, it’s definitely got an awesome history. I went to Stanford, so I’m pretty familiar with the area. It’s right. It’s sand hills, literally adjacent to campus. So it was kind of like going back to a really familiar spot, which was nice. But it’s it is intimidating.

Peter Perri 32:21
Yeah, for sure. Stanford’s a great university, sort of, really a nice place to come out of if you’re trying to do startup, because the ecosystem is so good.

Jamie Gull 32:32
Absolutely. I mean, I got, I’ve got probably more close friends that I can count on one hand that started companies from my time there. So definitely, it’s known for that.

Peter Perri 32:46
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve had a couple of folks from Stanford on the podcast, and it’s, it’s unbelievable to hear about the ecosystem partner ecosystem out there. Yeah. I think you got to have your units on Stanford for sure. Like, you know, just as a showcase. Have what your your technology should be there on Stanford, you know, you I’m sure you can think of applications of the college why

Jamie Gull 33:12
I’m up there at some point. Yeah.

Peter Perri 33:15
Yeah, that’s, that’s super good stuff. So here’s here’s a question for you. A lot of people you know, they you have to be a little bit maniacal, I think to make it through startup land. Do you have you have you had to sort of be super stubborn to get to where are you at? Are you more of like, go with the flow.

Jamie Gull 33:38
My day to day life, I’m pretty go with the flow. But for you, you’ve got to be stubborn like it. Everybody talks about the ups and downs, and they’re very real. You know, you can have a huge high one day and an hour later, a huge low and sometimes it feels like things are going great. Sometimes it feels like you’re gonna fail next week. And you gotta just take it in stride and keep plugging away and not give up. I mean, it’s really all you can do. And that’s how you get through those times. Is that stubbornness. Yeah,

Peter Perri 34:15
absolutely. So yeah, I I’ve, I’ve been told before I’m, I’m stubborn, and I think that’s an insult that I actually feel good about when I hear it because it’s like, you need that to be able to make it through some of this stuff.

Jamie Gull 34:29
Yes, yes. It’s very different than a job. The sense that you have to like execute on this party with execute on everything and want to, you know, you’ve got investors, you’ve got employees, and it’s your lot of stakeholders involved. So

Peter Perri 34:47
that’s, that’s super cool. I feel we talked a lot about some of the personal stuff, but is there anything you know, let’s say number one, are you guys looking for any investors? Are you accepting new capital at this point? Can they can they reach out to you on LinkedIn and get in touch? And I think investors watch us a little bit.

Jamie Gull 35:06
Yeah, so we aren’t raising right now. But we will be relatively soon. We we did a fundraise early this year, got decent runway, but we’ll be raising on the back some tech progress and the next six months. So always happy to talk to people started relationship. LinkedIn is good. Jamie at talent con is good. And of course, our website has like, contact us. So there’s lots of ways to get a hold of me. Super cool.

Peter Perri 35:39
So investors, you’re and you’re hiring. So if you’re young engineer that that’s excited about this reach out. And also, I’m sure strategic partners, are there any kind of commercial areas and partnerships where you’re trying to reach certain types of companies?

Jamie Gull 35:54
Yeah, I mean, anyone in logistics, really, of any sort farmer, we just like talking to people. So to hear what’s out there, what the needs are. So always happy to talk to folks in those fields. Transportation analysis, oil and gas. Basically, if you want stuff moved quickly, I want to talk to you.

Peter Perri 36:18
Oh, good, good stuff. Well, Jamie, this is this has been great. It’s been my pleasure having you on Energy Superheroes. And you’re, you’re definitely somebody that we’re going to track and watch as the company grows. The company is talent and we’ve had Jamie Gull on the show. Jamie, it’s it’s been great having you and I look forward to checking in with you maybe a year down the road.

Jamie Gull 36:45
Yeah, it’s been awesome.

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