Sumreen Rattan, Nov 16th 2021– Entrepreneurship has always been a trial and error experience for me. I’m someone who didn’t always know I wanted to be an entrepreneur - it was through a few business courses at SFU and a chance to participate in an entrepreneurship program that I realized it was something I wanted to do beyond coursework. I loved the idea of going to a whiteboard, brainstorming problems, interviewing people with those problems and coming up with solutions. I learned that there’s hundreds of different ways to brainstorm and that I really enjoy leveraging our knowledge of human psychology to get the best results from a team. I learned that as a detail orientated person, I’m good at poking holes in our ideas - it’s a skill that relies on the importance of knowing when and when not to do it.
I choose engineering because I love technology, and with entrepreneurship, I’ve been able to be a part of creating a solution that is not only technology based but is beneficial to society. Over the past few years I’ve discovered that I have a skill for leading, am good at growing a team, and at implementing processes within organizations that start with nothing.
I feel blessed to have met such amazing, like minded best friends to work alongside so early into university. We bonded inside and outside of the classroom on our passion for clean technology and have had so many great laughs together. Our team’s ability to work well together has shined over the last 6 years, from starting an electric race vehicle team, to creating a meditation company, to co-founding a cleantech venture together. I am extremely grateful to have started Moment Energy with Eddy, Gabe and Gurmesh, and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Today we are a team of over 15 employees and are a venture funded company. It was only earlier this year that we were still working out of my parent’s garage, assembling Nissan Leaf batteries into a system that we have replicated and deployed at three different sites since. Expanding the team when we did was the best decision we could have made and having them on board motivates me to hustle everyday. We have our own warehouse and office space - somewhere we bring our energy storage systems to life. One of my best memories at Moment is when we drove from Vancouver to Winnipeg to install our very first energy storage system at the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre. From the excitement of making our first sale to the fear of having an actual product out in the market, it was an array of emotions I will never forget. I think that anytime we launch a new product that mix of emotions will be there, but to see the end result of a system we designed operating in the world, providing electricity to people, is truly amazing. With this investment, I can’t wait to grow the team, continue to perfect our product, and deploy energy storage in places of need. I look forward to reading this blog post in a year and having so much more progress to share with all of you as we continue to scale up into becoming an internationally renowned battery repurposing company.
Gabe Soares, Nov 16th 2021– In elementary school math was always one of my favourite subjects. I really enjoyed coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems and my brain loved a good challenge. I slowly started learning about the beautiful ways math could be applied and how it existed naturally in the real world. In high school, my eyes were opened to the realization that a career in which you use math and physics to solve the world’s problems around you is called engineering. Without any hesitation I sent out my university applications and prepared to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Starting Mechatronics Engineering at SFU was extremely exciting but throughout my first year and even my second year I kept feeling like something was missing. I was getting the theoretical knowledge in class but had no real place to put and practice those newly gained skills. It felt like I was absorbing these convoluted equations, writing exams, then letting it all melt away like two scoops of cookies and cream on a hot summer day. I had no reason to remember any information from my classes.
Fast forward to the end of second year, looking for something more meaningful from our schooling, we decided to start Team Phantom, SFU’s very first Formula SAE Electric team. In between classes, tutorials, assignments, and exams, we would build an electric race car from scratch with absolutely zero knowledge on how to build an electric race car from scratch. At our first team meeting 20 other students made it known that they too felt the itch to apply their knowledge, and wanted to create this car together. We very quickly found out that this was much bigger than simply applying equations to real life.
Although the technical work side was really interesting, I was surprised that I enjoyed the other parts of the team even more. I loved building out the electrical team and mentoring young students to learn about EV design. I encouraged them to take ownership of the car and become leaders of the team, mentoring them as I constantly stepped down from my positions to encourage growth. I also learned that I have that drive inside me to solve the hardest problems and make what can feel impossible into a reality. I filled whatever gaps I saw in the team and pushed us all to get closer to our dream. I built gantt charts, learned how to project manage, cold called and emailed hundreds of companies, pitched to CEOs for cash sponsorship and succeeded, found industry partners for manufacturing and space to build, volunteered at community events, and grinded down metal tubes on the side. Growing and building the Formula SAE Electric team was my first real entrepreneurial experience and I absolutely loved it.
After Team Phantom, starting another EV-based endeavor with the friends I had already gone through so much with was the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make. Moment Energy is built upon that love for solving hard problems and that drive to do whatever it takes to make our dreams come to life. As we continue to grow and scale, I feed off the excitement of our amazing team, and cannot wait for all the great things that are yet to come.