Elio Motors is a big idea.
So, it’s no surprise that Paul Elio has been invited to speak at one of the most important forums for big ideas. He will discuss “Mobilizing Economic Prosperity” atTEDxDetroit on Oct. 8.
What is a TED Talk? TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It is a global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.”
TEDxDetroit is an independently produced offspring of the annual TED gathering of big brains and cool creators.
Funding for Entrepreneurs Key to Solving Challenges
During his presentation, Paul will discuss how funding entrepreneurial innovation is vital to solving several world challenges.
Paul uses luggage as an analogy where a simple innovation made a significant difference. When his grandfather immigrated to America, he had all his belongings in a huge trunk. But, no one thought to put wheels on luggage until sometime around the ‘80s! Today, rolling luggage through the airport is commonplace.
Paul’s grandfather’s trunk greets guests when entering the Elio home.
He compares building the Elio to the logical act of putting wheels on luggage. Elio Motors isn’t coming up with some complex technology…the company is merely utilizing known technology in a new and innovative package and design. Why not build a vehicle with three wheels? Why not put seating for two back-to-back instead of side-to-side?
When these simple changes are applied to vehicles, it yields a low-cost, highly fuel-efficient vehicle that will have mass appeal. It will likely have wide-ranging societal benefits, as well. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- When Elio Motors reaches its sales goals after five years, it will have helped reduce oil consumption by 0.35 percent. That’s a big slice of the pie eliminated by just one project!
- Elio Motors will create jobs – upwards of 1,500 directly employed at Shreveport facility, plus an additional 1,500 from the supply base, Elio Motors corporate, sales and service once full production is underway. And, approximately 18,000 indirect jobs nationwide. All will be good for the economy;
- In addition, a low-cost commuter vehicle can help lift people out of poverty. A recent Harvard study showed that for those unemployed, mobility is the number one predictor of whether someone could get out of poverty. Sadly, the study showed that 60 percent of impoverished New Jersey residents turned down work because of transportation issues.
Projects like the Elio can help lift these people up. Entrepreneurial vision is important and, of course, funding mechanisms such as our recent equity crowdfunding initiative are an important step in getting there.
But, the most important thing is that we as a society continue to support entrepreneurs and their big ideas, especially when they can move society forward and make a difference in people’s lives.
Even if it’s as simple as putting wheels on luggage!