Pitch your solution.
Today there are about 200,000 public electric vehicle (EV) charge stations in the U.S., by 2030 McKinsey estimates that 13 million public EV charge stations will need to be deployed. Today 25% of deployed public EV charge stations do not work and 75% of the issues experienced are actually non-electrical software and/or communication issues.
Currently EV charge station network providers sub contract to electrical contractors at $175 per hour with a 3 hour minimum to validate and trouble shoot non electrical issues. The average resolution time for a down station is about 15 days across network providers.
The ChargerHelp! app enables a community's' local workforce to easily validate, troubleshoot, or escalate a software or communication issue of a networked EV charge station within hours instead of weeks. ChargerHelp! aims to utilize technology to drive workforce realignment or development in the new green economy.
What specific problem are you solving?
Research and studies have found that 25% of current deployed EV charge stations are currently out of commission due to non electrical issues. The average resolution time for a down station is about 15 days across EV charge station network providers. Without solving this problem it will only further impact potential revenue and even worst, the public's perception of electric vehicles. Therefore, not solving this issue presents a major barrier to ev adoption and to sustainable success of ev network providers.
It is also important to understand that this year $3 billion dollars in incentive funding for electric vehicle charge station infrastructure and maintenance will enter the US market. The Cleantech industry has a unique opportunity to work alongside communities to help evolve current workforce's to become equally or more successful within the green economy.
ChargerHelp! believes that we can help to solve this problem for network providers while creating a means to economic mobility for underserved communities.
What is your solution?
ChargerHelp! (CH!) works with local workforce development agencies to provide participants with access to the ChargerHelp! app. ChargerHelp! in turn sells annual maintenance service contracts to electric vehicle manufacturers, network providers, and resellers of ev charge stations.
When an electric vehicle driver submits an issue in their network providers app on a CH! covered ev networked station, instead of the issue creating a ticket that would eventually by worked on, a ChargerHelp! technician is immediately alerted through our mobile app.
The ChargerHelp! trainined technician is able to accept and navigate to the station that is experiencing the issue. Once on site, the ChargerHelp! technician will be walked through how to validate, troubleshoot, and/or escalate the issue that the station is experiencing. At the end of the call the ChargerHelp! technician will receive a payment for mileage traveled and a flat rate depending upon if the issues was validated, solved, or escalated.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our solution serves African American and LatinX communities specifically by increasing opportunities for those traditionally left behind and most marginalized – to access digital and 21st century skills, meet employer demands, and access the jobs of today and tomorrow.
We work diligently to positively impact their lives by reskilling and retraining workers in the industries most affected by technological transformations. The skills learned can empower and enable people from disadvantaged communities to earn a living wage in an emerging industry.
ChargerHelp! created a dynamic needs assessment team that included two members of the service community. These members participated in the design and testing of the app. This ensured that the app language and instructions were written in a way that allowed entry level users to successfully understand and fix the charging stations.
Quarterly check in meetings with the team members, stakeholders, community members and organizations to review of program evaluation, pain points success and next steps.
The ChargerHelp! addresses the communities needs by hiring and training directly from local workforce development and training programs.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Increase access to high-quality, affordable learning, skill-building, and training opportunities for those entering the workforce, transitioning between jobs, or facing unemployment
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge and your selected dimension.
ChargerHelp! (CH) equips residents from marginalized South Los Angeles communities with competency- based EV technology training and certification that will promote career advancement.
ChargerHelp! is one of the first platforms of its kind, it has been designed to properly and quickly solve down networked EV charge stations. It also supports the creation of new workforce opportunities within the green economy allowing for equitable access for traditionally underrepresented people in the clean energy sector.
ChargerHelp! is excited to utilize technology to bypass long years of technical training that is usually required in this industry.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Los Angeles, CA, USA
In which US state(s) will you be operating within the next year?
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Who is the team lead for your solution?
How many people work on your solution team?
Dr. Jessica Hutcheson
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization?
ChargerHelp! sits at the intersection of workforce development, adult learning, and clean technology. We are obsessed with leveraging technology to remove barriers and enable economic mobility within all communities.
Visibility + Professional Development
Our SMART milestone goals are visible to the entire company. We build professional development around where our company is going to ensure career alignment.
The ChargerHelp! Way
A strategic way of doing meetings to ensure that every voice is represented at the table.
"Our Say" Program
We cultivate an environment of respect and inclusion through ChargerHelp!'s “Our Say” program. This monthly exchange allows non- management employees and community stakeholders to express concerns and suggestions to our Founders.
We champion equity by providing shares to our vested team members.
Train + Hire from Local Communities
Collaboration with local Workforce Centers and create partnerships with organizations to train and hire from underrepresented communities.
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
The electric vehicle and clean energy industry is one that is rapidly expanding each day. While we don't have any direct competitors at this time, electrical engineers are currently sent to "fix" charging stations. The problem is, when EV charging stations are down, it is usually a software issue. Electrical Engineers are trained to install and manage the hardware. This is why EV charging stations have excessive repair timelines. One company that is similar in scope but not a direct correlated competitor is MaxGen, they provide electrical engineers to service charging stations However, what sets ChargerHelp! apart from other industry providers is that we have created an innovative business model that includes our own charging repair app, a competency-based registered apprenticeship certification through the US department of Labor and we partner with existing workforce development programs in underserved areas. ChargerHelp! is unique because of our dedication to keeping ev charge station infrastructure working. There is no other organization specifically specialized in EV infrastructure maintenance. The maintenance of EV infrastructure is not only crucial to achieving GHG Emission Goals but also is in protection of millions of investment dollars. Additionally, our commitment and proven traction for creating equitable jobs/opportunities for all individuals interested in the green economy separates us from many companies.
Describe the core technology, if applicable, that powers your solution.
ChargerHelp! operates at the intersection of clean technology and workforce development. ChargerHelp!'s app-based dispatch and deployment system solves the industry-wide problem of down electric vehicle charging stations by providing on-demand repairs and maintenance support from trained and supported local workforces. This capability, provided at scale, is essential to support the exponential growth in EV charging infrastructure over the next decade, and it dramatically improves efficiency, turnaround time, and network availability while reducing costs across the networks. With the ChargerHelp! service offering, partner EV charging network operators can meet new service level requirements and win new EVSE contracts to meet the exponential growth in charging demands. The ChargerHelp! app is launched, technicians are in the field in its first market, and they've secured contracts with several large EVSE networks.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Electric Vehicles (EV’s) aid in the reduction of emissions that contribute to smog, climate change, and ecological damage. According to the U.S Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the greatest impact of reduced carbon emissions is the improvement of public health within urban areas were thousands of people drive cars. There is currently an executive order that requires the selling of zero- emission passenger vehicles in the state of California by the year 2035. With this mandate comes the need for accessible functioning charging stations, especially since charging an EV is essential to travel. The state of California presently has more than 655,000 electric vehicles on the road and approximately 22,000 charging stations across the state. With that, a number, of consumers are discovering there is a lack of functioning charging stations within the state which undoubtedly causes a problematic spiral effect. Logically, defective charging stations create a concern for travelers compressing the convenience of purchasing an EV, which creates an even larger concern for the economy who is pushing forward with making the vehicles available for consumers.
ChargerHelp! (CH) aims to capitalize on this ongoing matter with a two-fold strategy. Creating job opportunities for individuals in underserved communities in the Los Angeles area aids in the increasing the economic compression. Conversely, CH is dedicated to training individuals through creating continuity of service for charging station owners. Through an app, a support ticket will be initiated and technicians will fulfill a 3-step process to support charging station maintenance in real-time. Once the technician is alerted, they will navigate their way to the station, triage the situation, troubleshoot or escalate the issue, and receive their payment. This process will in turn aid consumers by ensuring fast and efficient maintenance of charging stations throughout the Los Angeles area. Ultimately, the creation of successful thriving livable wage jobs can be offered to minority men and women in underserved communities deploying rapid on-demand assistance that will remedy the ongoing problem of unavailable charging stations.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many people did your solution serve in 2019? 2018? 2017?
ChargerHelp! officially launched in 2020. Historical data is not available for years prior to 2020. To date ChargerHelp! has trained and deployed sixty technicians in spite of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
What percent of the people you served in 2019 were between the age of 15 and 30?
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Within the next year, ChargerHelps! seeks to:
- To fully digitize ChargerHelp! training curriculum in order to launch in five new markets and help with workforce development efforts during this global pandemic.
- 90% of ChargerHelp! trained technicians will be employed in the clean energy sector within six months.
- 10,000 service contracts, 33 Full time technicians, in 6 different markets
Within the next 5 years, it is the desire of ChargerHelp! to accomplish the following goals:
- 75% retention rate of those that enter and complete ChargerHelp! training program over the next five years.
- 75% increase to station uptime from time of driver or system report of station issue
- 400,000 service contracts, 870 Full Time Technicians servicing 145 US regional markets
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
ChargerHelp! utilized a SWOT analysis during our program planning phase to determine potential barriers and threats to our success. The outcome of this analysis identified a number of barriers that may limit or prohibit our ability to achieve goals planned for years one and five.
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed an interesting barrier for our training/certification program. Typically ChargerHelp! offers training participants a hands-on and engaging training experience. With the mandatory restrictions from pandemic in place, our traditional methods have proven to be a barrier to our method of delivery. The second identified barrier is that ChargerHelp! is founded by two African American women in a predominately white male dominated industry. This can create a barrier as it relates to equitable access within this industry and the lack of investment opportunities. The industry is a new and evolving industry with a small elite community of executives that tend to support each other with knowledge, resources and funding. Breaking into this group, may prove to be a hurdle for the ChargerHelp! executive team.
ChargerHelp! is fully aware that there are potential barriers that may limit our ability to reach our goals, but we fully intend to seek out help, resources and support where needed in order achieve our goals.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
ChargerHelp! (CH!) has developed a strategic plan to overcome the identified potential barriers for our company. In order to overcome the barrier of the restricted in-person training due to the Covid 19 pandemic, CH! has taken action and fully digitized all of our training curriculum. In addition, we have hired a curriculum specialist that revised our training sessions with the aim of engaging participants on a higher level and incorporating different learning styles over the online teaching platforms. We also added more competency based skill development and assessments to our training modules.
The lack of diversity and inclusion in the clean energy industry is another barrier identified by ChargerHelp! We fully intend to overcome this barrier by engaging, training and developing a workforce of highly skilled and certified minority clean energy technicians. In addition, the ChargerHelp! executive team will continue to seek out opportunities to use our voices and platforms to speak openly about the current industry climate and challenges related to the lack of diversity and inclusion within the clean energy sector. We will create online content, speak on panels, host forums all with the intent to broaden the discussion and build a healthy dialogue that will hopefully lead to the creation of actionable steps to bridge the diversity divide in the clean energy sector.
What outcomes data would you like to be collecting that you are not yet able to collect?
ChargerHelp!will collect outcome data that includes the following:
- Participant demographic and education data of CH training participants
- Employment entry and sustainability for graduates of the ChargerHelp! training program
- Pre, interim and post training competency data
- ChargerHelp! service order request and outcome data
What type of organization is your solution team?For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
If you selected Other, please explain here.
How many people are on your leadership team? (Of these, please provide the number of individuals from your leadership team that are full time, part time, and volunteer)
Three people are on the leadership team and all three are full-time.
What is the number of individuals from my leadership team that attended community college for at least one year?
What is the number of individuals from my leadership team that received a Pell grant as a college student?
In what year was your organization founded? How many years have you worked on your solution?
Founded in 2020 - Working on it since 2019
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Kameale Terry - As the former Director of Programs at EV Connect, an electric vehicle charge station network provider, Kameale structured and led teams to execute electric vehicle infrastructure projects and programs in the United States, Australia, and Canada for commercial and government entities.
Evette Ellis has mastered all aspects of workforce development. From work based learning, job development and placement , outreach and retention and business development. Evette has worked tirelessly with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps system, trainers, unions and contractors to ensure young adults in disadvantage communities are trained, placed and coached to new heights.
Jaime Duyck has been a leader in the EV industry since 2015. In her 4 years as the Director of Sales at EV Connect, she notably lead the strategy and deployment. Jaime’s career EV Charging projects total more than $11M with over 3,500 stations deployed to date.
Dr. Jessica Hutcheson is an educational instructor, and cultural diversity trainer. She has taken a particular interest in Brain Based Single-Gendered education and research as it relates to mentoring programs, teaching minority males in urban settings and academic support for after school programs.
Our team’s skills, background, and experiences uniquely position us to deliver the solution and solve the problem of reimagining pathways of employment for many different industries and sectors. Specifically for African American and LatingX people, we know firsthand the nuances, intricacies, needs and challenges of the community we grew up in and now serve.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
ChargerHelp! partners with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator - Founders Business Accelerator to increase our economic, community, and environmental impact in South Los Angeles.
ChargerHelp! also partners with Elemental Excelerator a to develop a scalable business model, advance solutions to climate change and deploys them in the communities that need them the most.
What is your business model?
ChargerHelp! sells annual labor warranty contracts at $30 per station per month to electric vehicle charging station network providers. Electric vehicle charging station network providers are ultimately held responsible for the uptime of the EV charging stations and can encounter fines if the charging station is not properly working.
Our labor warranty contract covers preventative maintenance and unlimited on site service calls.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Organizations (B2B)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
Our company launched in January 2020; app launched in October built on a ServiceNow platform; booked contracts total over $100k in revenues, including an 8-year preventative maintenance contract under Southern California Edison's Park's and School's Program. By end of 2022 we expect to profitable with 7M ARR. This year we have secured $400K in largely non dilutive funding, including MIT, Elemental Accelerator, and approx $100k in in-kind donations from ServiceNow to build our Gen 1 app. We are currently raising a $1.5 million seed round to drive customer acquisition, open up new regional markets, and build the next generation of its technology to extend its market leading position.
If you have raised funds for your solution or are generating revenue, please provide details.
MIT Workforce of the Future Challenge Winner - $100K grant
Elemental Excelerator - Undisclosed grant
ServiceNow - $100K in-kind donation
If you seek to raise funds for your solution, please provide details.
We are currently raising a $1.5 million seed round to drive customer acquisition, open up new regional markets, and build the next generation of its technology to extend its market leading position.
What are your estimated expenses for 2021?
Our estimated expenses are $2.4M for 2021
Why are you applying to the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge?
At ChargerHelp! we believe that the support of Morgridge Family Foundation, New Profit, and other Challenge partners will open doors, provide exposure and connectivity for us that may not otherwise be accessible . We have already identified a specific barrier being ChargerHelp! is founded by two African American women in a predominately white male dominated industry. This can create a barrier as it relates to equitable access within this industry and the lack of investment opportunities. The industry is a new and evolving industry with a small elite community of executives that tend to support each other with knowledge, resources and funding. Breaking into this group, may prove to be a hurdle for the ChargerHelp! executive team. We are seeking strategic partners that are committed to enhancing and if necessary blazing the path to diversity, inclusion and equity in our workforce and industry.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
The lack of diversity and inclusion in the clean energy industry is another closely related barrier identified by ChargerHelp! We fully intend to overcome this barrier by engaging, training and developing a workforce of highly skilled and certified minority clean energy technicians. Exposure is key to solving this problem. We must purposefully move toward change by linking with organizations Morgridge Family Foundation, New Profit, and other Challenge partners to champion our goal and amplify the need for a more inclusive and equitable American workforce.
Again, the ChargerHelp! executive team will continue to seek out opportunities to use our voices and platforms to speak openly about the current industry climate and challenges related to the lack of diversity and inclusion within the clean energy sector.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
Within the next 12-months, Chargerhelp! plans to expand into 5 different US regions that will require a strategic expansion of our current workforce. We see TechStars relationship with organizations like American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as an ideal strategic partner that can contribute to our success. AEI's commitment to building programs dedicated to the research and action of poverty alleviation with the ultimate goal of lifting up the most vulnerable Americans and empowering them to live lives of dignity and purpose is in alignment with our goals to create a equitable workforce within the EVSE infrastructure. We plan to provide pathways to employment with more than livable wages, dignity and real opportunity for growth. Finding strategic partners that are open to both technology and ways we can create a career exposure and pathways is very important to us.