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To Build or Ride a Rocketship; What Will Max Bregman Do?
Max Bregman (who for the record, isn’t as good as me at frisbee), hails from Chandler, AZ. He quickly discovered the art of selling & doing arbitrage in high school as well as forming his first LLC, to which he credits his parents for having him turn into a founder-type; dad has the business gene, and mom has the social gene. After graduating high school, Max was selected as a Flinn Scholar; a program exclusively for Arizona-based high school seniors. Each year, the organization selects 20 of the best high school students from around the state based on things like academic excellence, community work, impact, and more (IE, the all-around kid in and out of the classroom). All this includes a tuition-free ride plus some dough on top to stay in AZ for college (Max chose ASU). Little did he know that this would be the seed for induction into the tech world.
Once his time at ASU began, he started doing venture work & joined Luminosity, a lab ASU is known to house some of the top brains at one of the largest schools in America. There, he met one of his future co-founders, Tony. The concept was ideated from a retreat they took, where deeper discussion broke out about how fast the turbo-charged EV space was taking off thanks to companies like Tesla. Afterward, the two decided to launch their startup in the space called BreatheEV, with another co-founder, Philip. Let’s dive into BreatheEV for a bit before we loop back here:
What On Earth is BreatheEV?
As of this writing, one of the largest companies in the world (and the largest car company in the world by market cap) is an EV company you may have heard of by now; Tesla. The rise of other EV brands in competition to Tesla has been fierce in recent memory:
However, while there is a great extent of infrastructure for gasoline-powered cars (gas stations, convenience stores, rest stops, repair shops, accessory labs, dealerships, and more), the same can’t be said for electric cars; yet, that is. Insert BreatheEV into the equation; a startup out to build the charging infrastructure for the EV space. Think Chevron for electric cars, but better. Max & co has a new vision for the rest stop, which includes:
State-of-the-art charging infrastructure with an array of chargers suited for all types of EVs, not just Tesla’s.
Food & beverage options like modern-day convenience stores, as well as dining options. Tesla recently flirted with this idea for their fleet.
Since charging an EV today can take 15-30 minutes, BreatheEV is also looking to incorporate co-working spaces for efficient use of that half-hour.
While you’d think this is critical infrastructure that would have been mastered & deployed already, it hasn't. Max points to 2 groups that have begun exploring rolling out pieces of his vision:
Audi’s Europe division has started rolling out its own set of charging station hubs.
ChargeNet has partnered with Taco Bell to allow customers to charge their EV and order a Chalupa, all at once.
The core issue BreatheEV is staking is that companies like Audi or ChargeNet aren’t bundling the services all together, on one plot of real estate. Furthermore, these stations don’t offer a reservation system for chargers. Thus, while the EV space is hot and seems to be where vehicle innovation today & in the future will remain, it’s extraordinarily difficult to execute the modern-day Chevron for the space. Yet, despite the challenges, Max makes his point very clear:
It’s not a matter of if this happens, it’s a matter of when and who does it.
Time For a Curveball!
For Max, school has been a very important part of his life since 5th grade, when he was transferred into a gifted program. He & I get along very well, not because we’re such studious individuals (ahem), but because we’re hyper-competitive people that when given an ax, will automatically start chopping trees (no questions asked), and will not attempt to participate in a hierarchy if we deem we can’t be the best within it.
Insert Culdesac, a Tempe-based startup building the first car-free neighborhood in the US. Max was recruited to the startup by their first-ever engineer to intern in data analytics. He decided to join at the beginning of 2022, specifically because of an opportunity to work under co-founder Ryan Johnson, who is a master at the game (IFYKYK).
This brings Max to where he’s at today; a crossroads that sparked a 4+ hour dinner convo between him and I;
Go build something great full-time at Culdesac,
Remain at ASU, and build BreatheEV on the side, all while interning at Culdesac & remaining in his academic networks.
What Will Max Do?
This is a decision that will change the trajectory & path he sets himself on. As of today? He wants to stay at ASU & focus heavily on Culdesac, and I support him in that decision. He views a pull from the market as required to jump from school to build BreahteEV full-time, and he’s right. Moreover, staying in school isn’t a large commitment, since next semester he only has one class to attend. This allows him to keep his network, still an intern at Culdesac, and explore if BreatheEV is the one, all while keeping his options in the future open for a trip to Harvard. While the situation is fluid, for now, he’s set on this path; one in which he gets the best of both worlds, and has played in the startup world as the end game.
Thoughts on JamPad?
It all started by meeting fellow mobster Jordan Fourcher at ASU, which then led to an interview with JP, and into the mob he is! Max’s instant reaction to this question was "I love JP”. He seems to have finality met his match of friends who also file into founder types, and can level if not best him on IQ, EQ, and ambition. He loves. coming across founders that “have it figured out” and are already “on their way”. Given the attributes of Max stated above, the cohort of uber-like founders is a magnet for him to be around.
In terms of what’s been most helpful, the network JP has to offer as well as a support system has been great, he says. Getting access to a network of the best in the startup world on advice for ideas, funding, school, life, and more is priceless.
Prepare For Take Off
Max is going to end up in startups no matter what he does. He’s got a potent brain, strong EQ that can scale up the hierarchy, and the drive + curiosity necessary to acquire the chops to win. At all comes back to the title of this JB; does he latch onto a rocket ship (Culdesac) and use that down the road to launch his career, or does he build his own? We, as well as Max, will know is a matter of time. Regardless of what direction he goes in, JP has his back.
PS, Max also suffered a brutal loss last Friday at JP Poker Night. A moment of silence for all those black chips he lost. Ha.