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INVEST Finalist – John McMillian, Shockwave Motors

INVEST is the annual business competition for veteran entrepreneurs sponsored by The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto. This week we are featuring the three finalists on our blog. Each will make their pitch “Shark Tank” style at the TVBA Business Expo on Tuesday, January 27 and the winner will receive a $5,000 grant from The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto.

Our third finalist is John McMillian of Russellville. John is a native of East Tennessee. He grew up in Maryville and attended the University of Tennessee, earning his Master of Business Administration in 1977.

John’s military service consisted of eight years in the Air Force.  One of his most memorable assignments was his stint as the Launch Crew Commander of the Titan II Missile System at Little Rock AFB. He remembers well the weight of responsibility he felt with his hand on “the key.”

A lifelong interest in electric vehicles led John to found Shockwave Motors. John has more than 45 years of experience with electric vehicles and has authored a book on the subject. But it’s his latest project that he is most excited about.

The Defiant EV3 Roadster has been designed from the ground up to be an affordable fully electric vehicle for the average commuter. The three-passenger Roadster can be charged using any standard 120-volt outlet and has a range of 200 miles. The Roadster can go over 70 mph, but is most efficient at about 45 mph where it achieves the equivalent of 225 mpg. Best of all, the Roadster should cost less than $25,000.

“Our goal is to attract environmentally conscious, middle-aged or younger commuters, who are looking to potentially move on from their hybrids,” John explained. Based on his research, John believes there is a domestic market for as many as 5,400 vehicles a year.

John has already given a lot of thought to manufacturing as well. He plans to ultimately build a number of smaller production facilities directly in the target markets. Each factory would have the capacity to produce 500 to 1,000 vehicles a year. Naturally, the first facility is planned for right here in Tennessee.

Given his penchant for planning, it should come as no surprise that John already knows how he would spend the $5,000 grand prize. He needs funds for finalizing the design patent applications for the Roadster and would love to have a new website.

Like the other finalists, one of the things that John valued most about the INVEST competition was simply the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs. “The Business Bootcamp was phenomenal,” he said. “It was really my first opportunity to learn about pitching my company to investors. It was very eye-opening.”

The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are grateful to John for his service to our nation. Cast your vote for Shockwave Motors on the Brown and Roberto Facebook page and make sure to catch his presentation at the TVBA Business Expo Tuesday at 1 pm at the Holiday Inn at World’s Fair Park.

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