UNB alumni drive innovation to its fullest potential in the automotive industry | UNB is here | UNB

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UNB alumni drive innovation to its fullest potential in the automotive industry

A University of New Brunswick (UNB) graduate, innovator and changemaker is making a global impact within the automotive industry.

As CEO and co-founder of Potential Motors, Sam Poirier (BScME'19, M-TME'19) and his team are targeting a small niche with the introduction of Adventure 1, an electric all-terrain vehicle that is customizable and capable of all kinds of explorations.

This vehicle is helping people find new adventures, whether driving to remote lakes, finding the perfect fishing hole, going on picnics with the family or getting away from the grind of the city.

It all started with an idea among students

Sam and his colleagues, Isaac Barkhouse (BScEE'19, M-TME'19), Nick Dowling (BScME'18, D-TIME'18) and Michael Barnhill (BScME'18), started the company in 2018 when they were students in the Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship Program (TME) at UNB’s faculty of engineering. During their time at TME, they created a method to convert gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.

As a start-up, the goal for Potential Motors was to license its software to auto manufacturers. Since then, it has pivoted and secured the investments required to develop and test its new software that helps control off-road electric vehicles (EV) and create a prototype of its Adventure 1.

TME provides the space for entrepreneurs to learn, build and grow

The project-based structure of the TME program is highly focused on experiential learning. By participating in TME programs, such as the Summer Institute and Energia Ventures, Sam and his team learned how to access funding and investments from organizations such as Brightspark Ventures, Build Ventures, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF). They also made important connections with key players in the entrepreneurial world, such as Radian6 co-founders Marcel Lebrun (BScE'92, DSc'16), Chris Newton and Chris Ramsey (BScCS'94).

UNB's TME program combines technological thinking with practical business skills to promote the entrepreneurial mindset needed to succeed.

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