Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher was at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC yesterday and, although he wasn’t planning on it, he ended up giving away a Brammo Enertia to someone. Disrupt is part technology conference, part hackathon, and part Sand Hill Road-East Coast version. Venture Capitalists rub elbows with doe-eyed computer nerds who have emerged from their mothers’ basements for the first time in weeks. CEO’s from successful start-ups chat about what worked for them and how they’d do things different and blah blah blah.
But you’re not reading this article because you wanted to learn what Disrupt NYC is. You want to know who got to ride this sharp-looking Brammo Enertia home:
First, the lead up to this story. Bramscher was on stage along with Donald Runkle, an annoyingly talkative guy who had some misconceptions about electric vehicles that Bramscher didn’t really get a chance to correct.
At the end of the scheduled talk, however, Michael Arrington, Editor of TechCrunch, who had been riding the Enertia around backstage (until security stopped him), decided it would be cool to give an Enertia away. Hilarity ensues. Short version: the crowd was allowed 10 seconds to pitch reasons why they should win it. It was awarded to a woman whose son is thinking about enlisting with the military. She hopes it will convince him to stay home and ride quietly up and down the streets of their neighborhood, rather than blowing things up in a foreign land. If only there were a Brammo store next to every recruiting office . . . .
But I digress.
You’re probably wondering if the lady just saddled up and drove that Sunburnt Orange Enertia home.
Oh no. Not THAT Enertia.
That Enertia belongs to That Guy we dredge up from time to time when it’s a slow news day and we need some time to reflect on the fact that, no matter how carefully we budget, we may never have quite enough money to build that race track behind our motorsports museum. And isn’t it a shame that our Ariel Atom will never look exactly like That Guy’s Ariel Atom, unless, of course, we have some orange paint and a hot blond wife?
Yes, it’s the Enertia owned by Alan Wilzig, the first man East of the Mississippi to own two Brammos (the Ariel counts as #1, the Enertia, #2). He loves them both. He was there at the beginning. Here’s what he wrote to me today, after I asked him how his ride to and from the conference went:
I was basically mobbed going in and coming out of the conference. 3-4 guys came over and were all over the electric vehicle thing. They asked the typical questions — Range / speed / cost – how it handles the city ( of course I had to slip in that “café owners welcome you , chicks dig you….guys want to be you”)
Then they asked how long ago I bought it – and I finally just let my hair down and fessed up that “I am probably the 2nd person (not named Bramscher) that knew Craig was on the ‘the next big thing’ and that’s why I invested in the company. And happy I did.
I explained how he built Jay Leno Ariel Atom #1 and I got Ariel Atom #150 — the last Brammo-made Ariel. (they all started talking about Clarkson / Top Gear / Youtube Ariel Atom ) and how Craig was going to make an electric one and then realized bikes were ready for electric, cars, not quite yet”
So I bought into much more than the bike. I bought into the man , the vision , and the amazing team he has assembled. That’s why I’m not just an owner — I’m an investor. RIGHT NOW is about the last chance to get in on Brammo before it’s too late to be an IPO-winner.
According to Alan, he’s going to have some sort of event at Wilzig Racing Manor on July 9-10. Unless he manages to crash it again, chances are he’ll have his trusty Enertia with him, too, offering rides to some of the lucky folks in attendance.
As for the other lucky person, the woman who won the Enertia at Disrupt NYC, her new bike will be shipped to her from Brammo’s Ashland, Oregon headquarters. Probably on a FedEx Ground truck.
I think I know just how she’ll feel.