Welcome to the Wisys VentureHome Start-Up Spotlight series, where we highlight some of the start-ups that have passed through our Level Up! Pre-seed Accelerator. The Level Up! Pre-seed Accelerator helps entrepreneurs take their business or idea to the next level in a five-month program that addresses the foundational aspects of running a start-up.
For today’s spotlight, we sat down with the CEO of Green Fleet, Bill Lobner. Green Fleet is an all-electric vehicle fleet focusing on long-distance transportation. Their goal is to connect small to mid-size communities with large metropolitan areas at an affordable rate by combining Electric Vehicles (EVs) and shared rides.
Hi Bill! First question: What were you doing before ending up in the start-up space?
Well, I received my master’s degree in environmental science and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and wrote my thesis on carbon taxes and energy use. After that, I worked as an energy advisor for Franklin Energy for about seven years.
Could you talk to us a little bit more about the service Green Fleet provides?
Yes, of course! We’re a unique combination of a limo, Uber and shuttle service. Affordable like a shuttle, online booking like Uber, and the convenience and luxury of a limo service. Our main route operates between Eau Claire and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, as we feel our local airport doesn't properly serve the needs of the community. The primary goal of the company is to educate the public on the benefits of EVs and help move the industry forward quicker than it otherwise would without us. We are showing the market that EVs are fully capable of operating long distances, even during a harsh Wisconsin winter. Our flagship product is our private car service that reserves the entire vehicle for 1-4 riders.
How has Green Fleet grown as a company since its start?
We started with one car and me as the primary driver. Now we have eight 2023 Tesla Model Y SUVs in the fleet, about 90 kW of EV chargers and a building. We have hundreds of customer accounts and are continuing to grow the number of customers that we serve every day.
How has WiSys VentureHome and the Level Up! Pre-seed Accelerator impacted your entrepreneurial journey?
WiSys VentureHome and Level Up! were a huge help to me while starting my business. Both provided excellent connections to other businesses and entrepreneurs and have helped us get where we are today. The framework that was provided allowed me to think bigger and come up with innovative solutions to many of the problems that we faced in the early days of the company. I'm very thankful for the opportunity and look forward to seeing the creative businesses that will come from the future of VentureHome and Level Up!