At the occasion of MNPX at 21 September 2022 hosted by Lightyear in Helmond, Lightyear received the MNP Alumnus Certificate. Lightyear joins SMARTPhotonics which became Alumnus on 30 April 2021.
Coach Hans van Leeuwen, Sr VP Vanderlande/Toyota Industries, handed over the Certificate to Tessie Hartjes, Head Investor Relations of Lightyear. Before Hans handed over the Certificate, he looked back on the years gone by:
It is my pleasure to hand over the MNP Alumnus Certificate to the Management of Lightyear. The company, admitted to the Virtual Accelerator of Make Next Platform in 2018, has the capabilities to find its own way in all sorts of ecosystems today. As coach I have been involved in the growth process to adulthood.
Lightyear is a beautiful Dutch company with passion and mission. It started the way start-ups usually start. They took part in a Proof of Concept – the Solar Challenge – from the Technical University of Eindhoven as a student team. The members of that team became the founders of Lightyear and the Proof of Concept was developed into a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). With an approach that has features of a fanatic pursuit of a number of basic and undeniable principles.
An overarching passion for sustainability, with the mission to be the most energy-efficient car charged by the sun.
Design principles are:
- best energy efficiency, that meant a complete redesign of the powertrain,
- best aerodynamic performance, meaning an uncompromising pursuit with many iterations made,
- best integrated car: sunroof on top of the car.
And then onto the road. Here we are now. Production of the Lightyear 0 is now being rolled out with a planned start of series production at the end of 2022 (pre-production cars have been built). And a route to get to the mass model Lightyear, which must be produced in 100,000 numbers per year. Parallel to this, the solar roof was started up as a separate production venture in Venray, the Netherlands. In short, a story in which Make Next Platform could pursue its goals.
What a journey it has been for Lightyear, where you can conclude that they have succeeded in recruiting fans, who support them, in their work, and invest in them.
MNP has supported the new company on the following issues:
- knowledge links, for instance on product development issues, managing multiple complex project teams and their projects, management of supply chains and a helping hand in approaching government funding (RVO),
- motivational issues to keep management and staff dedicated to succeed,
- contacts, also by offering access to MNP CEOs as ASML’s Chief Executive.
- public affairs for boosting the political agenda-setting to recognize solar cars as an important tool in the energy transition. Together with other parties MNP was successful to put the subject on the formation table in 2021. This became visible amongst others in the latest funding round in which Invest NL participated with other equity partners in a new financing round for Lightyear.
Lightyear 0 drives on the road, what a pride for the Netherlands. What a journey the team has travelled, and what dedication the team has combined with fanaticism in good form.
Today MNP is proudly elevating Lightyear to Alumnus. MNP will be always ready to help Lightyear if they wish so, as Lightyear has promised to share its knowledge and skills with the MNP Virtual Accelerator companies.
Also on behalf of the Board of MNP I wish Lightyear a bright future.