How it all began
Unlimited started in 2015 as a personal project looking to solve a real problem. After graduating from MIT, Carlos was living in San Francisco and facing the classic “last mile problem” in his daily commute to Palo Alto. That awkward distance that’s too long to walk but too short to make another bus or metro ride worth it.
Carlos has always been into skiing, mountain biking, surfing, skateboarding, so he thought it would be fun to build a DIY electric skateboard that would serve this purpose. A bit over-powered and under-engineered, this first prototype still proved the point! It was insane! The commute turned amazing and it was suddenly super cool to pickup groceries or go to the pharmacy!
Carlos knew Juan Pablo (JP) from way back in college, and after this first prototype they started working more seriously on a new motor design. The goal was to make a stealth in-wheel motor and reduce rolling resistance making the ride feel just like a normal longboard.
A super early prototype with a first version of our electronic and motors.
They built several prototypes more, both in California and Europe, as JP was doing his PhD in Valencia at the time. The rides were so great that they started thinking about making an actual product out of these designs. From that moment it was clear that such a project would call for an electronics ninja, and it turned out that they knew just the guy.
One of the first photos of the team after building an early prototype
JP knew Alejandro also from way back in college too, and more recently they had met again in Valencia, where they co-founded the Formula Student team at Universitat Politecnica de Valencia: a top 3 team worldwide now!
JP (top) and Alejandro (bottom) driving the 2nd car built by the FSUPV Racing Team!
It wasn’t hard to talk Alejandro into this project: what? Challenges? Lots of chips and testing/breaking things up? That is almost as cool for him as chocolate is, although not quite!
The very day Unlimited was officially founded!
Unlimited was then officially founded in 2016 by Carlos, Juan Pablo and Alejandro, and Andres and Nicolas came aboard shortly thereafter. Along the way, the team has grown and we’ve worked with all kinds of awesome people, but this solid and relentless team of 5 has always been at the core of Unlimited making the magic happen!
The core team at Unlimited is based on friendships that go back 20 years!
Developing our tech
Shortly after founding the company, we launched our first Kickstarter campaign, and it was a great success! We were joined by an amazing community of backers who loved the product we proposed and provided great feedback we used to improve on. We then faced the challenge of moving from perfectly functioning prototypes to a product that can be mass-produced, was reliable, performing, etc.
Tech development going from left to right. This doesn’t even show half of the actual prototypes that we went through.
Kickstarter prototype (left) and production version (right)
The goal was not only to make it through production of those skateboards, but to actually support a company based on a cutting-edge technological stack that could then be a platform to build on. Unlimited’s vision has always been about powering and connecting a full network of all kinds of light electric vehicles. To accomplish this fast and successfully, we had to build and integrate the whole system, from the powertrain through the cloud.
We spent months completely dedicated to carefully building the best light electric vehicle technology.
All together, this meant the team had to go through a huge tech development process full of challenges in battery management, motor control, Bluetooth communication, Android and iOS, just to name a few.
Nicolas practically sleeping at on of our supplier’s factory implementing our control points for manufacturing.
We spent days on the motor dyno, burnt stuff, broke stuff and went through countless prototypes and iterations, but it was worth it. The team learned, our suppliers learned together with us and the technology evolved into a neatly integrated modular system. Tech development never ends, but accomplishing this first step definitely felt like a win for our team!
The skateboard chapter
We packaged this tech as a product in the form of an Electric Skateboard Kit that gives users options in terms of weight, range and power. An unparalleled, easy to install kit offering the smoothest ride and upgradeable over time. Customers decide how their ride will feel by combining the system’s modularity to their choice of board. We started shipping out of our first pilot run in 2018.
Backers were of course delighted to finally get their promised product!.
Later in 2018 we met the amazing team at Loaded Boards and it was very clear that putting Unlimited powertrains on the sweet decks built by Loaded was something people would love. Since then, Unlimited and Loaded have worked together to redefine what’s possible in electric skateboarding and just having fun out in the city.
Loaded Omakase with Unlimited Solo Kit (left) and Loaded Tesseract with Unlimited Race kit (right).
We improved the system, included sweet Orangatang wheels in all products and launched a totally new board with them, selling in over 47 countries!
The ebike chapter
Bikes have always been on our minds. You can even see a very early prototype in our Kickstarter video from way back in 2016:
One of the very first ebike prototypes we ever put together.
Not only do we love mountain biking, but we are also huge believers in bikes as a great way to move and one of the clearest paths towards sustainability. With a full tech stack already in our pockets, we had the flexibility and opportunity to then apply it to all kinds of vehicles. So after the skateboard was out in the market we embarked on the development of our 2nd generation powertrain and developed it first for bikes.
Another ebike prototype, this time built out of production skateboard batteries and controllers.
Our second product, an eBike Conversion Kit, allows customers to convert any bike to electric in minutes. We set out to design a product that really simplified how people perceive an electric powertrain. No messy wires, no complicated matching of parts. Just one wire going from the powerpack to the motor, while pedaling is detected by our smart wireless pedal sensor. This sensor was an industry-first and after key validation steps we were ready to bring it to market.
The prototypes we built for the Indiegogo Unlimited eBike Kit product launch.
We launched the product on Indiegogo in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making the campaign was a challenge and getting the product manufactured and shipped was 10x more challenging. We’re very proud of that achievement and continue working day and night to improve the product in its early days!
Production version of the Unlimited eBike Kit!
While launching to market with Loaded Boards in 2019, we got into Techstars, one of the best startup accelerators in the world, with a 1% admission rate! Techstars has different programs around the world to fit all kinds of startups. We went through Techstars Mobility Detroit, at the very heart of the place that saw the first mobility revolution back in the Henry Ford days. The program was managed by Ted Serbinski who has been not only a great mentor but a good friend too.
Carlos speaking at a great event at Techstars
This was a mind blowing experience for our team, 3 months of intense mentorship, coaching, pitching all whilst still running a business. It’s like going to business school in 3 months with your own business running live. We learnt tons about our own company, about our strengths and weaknesses and developed a clearer vision on how to build a solid, world-class business.
The future ahead
It's estimated that 3.5 billion micromobility vehicles will be on the road by 2035, and we believe most of them will be owned and affordable.
There’s massive value to be captured from connecting these vehicles and creating an ecosystem that also includes accessories, apps, software and services. Unlimited aims to unlock this value by building a platform that includes powertrains (batteries, inverters, motors and everything that moves the vehicle), connectivity, software and services.
Exponential growth will come from the Platform giving 3rd party OEMs, retailers, developers and service providers the hardware and software that will enable them to easily be part of this ecosystem.
COVID-19 has presented a unique opportunity to grow further as micromobility skyrockets. The team has a clear vision of this future and we will work tirelessly to see that vision through!
Join us for the ride!
The core team at Unlimited
Carlos - founder & CEO
An engineer and MBA from MIT, he brings the right mixture of tech, product and vision. He constantly challenges himself and the team to make the impossible happen. He loves skiing, mountain biking, skateboarding and adventure.
Juan Pablo - founder & CTO
JP comes from a deeply technical background in numerical simulations and experimental testing with 2 masters and a PhD. He has worked with GM, Daimler, Nissan, Land Rover, Argonne National Laboratories, etc. He loves racing, mountain bikes and board sports. He geeks out on suspension and loves riding, especially the limit-pushing side.
Alejandro - founder & VP of Electronics Engineering
Alejandro is an electronics/robotics genius with more than 16 years of experience on both hardware and firmware. With chocolate at the top of the list, Alejandro also loves outdoors: hiking, running and beach volleyball. Carlos and JP talked him into mountain biking, where he has developed an especial ability to crash in weird ways.
Nicolas - Firmware/Software Director
Nicolas is Alejandro’s Twin, equally experienced thus completing the dual-core processor in our electronics team! He likes chocolate even more than his brother, and loves hiking and outdoors. He used to be the leader of a high-mountain rescue group and has seen it all from surviving a week in the jungle to extreme helicopter extractions.
Andres - COO
Andres is an engineer with a career in finance, a blend that produces action and results! He loves to work hard until that needle moves forward! He’s also a passionate explorer born with curiosity and finds himself happier in the water surfing, kite surfing, and swimming.
Morty - Customer Support Lead
Formerly a corporate guy, Morty joined the team motivated by his passion for surfing, mountain biking and his drive to do something impactful! He supports customers, prepares orders, runs tests and helps run the company’s daily business.
Thomas - Warehouse Manager
The last guy from the surf team within Unlimited, Thomas leads the warehouse operations at Unlimited. He prepares a lot of orders and helps Morty with support too. He loves skating but surfing is the next level for him.
The team is not complete without mentioning our brothers at Loaded Boards. This amazing group of people have believed in Unlimited since we first met and together we have created and continue to create very special things. Cheers guys!