Grayson Zulauf / Resonant Link

Start Here Podcast | Episode #88 | 03/14/24

We sat down with Dr. Grayson Zulauf, CEO of Resonant Link, creators of the world’s smallest and fastest wireless chargers. This episode is a candid conversation about what it takes to start and scale a company that crosses multiple industries, revolutionizing how some of the world’s most important technologies power up. Grayson covers the reality of fundraising, the importance of your team, and the advantages of being based in Vermont. Whether you’re starting or scaling your company, this episode offers a quick dose of invaluable advice to help fuel your journey.

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Grayson Zulauf  00:00

The place that we found the biggest customer need is medical devices that are implanted inside your body pacemakers, neuro stimulators that treat pain or epilepsy or pumps that pump your blood around, or maybe they’re for insulin or for pain medication. And for that, like, every time your battery runs out, you have to have a surgery to replace that device. So that means if you have a pacemaker, a lot of us have loved ones with pacemakers. They have to go every 5-10 years and have an invasive surgery that’s dangerous and factions, hospitalizations. And that’s where we decided to focus first, really high customer needed, and a really powerful mission of making all of those devices rechargeable in the next decade.


Sam RG  00:48

From Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. It’s Start Here, a podcast sharing the stories of active aspiring and accidental entrepreneurs. Today, we sit down with Grayson Zulauf, co-founder and CEO of resonant link, the Vermont company making the world’s fastest and smallest wireless chargers. Welcome. This is Sam Roach-Gerber. And David Bradbury recording from the Consolidated Communications Technology hub in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Hi, Grayson.


Grayson Zulauf  01:14

Hey, Sam, how’s it going today?


Sam RG  01:16

I’m so happy to have you here.


Grayson Zulauf  01:17

Thank you so much for having us.


Sam RG  01:19

I feel like we scheduled this so long ago. And now it’s here and I’m just jazzed to have you.


Grayson Zulauf  01:24

I know. It’s been months, weeks, years. Hopefully not years.


David Bradbury  01:28

It’s always worth it. We’re charged. We’re charged up.


Sam RG  01:32

Dave is hyped. He’s ready to go. You want to kick us off?


David Bradbury  01:34

This is Friday. Magic. I’m like stoked here. Okay, let’s, let’s get into it. Because you have such a neat story. wireless chargers aren’t really new, but at least I don’t think they’re new. But what what makes your product just magical and different?


Grayson Zulauf  01:49

Yeah so we have the fastest wireless chargers on the market. And that really goes back to what my co founders invented at Dartmouth, going back to 2013 as the very first patent. And they figured out a way basically to build wireless chargers using these layers of foil and then film instead of basically wrapping wire in a loop, which is how people have done it for over 100 years now. So basically the Stone Age, exactly the Stone Age of electronics. And they figured out a way to get five times faster charging. And we launched a company around that innovation in 2018.


David Bradbury  02:27

Wow cool. So first patent 2013. Right. Yeah. Company formed five years later. Yeah. And here you are now living the dream.


Sam RG  02:35

I love it. Okay, let’s take a step back and hear a little bit about you. Can you tell us about your background?


Grayson Zulauf  02:40

Yeah. So I’m originally from Colorado. And I feel like everyone asks entrepreneurs like, what was your first business and I grew up my family lived on the fifth fairway of a golf course. And we moved there when I was nine, I think. And we realized that golfers hit golf balls off the course all the time. Like we’d go on family walks, we come back with like, 10 golf balls. And then I remember, one of our friends was like, you know, I pay like $4 per golf ball. So we would gather these like family walks, the dog would find them. And then my sister and I set up a little golf ball stand on between the fourth and fifth fairway at this place where like there was nowhere to go. So the cards would come around the corner, people probably already lost the ball by, I would have a bunch of balls, hopefully by the fourth hole. And we’d be like, hey, cute little kids. Do you want to bite us golf balls are cheap. And we started getting some traction, you know, we’d make like 100 bucks a day, which was a lot for being nine or 10. And we added multi products, lemonade, brownies, iced tea. And it was going really well until we broke my mom’s washing machine, and from washing the golf balls in it. So that was like, basically our capital equipment put us out of business. My mom said this is over to buy a $5,000 washing machine. But anyway, I’m from Colorado, that was my first business, went to college, got really excited about electrical engineering, and then worked at a company building. Some of the first all electric commercial vehicles, garbage trucks, school buses, things like that. And that’s how I got fired up about wireless charging. I was like, why can’t we put these at a school bus stop and make these vehicles run all day on a tiny battery or why can’t we put this where the garbage truck stops or where the FedEx van unloads and that’s kind of how resonant link from my side kind of came to be.


Sam RG  04:42

And tell where did you go to school?


Grayson Zulauf  04:44

I went to Dartmouth College for undergrad and then I did my PhD at Stanford.


Sam RG  04:48

Okay. And you met your co founders while you’re at Dartmouth, is that right?


Grayson Zulauf  04:52

We actually met years after Dartmouth. I’d worked with Professor Sullivan a little bit at Dartmouth not a ton I kind of missed out on his genius when I was an undergrad there, and then I actually met Aaron and Phyo at a conference in Italy. We’d been working on a little bit of wireless charging power stuff at Stanford. And they invented this great coil. And then we met at this conference, I was like, this is really cool. And we kind of started talking. And we’re like, we should probably work together and at least demonstrate this. That was 2018. And then Aaron and Professor Sullivan had founded the company to do an NSF grant at that time. They brought me and Phyo in as co founders and it started there.


David Bradbury  05:36

Cool. Wow, great things can happen at these like geeky conferences, right?


Grayson Zulauf  05:41

I remember that one. Especially because it was the World Cup was that year. And so like, it was a very geeky confernce and it was a lot of after hours watching the soccer game.


Sam RG  05:53

Sounds very fun. Good vibes.


Grayson Zulauf  05:55

It was fun


David Bradbury  05:56

Do you miss those simpler times?


Grayson Zulauf  05:58



David Bradbury  05:59

Okay. All right. Yeah. Well, we’ll save that for later. But yeah, so your, your company is obviously very IP Intensive, or patents or protections just just talk about from sort of the lab to early years, like how do you? What’s your strategy around patents or IP or trade secret protections, because, you know, this is a high stakes business, you’re going after with a lot of huge incumbents that don’t want to lose the way they do things, and probably some other scrappy upstart. So just share that for our listeners, how you view it and how you’re doing it.


Grayson Zulauf  06:33

Yeah so I think one of the early things spinning out of the university as you’re like, Okay, we invented this IP at Dartmouth, for us, and Dartmouth owns that IP, right, it’s their IP. So one of the first things we did was okay, we’re gonna license that out and build a company around that. And Dartmouth actually deserves a huge shout out for making a great to out license IP, they have a great structure, it’s very standardized, and they’ve been a great partner.


Sam RG  07:00

So important, it’s so important.


Grayson Zulauf  07:03

It’s such a big and you guys have a ton of companies out of UVM, up here, at Dartmouth.


David Bradbury  07:07

Our first investment, our first exit was a Dartmouth tech company Sound Innovations. Out of Thayer.


Grayson Zulauf  07:13

Yeah, we’re out of thayer as well. And they’ve put a lot of effort kind of to making that that easy and productive. So anyway, I think that’s kind of the first step is like, Okay, we have this core IP, we’re gonna build the company around it. And then I think as you grow, you realize patents need to become just a small slice of that IP portfolio. And really, the core of of intellectual property is the team. And a lot of ways like, we want to build the best magnetics power electronics, controls software mechanical team in the world, because that’s what lets you stay ahead of the patterns that you’re filing, that’s what lets you stay ahead of the products that you ship that your competitors see and take a look at. So kind of we think about it in sort of layers of bricks that you’re building, you’ve got your patents, you’ve got a trade secrets, things that you know, you have your team is really important. And then eventually, and we brought Rachel on to lead marketing, you have your brand, and the people that trust your products, the people that trust your brand, you know, all of us look at brands that we buy every day like say, um, you got an Apple computer there, and it’s like, you’re not buying that for Apple’s patents, you’re buying it because it’s apple, and we’re that really is kind of that top layer of what is IP or that foundation to stay ahead.


David Bradbury  08:35

Are you seeing, um, you know, are trolls coming after you? Or like, Are you starting to file things to protect the space defensively? Have you? Do you have to mature sooner? With with that stuff coming at you? Yeah,


Grayson Zulauf  08:48

so we’ve been working with our team Abed on, like how to start to carve out a bit broader space, especially as we go from making wireless chargers to wanting to really make kind of that energy ecosystem there. But I think in the early days, you’re really looking for that product market fit, you’re looking like, Do customers want what we’re building and that we can uniquely deliver. And then you kind of might think about more of those. But right now we’re laser focused on serving those first customers growing that customer base and serving them well.


Sam RG  09:21

So let’s talk about customers for a bit for a minute here. I think this is one of the things that I find so fascinating about your company. Talk to us about what industries you’re focusing on right now and why


Grayson Zulauf  09:31

Yeah, so right after Aaron Phyo and I met in Italy at this conference, we built this demonstrator we were like, Okay, this is really good. It’s like five times faster than what else is out there. And we published an academic paper, and that went great but I remember Aaron and I sat down in a coffee shop at Stanford where I spent like, 90% of my graduate students stipend Koopa coffee makes the best coffee. We sat down there we were like, Okay, where are all the places wireless? charging could be used. And really when you look at it, it’s like anywhere there’s a battery that moves around. So golf carts were on the list like underwater drones, boats, medical devices. My background like garbage trucks and commercial EV is robots. I can’t even remember we have it somewhere, because it’s a great piece of company history. But really, the question is like, Okay, those are all cool areas. But where do we actually really deliver value for our customers or for end users? And so we, in some ways, in some ways, basically what we did was we called, I think, 70 customers through a class at Stanford, in all those different areas and asked them, hey, what’s charging like, you ever thought about wireless charging, what problems do you have, and the place that we found the biggest customer need is medical devices that are implanted inside your body. So those are devices like pacemakers, neuro stimulators that treat pain, or epilepsy or pumps that pump your blood around, or maybe they’re for insulin, or for pain medication. And for that, like, every time your battery runs out, you have to have a surgery to replace that device. So that means if you have a pacemaker, a lot of us have loved ones with pacemakers. They have to go every 510 years and have an invasive surgery, let’s dangerous infections, hospitalizations. And that’s where we decided to focus first, really high customer need, and a really powerful mission of making all of those devices rechargeable in the next decade. So medical devices to come back to your question. So that’s where we’re really been focused since 2019, was our first customer there. And then just in September, we actually launched into electric vehicles. So there’s no good way to charge electric vehicles automatically and quickly. And we launched into EVs that are actually used in the warehouse sector as our first market. And the goal there is to make electrification happen faster.


Sam RG  12:11

Wow. So focusing on those two to start, like, how do you I mean, that’s, I think one of the coolest things about this company is like there’s so much potential, right. And so does that keep you up at night that there’s like other industries that are almost just as exciting or maybe like, have a bigger pain point, but maybe not the budget? Like, how do you kind of like, just like, stay focused, I guess? Yeah,


Grayson Zulauf  12:34

I feel like what keeps me up at night is more more than there’s other industries. It’s more like, are we focused enough? I think like two years ago, we were kind of dabbling in four different areas. And then like, we’ve really as we’ve grown, the company, gotten more traction really understood our customers better now we’re in two, and two, still a lot to build.


David Bradbury  12:58

I love those my sub questions for segments not typical. Yeah. Can you get away with that? Right. So yeah, I think it is interesting, you know, for for the medical applications, for example, right? Long lead time, trials, tasks, right? Because it you know, risk of life is there, right? So that’s, that’s a longer time horizon. And then did you intentionally choose the sort of logistics segment or EVs within a warehouse setting? Right might be robots or it could be forklifts as sort of a faster to market? You know, that sort of play both of those? Is that, yeah, fair to or did the customers just show up?


Grayson Zulauf  13:38

Yeah, for us, it’s like, been more, it’s nice to have things that get in the market faster, no doubt. But for medical devices, you have to have that reliability. You got to do the rigorous testing, you need FDA approval. And I think for us, it’s been like, where’s the next place that that customer need is something that’s super high, and there’s a mission that we really care about, and that gets us out of bed every morning. That gets all of the people at resonant link excited. And so I think less than looking at kind of like the time horizons it’s more like customer need and mission there.


Break  14:15

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Sam RG  14:56

So I want to talk a little bit about your capital path I assume Just given the way that you started that you were able to have some sort of non dilutive grant type funding to start and then and then waited and held off for venture. Is that the case? Yeah.


Grayson Zulauf  15:10

So I’m trying to remember going back so I out when we launched the company out of Dartmouth, Aaron and Professor Sullivan had one and NSF STTR grant, which is like the sister of the more well known SBIR, Small Business and research grants. So that kind of funded those initial days. And then we actually found found ourselves making revenue from customers and the medical device space early. So we had kind of non dilutive both grants and some customer traction, which I think a lot of especially deep tech companies don’t do that early customer revenue. I think for us, having four PhDs found a company like the thing is, are they ever gonna sell anything? Like, do they care about


David Bradbury  15:58

just learning, you’re exposed to a whole other nomenclature and methods and timelines? And okay, exactly.


Grayson Zulauf  16:04

So I think like for us, it was really valuable to just get in the practice of serving customers, knowing that customers were foundational that everything we wanted to do and honestly showing to future investors, hey, this isn’t just like a research lab. For the four of us, we’re really trying to build a business here. So we did some grants, we did some customer revenue. And then we’ve raised one price round of venture capital in late 2021. And we have a great group of investors there. And we’re actually just going out to raise our Series A right now.


Sam RG  16:40

Awesome, and any regrets yet?


Grayson Zulauf  16:44

There are so many things that I would have done differently. But that’s the whole fun part of the journey.


David Bradbury  16:51

All right, well, what are like one or two that like many others in the room here at VCET could benefit from


Grayson Zulauf  16:56

could benefit from? Wow. I think the whole practice, like we talked about the different markets that we’re at, and where to find those focus areas. There’s kind of this cadence to going broad, then going deep. And I think we followed it fairly well. And I think there’s also kind of an alternate resonant way where we just did one from day one. And that’s all we’ve done. And I’m not sure if we would have even known the right one, you know, you kind of have to kind of preserve that all those options, learn a bit more and then really dive in. But I always think like, well, what if we were just in one? I don’t know, what if we were doing 10 different markets, you know, that’d be better or worse? Or what would it look like? So I think there’s just a learning curve to that, that practice of being sort of broad, hey, we have a technology innovation. What problems can we solve?


David Bradbury  17:56

Right? And medical investors are very different than auto, right? Yeah, so I can see that


Grayson Zulauf  18:02

exactly. No huge regrets so far,


David Bradbury  18:05

did it go? Did it go faster than you thought, raising outside money or private money?


Grayson Zulauf  18:10

I would say our first round was slow. I think we I think I talked to 82 investors and foreign invested. So that was a long process. It was also like right, during the early days of COVID. Our second round, went very quickly, like I think the first week we started we had like three term sheets. That was also in those sorry, this second round was the price round. The first one was kind of our pre-seed. And that was also during the height of kind of zero interest rate, macro times, and we made a lot of traction and bought down a lot of risk, but it was really, really fast. And then I think now as we go to it, I’m hoping for a more kind of in between normal process. And it’s both faster and slower than I think we’ve thought.


Sam RG  19:07

Yeah, that’s I love that you shared the numbers, because I do think like we hear from founders like well, I’ve talked to so many investors, we’re like, Well, how many of you talk to you, and they’re like, I don’t know, 10? We’re like, keep going.


Grayson Zulauf  19:17

Yeah. One of our investors, third sphere, Stone Lee, they’re like, they kind of give all the founders an overview on fundraising, and I will never forget like he has one slide. That’s just like if you haven’t talked to 100 VCs, you aren’t even trying. And I think that’s true in a lot of ways. Yeah.


David Bradbury  19:37

I remember the Tim Rowe who, EnerNOC? Oh, yeah. Anyway when he’s really a Tim Healy when he started that he’s like I talked to you know, 92 and that guy right there Todd is the only one that said yes, they did this like roomful of investors and you know, like, someone had a different view, you know, non consensus sorta perspective that the real outlier returns for funds are and you just know, you got to date a lot, right? And calls and trial and effort.


Grayson Zulauf  20:10

Yeah, I think the other thing, speaking of regrets and things I do differently, like, I think when you start, you know, I’m a first time founder if you’ve never raised venture capital before resonantly. And I think you have this vision that you’re going to be able to convince everyone that this is the thing they should invest in. And I think that’s that first round like 80, to investors, for the actually invested, I was spending a lot of time and energy on people that just weren’t, we’re never going to invest. And I think as we as I’ve matured in that process, and just done it more, I think of it, it’s more like you’re trying to find the believers, and then convince them that you’re building a great company in a space they believe in, rather than trying to take those non believers and make them into believers.


Sam RG  20:59

That’s a good way of putting it.


David Bradbury  21:01

Hearing no, so frequently, it must have been sort of really stressful on you as a leader. And And what about with the other team members that dynamic? Like do like Grace? And what the fuck man like? Where’s our money? You know, like? What, like, any insights and learnings on team dynamics for those many conversations that that haven’t got to? Yes, for those for that stage?


Grayson Zulauf  21:26

Yeah, I think something that I’ve tried to get better at, I think the team I still think I could get better at is like giving just a little more transparency into the process, right? Because really, it’s like, it’s somewhat of a well known process where you talk to a bunch, and then you have second conversations with some percent of that. And then third conversations, and then diligence. And, you know, it’s like, kind of well known. And so I think, sharing more of that, sharing more of the stages with the team, and less of the highs and lows of every day, I’m getting, you know, four knows, two people turned off their video halfway through the Zoom call, and two seemed excited. And, you know, I think one of the jobs of being the CEO and fundraising is like, shielding the team, from the emotions of that and finding a way to deal with that, hopefully, in a healthy way and own life. And, and kind of carrying that weight of running the process. But I think as as we’ve done it more  letting the team in a bit more on like, here’s where we’re at in the process. Here’s what people are looking for. Here’s who we’re talking to.


David Bradbury  22:34

Let me share a secret what’s really great,


Grayson Zulauf  22:36



David Bradbury  22:37

after you succeed


Grayson Zulauf  22:38



David Bradbury  22:39

either exit or IPO or do well, you’re gonna run into some of those folks again, and, and it’s okay to let them know how it went. Actually, it was Tim Healy. He said no to one of my companies back in the day, when he said, maybe Commonwealth capital, and we caught up and he’s like, How’d that go? I’m like, sold it for cash to Time Warner. And that was it, you know, but, but you can’t say yes to everything. So like you said, it’s sort of a pairing, you got to find the believers that right time, right stage. Exactly.


Sam RG  23:09

So I want to talk a little bit about your team, because I think I love outliers for PhDs typically not recommended for founding. Yeah, but it seems to have worked. And I’m just curious, once y’all started to hire, you know, what, what did that look like? How, what was your sort of strategy behind it? And then what is your team look like today?


Grayson Zulauf  23:30

Yeah, so in the very early days, we had found kind of one customer. And luckily, we had some great advisors that helped us not mess up that first customer deal. And it was like, we just need an engineering team to deliver on this big customer program. So that was kind of the first 510 hires there. And then, kind of as you grow, you know, you have all these other things that no one knows how to do or that like, someone on the team is doing. is not an expert in what it’s trying to do. Right. That’s like I think that 10 to 20 phase


David Bradbury  24:08

Like me trying to be a podcaster. There’s no one else to take the role, except Sam


Grayson Zulauf  24:15

Exactly. And yeah, I think in that, like, yeah, that kind of middle phase. Yeah, I think of the like, 10 to 20. Team size. It’s like, there’s a lot of people. So it’s not you’re not just all doing everything, but there’s a lot of things that aren’t happening, and it’s kind of this in between phase. One of the things that I think we did that I’m very happy we did was we hired ahead of people at about 15 or 20. And I think most investors recommend like 50, but she’s really put a lot of those frameworks for how we think about growing the team, how we mature as a group how we work together, Korea Growth frameworks. helping everyone work together like those are really important. And when I talked to other founders that’s like what I say at that 1520, like, this person, if you get the right person and Brett for us was by was an amazing person to add to the group transformed how the team works together. So I think that was a big moment for us. And then as we’ve grown, you kind of just add the leaders to the functions Rachel and marketing. Megan, in manufacturing, we recently brought on a sales leader, business operations, more on the engineering team and making that more wholesome project management, like you kind of I think, feel it. And my job is to be like, six months ahead of where the company might be, as we’re thinking about who to bring on,


Sam RG  25:51

and then trusting that leadership to build, you know, Rachel to build her team and Megan to build her team. And that kind of trajectory.


Grayson Zulauf  25:59

That’s correct. That’s how we’ve I think been more successful is like bringing on that department leader, I think some places would hire a lot of the people in the department and then bring on a leader. But when you’re trying to go really fast, it’s like find the leader, and then trust them to really build that function out.


Sam RG  26:15

I love that. I love that approach.


David Bradbury  26:17

Can you talk about your board of directors and how you built it? Was Was the structure your idea? Or was it sort of condition of investment or participation?


Grayson Zulauf  26:29

Yeah, so I’d say the board of directors is generally like a negotiated part of investment is how I kind of frame it right, you go, you fundraise, and you have term sheets, and they have a bunch, you know, it’s the way I think my Stanford professor causes like the term sheet has power in it, and then as money in it, and those are the things you need to figure out. And the board of directors is one of the pieces that investors look for, for governance and for control over the company. So it’s generally negotiated, we actually were really lucky. We’ve been working with third sphere with this woman named Shelby Kumar there, who is an amazing early stage climate investor, she was like our first investor, got to work with the founding team a ton. And when we raised our seed round from the engine, we actually asked to have Shelby on the board. So we have a representative from the engine who lead our seed round. We have Shelby from third sphere, just because everyone loves working with her, we learn a ton from her. And she’s someone that really understands that company. And then two founders, me and Aaron today, and an open fifth seed, which I think we’re gonna fill next week. And that’s going to be like an industry expert, that can really help as part of the next round as part of in anticipation in anticipation, and to really kind of help us scale.


David Bradbury  27:56

Yeah. Because otherwise they’d fill it. Right. Yeah,


Grayson Zulauf  27:59

it’s well, yeah, it’ll be it’ll be something we talk about and figure out in this next round, really interested in.


David Bradbury  28:06

We didn’t know how many folks do you employ today? There’s


Grayson Zulauf  28:09

about 50. On the team to


David Bradbury  28:11

be on the team or that’s crazy, principally up here in South Burlington, right? So


Grayson Zulauf  28:16

about Yeah, 5050. Burlington is about 50%. And then we have hubs in Boston and in Zurich.


Sam RG  28:22

Yeah. I realized we didn’t actually talk. We talked about your background, but like, why is this company in Vermont? It’s probably a good question. Yeah.


Grayson Zulauf  28:30

Yeah. So my I, so the team was obviously the technologies out of Dartmouth and the group was like, hey, we want to stay in New England. But uh, we Hanover is a little small, where Dartmouth is. And Burlington is a great place to live. And that’s how we ended up here.


Sam RG  28:47

Awesome. Well, let this be a testimonial to other companies or Yes.


Grayson Zulauf  28:52

Yeah, there’s more and more. Yeah,


David Bradbury  28:54

if you found I mean, there’s some other companies that do some really neat things and power and yeah, and controls and the rest, like, Are you part of that ecosystem? Are you just so odd and quiet that no one talks to you?


Grayson Zulauf  29:08

Yeah, I think so. You know, dynapower is kind of like the original, I guess, I think of as a Vermont outsider, but as the like, original Vermont power company. And they’ve built something pretty incredible in power electronics here. So I think dynapower I know Adam, I know Peter the founder a little bit. And that’s a great company to learn from here. Beta is obviously amazing, super inspiring, incredible company, really a power electronics company at the end, like that’s what it takes to make those planes super light, I guess. Maybe I have a little bit of a bias as a power guy. And then there’s more and more there’s like, you know, we’re just talking with Skylar in the hall.


David Bradbury  29:51

Yeah, Verde, technologies, and we’re in core power down in Waterbury and Nomad ours well and as some of the semiconductor companies, so they’re design companies doing all sorts of stuff with gallium nitride and like, yeah, I just want someone to do it with graphene dying for graphene company was under my way. Okay. And Sam and I can geek out and like


Grayson Zulauf  30:18

do graphene with I’ll send you some ideas. This


David Bradbury  30:22

Stop taping turn this off.


Grayson Zulauf  30:26

But we have, but I think yeah, to your point like one of the things that’s been exciting just in the last few months was Vermont was awarded the Gan tech hub as a Senator for that. And I think that’s actually been just in the last like three months, we met a bunch of companies in the area worked with a bunch of collaborators on Hey, what would a program look like? I think there’s 10s of millions of dollars in that tech. Oh,


David Bradbury  30:51

yeah. Going for that that designation? Yeah. UVM has been sort of leading the charge there. And it’s Sam you’ve been I think to one of the events, it’s really kind of fun to watch the semiconductor researchers come out and network. It’s a little different than our holiday party kind of vibe. But yeah, exactly. Yeah,


Grayson Zulauf  31:11



David Bradbury  31:14

How was the effects of supply chain on you all? Like, was? I mean? Was it disruptive? Or? It mean, is it resolved now? And, in particular, how have you changed either how you look at inventory or how you’re specking out products to sort of control more of that?


Grayson Zulauf  31:32

Yeah. So we, you know, we kind of just launched this first lift tracker electric vehicle product in September. And so we’re still scaling, manufacturing and supply chain. We brought in Megan from Amazon to lead that team. And she’s hired a senior buyer supply chain expert there. And they kind of have been looking at that holistic picture. But I think everyone is more cognizant, when you’re doing design as a multi source part, like what’s the lead time here? How hard is it going to be to get these semiconductors yet these inductors? Kind of everything right?


David Bradbury  32:11

Or what are you know, or do you? Is it going to be prohibited now to do certain chip swaps with different countries?


Grayson Zulauf  32:18

Import parts? Export parts? What market are we got? Yeah, it’s definitely we’re a little bit early, but it’s already entering into our design, or manufacturing or supply chain thoughts.


Sam RG  32:31

So glad that that’s your job. And


Grayson Zulauf  32:34

it’s not my job. It’s Megan and her team.


David Bradbury  32:39

Like people that run supply chain I’ve like have become the rocks. Yeah, can you?


Sam RG  32:43

Can you go by Megan lunch, please. Yeah. So you talked a little bit about kind of what’s to come and you’re raising your Series A, tell us sort of what is the next phase of resonant link? What does that look like? Yeah,


Grayson Zulauf  32:57

so we are already number one in charging for medical devices there, we’re going to keep growing our own platform. Now. We have new partnerships we have new, we can take charge times down from four hours to 20 minutes. So there it’s really about just building that into more devices expanding who’s making their devices rechargeable. On the industrial side, we’re scaling up this product to meet demand. So getting this 400 amp charger in warehouses, powering vehicles more and more of them across the country. And then adding some software products and battery products that we’ll talk about more later, but going kind of multi product to serve more for our customers there. And then we’re dreaming about some things in the passenger EV space, but we’re still keeping those under wraps for now.


Sam RG  33:51

There’s so going to be a part two to this Dave.


David Bradbury  33:54

I hope so. Right. I have


Sam RG  33:58

more confidence in you than Dave apparently.


David Bradbury  34:04

I’m so hopeful.


Grayson Zulauf  34:05

We’re looking for your confidence.


David Bradbury  34:07

Listen, I again, our current fund wasn’t available to participate last time around


Sam RG  34:12

which is I know I missed it by like two employees or something I know


David Bradbury  34:16

literally, we finally made our first investment the last day of the year out of it. So Wow. You would have been waiting you would have been waiting another nine months. Up and one


Grayson Zulauf  34:24

night Sam the holiday party but yeah,


David Bradbury  34:28

you’d be surprised what I just show up. Ya know? And yeah, okay. But you guys have secure facility. So, okay. You’re still on the young end of founder risk. Okay. But what advice do you have for other young folks that are thinking about being entrepreneurs, either technical or non technical and I’m not sure there’s a difference any any words of wisdom that you’re, you’re sharing?


Grayson Zulauf  34:52

I feel very ill equipped to give words of wisdom because it’s like we’re still words of warning words of warning then caution you Yeah, I mean, I think for the founders, the I think the two things that I think about is like, it really is like a decade to build a company. And so if you’re, if you have an idea, uh, you really need to close your eyes and think like, this is gonna be 10 years, not like, next year, we’re gonna sell this. Those are really, really rare exceptions. It’s like a 10 year journey to build something real self sustaining, that has a real impact. And I think related to that, one of the pieces of advice is like, as CEO, you have two jobs. One is to not run out of money, obviously. And the other is to not run out of energy for yourself. And I think those are linked like you have to be, you’ve done the energy for 10 years. And the way to keep that energy is to build a great team. It’s to have a mission you really believe in to take care of yourself. But it’s a 10 year journey, and like, those are your two jobs is the advice.


Sam RG  35:57

Good damn,


David Bradbury  35:58

we’ve had a couple of the founders hear that? Yeah, I was like, Hey, could you believe it was a 17 year overnight success story, right? You forget it. So it’s gonna seem shorter at the end, right? I think so. When it goes. All right. You have a question? And we’re probably we


Sam RG  36:16

gotta wrap up. Unfortunately. I know you could. Dave like wants to save forever.


David Bradbury  36:21

I told you I’m charged.


Sam RG  36:22

Yeah, he’s charged.


David Bradbury  36:23

Charged Up.


Sam RG  36:25

But it is time for the magic wand question. Yeah, I’ve never I’ve been nervous about this. You should be it’s a big deal. Okay. All right. If you could change one thing in Vermont today with a magic wand. What would you change?


Grayson Zulauf  36:38

Wow. I can’t say like more snow and less ice.


Sam RG  36:42

You can it’s literally a magic one. I think for we’ve had the full range of like very thoughtful answers and then absolutely ridiculous.


David Bradbury  36:53

Someone wanted a traffic light on spear street or Dorset street or something. And red panda was my favorite someone wanted. Was it Marguerite double one two red pandas here. Wow. And Vermont.


Grayson Zulauf  37:03

Wow. Let’s see. Wow. Well, I would say I’m new to Vermont. So I just moved here full time in October. So I don’t really have a strong opinion. But I will say after going through it myself and for our employees and for everyone that lives in Vermont. I’d love for there to be more housing.


Sam RG  37:20

Yeah. Love it. Yep. You can’t go wrong with that answer.


David Bradbury  37:24

You can stick around you’re good.


Sam RG  37:28

Do you have Vermont plates?


Grayson Zulauf  37:29

Not yet.


Sam RG  37:30

Oh my god Grayson


Grayson Zulauf  37:31

I get a lot of dirty looks for the California plates.


Sam RG  37:34

Yeah, it’s not parked out front is it?


David Bradbury  37:37

Totally gonna be called out in a Jerry of the day parking lot, snafu at Smugs or something so be careful.


Grayson Zulauf  37:44

I will I am getting the plates.


Sam RG  37:46

Good thing Rachel has some street cred around here so you’re good with her.


David Bradbury  37:51

Well, thank you Grayson, for coming. This has been start here a pocket sharing the stories of activists aspiring and accidental entrepreneurs. This series is supported by the Vermont Technology Council and Consolidated Communications