GOLETA, California 11/13/2020 –DRONES DELIVERING PACKAGES AND FLYING CARS may sound like science fiction for many, but they’re just part of another day’s work at LaunchPoint EPS. Born out of Goleta-based company LaunchPoint Technologies, new aerospace firm LaunchPoint EPS has made it their mission to develop cutting-edge electric motors and controllers for electric-powered flight vehicles.
“Essentially, LaunchPoint EPS was spun out of LaunchPoint Technologies with all the technology, all the people, all the buildings, furniture, and computers just to focus on selling the electric motors for this hybrid electric flight,” said Robert Reali, the CEO of LaunchPoint EPS.
For 28 years, LaunchPoint Technologies was a leading engineering think tank in Goleta. Predominantly focused on designing technologies for government and some private contracts, it began developing motors for hybrid electric flight eleven years ago. These motors are key for vehicles that take off and land vertically, such as drones. Therefore, they are essential for companies entering the urban air mobility industry, which focuses on flying vehicles efficiently and safely over populated areas. As LaunchPoint Technologies received more calls for their electric motors, they refocused their business to become LaunchPoint EPS, which stands for “electric propulsion solutions.”
“Prior to the spin out to the new company, we were 75 percent consulting, 25 percent product,” said Reali. “And in 180 days we flipped that to 75 percent product to 25 percent innovation contracts, all related to our electric motors and controllers.”
Reali began building his passion for technology and business while attending University of California, Santa Barbara, where he helped start a software company. His career has most recently included 15 years with Santa Barbara startup TrueVision, where he was Chief Operations Officer. With Reali’s guidance, TrueVision went from four employees to a successful business that was ultimately acquired in part by Alcon last year. Today, Reali enjoys not only utilizing his experience to ensure LaunchPoint EPS becomes a thriving venture, but also being able to work alongside such innovative minds.
Robert Reali (Chief Executive Officer); Brian Clark (Engineering Director); Brad Paden (Chief Scientist); Chris Grieco (VP of Business Development & Sales); Dave Paden (VP of Manufacturing); and Mike Ricci (Chief Technology Officer)
“I grew up watching The Jetsons; we were promised flying cars,” shared Reali. “And here I’m looking at a company that is part of the solution, to be a major supplier to this industry, and it’s just cool…being able to participate in flying cars or drones in aerospace is incredibly exciting, and around Santa Barbara there are so many brilliant engineers and so many good ideas, it gets me excited.”
Currently, LaunchPoint EPS is close to seeing five projects fly. Originally started by LaunchPoint Technologies, three of these projects involve drones that will be used for surveillance and inspection needs. The remaining two will actually go into flying car prototypes.
“We’re the only game in town for a certain type of profile of motors, which people are really needing for urban air mobility,” Reali explained.
He further elaborated that LaunchPoint EPS is unique for its special MAAPTM software tool, which stands for “modeling advanced aircraft propulsion.” Developed by LaunchPoint Technologies with contributions from both Hyundai Korea and Uber, this software advises aerospace engineers on what kind of propulsion system they will need for their proposed vehicle. The software makes its recommendations based on thousands of variables, including flight temperatures, proximity to water, and back-up fuel. Ultimately, this saves customers money and time in building successful prototypes.
Going forward, LaunchPoint EPS is working to expand its team, having gone from 12 to 20 employees since June with more positions currently open. LaunchPoint EPS also intends to become an active member in the larger community.
“It’s very important to me to build community, first among our company and all the new people that are getting to know me from LaunchPoint plus the new hires, to build a corporate culture that is interested in giving back to the community,” said Reali.