Skating into a multi-million dollar business idea: meet Evolve Skateboards

In the wake of the GFC, Jeff Anning took a punt, investing $35,000 into designing his own electric skateboards.

Back in 2009, Jeff Anning was the owner of a landscape design business, which was struggling in the wake of the GFC.

After surfing one day, he came across a sight that would change the direction of his career.

“This guy [was] riding a skateboard in the car park – without pushing. And that to me was absolute gold.”

What he saw was an electric skateboard, which runs on a motor that’s controlled by a handheld remote. Jeff quickly purchased one for himself.

“I was a bit surprised about the quality and size of the board when I got it, but it was hugely fun. And I just decided to tinker with it and see if I could make it better, more performance-y.”

That led down a path that would see Jeff eventually sell his house, close his landscaping business, and invest thousands creating and refining prototypes of new boards.

Fast forward several years and he’s now the owner of Evolve Skateboards, which turned over $14 million dollars last year.

The Gold Coast-based business manufactures its boards in its own dedicated factory in China, and has distribution deals in the US and Europe.

The boards range in price from $999 to $2000 and can travel up to 42 kilometres per hour, depending on the model.

“It’s an exciting time for our business and the for electric skate industry in general,” Jeff says.

“There are lots of new players coming to market, the technology is changing – which is great because it makes us focus on the direction we’re going, and making sure we’re still up there with the best and leading from the front.”

This video and article were originally published by SBS Small Business Secrets.


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