From iGlove to the Fastest Electric Car in the World

By Gordana Blažević and Zlatko Barilović

Zagreb, Croatia

Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company specialized in manufacturing high–performance electric vehicles, founded in 2009. The company developed and introduced their first concept electric car named the Concept_One, which later on went into production. It currently employs 60 young engineers of various professions that work intensively on the development of new technologies and launch first-rate electric products – from the aforementioned Concept_One to an electric bicycle known as Greyp. In the premises of this successful Croatian business, we were greeted by the founder and director of the company, Mate Rimac. Rimac Automobili is praised and acknowledged from all over the globe and the story of its success is known. Nevertheless, we wanted to personally visit and get to know the 26-year-old who has already made a huge impact on the international market with his visionary ideas and high caliber competency.

We were welcomed by Monika Mikac, the director of operations and one of the first employees, in an energetic environment in which the young engineers work. She introduced us to the world of Rimac Automobili; it all began when Mate, who was 17 at the time, made his first patent – a glove that would act as a keyboard and mouse. Since then, he participated in numerous innovation fairs. Shortly after that, he launched his second invention called the Active Mirror System – a system designed to resolve the problem of blind spots in cars, and with these two products under his belt he won multiple first place awards, despite the strong international competitors.

Apart from his love for electrical engineering, he is also a fan of cars. He invested the money he made from his patents into a BMW E30 323i. This is where Rimac Automobili actually started. His passion for racing led him to develop the fastest electric car in the world. He initiated the CONCEPT_ONE project. Read more into the story in the continuation of this article.

Q: The idea of the Concept_One project came from your passion for cars, and it literally began from an empty piece of A4 paper. How did you gather a team for the project, and what did the initial project phase look like?

A: It all started as a hobby, and I’ve always wanted to make my own car, so I jumped right into it. First, I met Adriano, a designer with whom I arranged the commencement of the project. This was back when I was still in college and there wasn’t even a company yet. Adriano, who had a full-time job, did his part in designing and I moved along the technical side of the project. Even then, because of my involvement in racing, there was huge media coverage and investors came knocking – they wanted to order a car. This is when it occurred to me; what we were working on made sense and our project could become more than just a hobby; it could become our job.

I founded my company in a garage and I hired the people who worked with me after their regular work. When I realized that this could be a serious business I started to hire full time employees, rented a facility and professionalized everything.


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About the Authors

pmwj16-nov2013-blazevic-IMAGE 2 AUTHOR PHOTOGordana Blažević flag-zagreb-croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Gordana Blažević is a member of IPMA Young Crew and president of Young Crew Croatia. She was born in 1985, graduated the Faculty of Civil Engineering from the University of Zagreb in September 2010. After graduation, she worked for OPTIMA Project Ltd, a registered company for performing construction services, expert supervision, consulting and project management until September 2012. After that, the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Zagreb in the Construction Management Department employed her as a young research associate. As the president of Young Crew Croatia, Gordana is a part of various projects on a national and international level. She is also a member of IPMA Marketing Working group. Questions and feedback are highly welcome via [email protected]

pmwj18-jan2014-matijevic-PHOTO2 BARILOVICZlatko Barilovićflag-zagreb-croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Zlatko Barilović was born in 1984 in Zagreb. He holds a graduate specialist degree (MA) in Marketing from the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia. Prior to that he graduated from the Specialist Graduate Professional Study of Project Management at the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić, Croatia, which was a continuation of his undergraduate studies in Business and Management (major Cultural Management). Currently he is attending a doctoral study in Management at the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia. He is a member of the International project management association (IPMA) and a member of the Presidential Board of the Croatian Association for Project Management (CAPM). At the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić he teaches Basics of Management, Project Management 1 and 2, and Planning, preparing and starting the project – practicum. He has written over 20 scientific and professional papers, and has led several projects for the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić. He was the editor of two project management books. Zlatko Barilović can be contacted at [email protected]