Photos by: Rimac automobili Press Kit
American Dream in Croatia
He is the winner of the county and state competition of electric engineers and innovators in 2006; born in 1988, in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2006, Mate Rimac won Tesla’s Golden Egg and VIDI e-novation award for the best ICT product in Croatia for his first patent named iGlove (an alternative for keyboard and a mouse). Twelve years since then have passed, and stating that this was a beginning of a great story would be an understatement.
That September 2011, young Mate Rimac stood on a podium of a pavilion that belonged to the most important motor show in the world, the one that is held every other year in Frankfurt, the banking capital of Europe. He stood there and smiled proudly at the reporters who, in disbelief, couldn’t take their eyes and cameras off his electric supercar Concept_One. Not only did Rimac shock the audience with his creation – the incredulity spread partly because of the country the product came from. A Croatian electric supercar? “We have heard of the beautiful Croatian coasts, great football players and sportsmen generally, but to think that Croats produced cars… Unbelievable.” This could be heard among the reporters who came to the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show from all over the world, and in numbers that are never under ten thousand. What about reporters from Croatia? They felt almost as proud as Rimac! But it was for him that the door of the global automotive stage started opening at that moment. Concept_One was one of the biggest hits of that Frankfurt Motor Show, and Rimac achieved the impossible: the American dream in Croatia.
The owner of what today is a globally renowned technology company that started in his garage and carried his family name, Rimac entered the world of business while he was practically still a teenager. Due to his ingeniousness, which had received recognition many a time at various innovation contests during his high-school years, in 2007, he remodeled an old car into an electric vehicle all by himself. This seemed like an interesting creation at that time, almost like a fancy of a precocious and creative high-school senior. But when only four years later, Concept_One stole the show in Frankfurt, everyone was left breathless. Truth be told, electric vehicles were considered as something pretty utopian at the time, and they weren’t given many chances of becoming broadly commercialized. However, it has become clear that Mate Rimac is a genius not only when it comes to technology – but also when it comes to business. Why? Today he is the CEO of an exceptional cars manufacturer and electric vehicle components with headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, not far from Zagreb, a company whose employee base is growing fast. These are the people who are in many aspects similar to Rimac, employees who, by rule, possess great creativity and innovation skills. Today there are as many as 350 of them, and, considering the significant investments by the company’s Chinese partners – we are talking about 30 million euros of investments that are designed for the production of electric car batteries – their number could soon be doubled. All of them are young, and a significant percentage is highly educated. The purpose of the last round of investments is intended for production facilities, serial production of components, the development of a new model and the increase of the team.