Rivian: RJ Scaringe
When you consider the risk of doing business, it doesn’t get much bigger than starting a car company: competition is formidable, startup costs are in the billions, and very few people believe you can pull it off. That’s the massive challenge RJ Scaringe walked into in 2009, when he launched his truck and SUV company, Rivian. To add to the risk, RJ wanted to build fully electric vehicles while attracting drivers who’d never bought them, so he knew his trucks had to be fun and sporty: appealing in their own right. Rivian’s journey has taken RJ from an old warehouse in Florida to a massive Midwestern car manufacturing plant; and from years of stealth planning to months of anticipatory buzz from buyers and the industry. Rivian rolled its first trucks off the line in 2021, and is hustling to fulfill tens of thousands of vehicle reservations from excited customers. There have been pivots, sleepless nights, and, of course, multiple supply chain issues, but today, Rivian is valued at $30 billion and is a major player in the electric vehicle industry.