G&W Portfolio Founder Feature: Tiya Gordon, Co-Founder & COO, itselectric

Who is Tiya Gordon?

Tiya Gordon is the Co-Founder and COO of itselectric. Tiya holds 20 years experience in leadership and design operations across a range of disciplines for some of the country’s top firms and institutions. Her work has received the industry’s top accolades, including The National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Inaugural Cannes Gold Lion for Creative Data; the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival; and the designation of second most innovative design firm in the world by Fast Company. Her founding of itselectric is the first step in her refocusing the next 20 years of her career on projects waging war against the Climate Crisis.

About itselectric

Our mission is to bring curbside EV charging to cities across the U.S. and advance the adoption of electric vehicles.

Increased access to affordable public charging not only encourages the adoption of EVs, but leads to cleaner air and healthier communities

What inspired you to start your company?

With 20 years of experience in building, operating, and running groundbreaking design and technology companies, I wanted to refocus the next 20 (or more!) years on projects that used design to wage war against the Climate Crisis.

Given that transportation is the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions and that it is the lack of public charging that is the number one barrier for the purchase or lease of an Electric Vehicle for consumers in the market – my co-founder and I wanted to conceive of a company that provides charging for electric vehicles to ensure that every community – no matter the location, the median income, or prevalence of driveways and garages – has access to clean transportation infrastructure.

What is the most important life, career or startup lesson you’ve learned and who (or what) taught it to you?

The most important startup lesson I have learned is to, “Find your people”

Though I have over 20 years of experience in building companies – that work was always for other people. It’s Electric is my first ground-up venture.

And while I found it somewhat daunting… I did not find it insurmountable and I began my journey.

However with less than 2% of Venture Capital given to female-founded or mix-gendered founding teams – and when that same company focuses in a traditionally male dominated industry of transportation AND offers solutions via hardware; that number is even lower. Hundreds of pitches to venture capitalists resulted in no investment.

But we knew we were on to something. We had our product, we had corporate sponsorship, we were winning awards,and gaining coverage in national top-tier publications. Funding was the last piece of the puzzle and so we kept pitching.

What ended up happening was that we found not just investors, but OUR investors.
They were all more than a check, they were believers, champions, industry experts, network catalysts, (and each of them an amazing human) who saw and shared in our game changing vision. And even though it was challenging to not have checks early in our pre-seed, those checks would not have been the right ones. We had to find our people.

How will your company change the world?

Per the White House; To transition this country to a clean energy future, 1M Level 2 PUBLIC EV charging points are needed by 2030 (for context the country currently has 126k). This means we need to10x infrastructure in the next 7 years! We also need to ensure these charge points are deployed equitably and not just in high and median income neighborhoods.

We are changing the world by creating a model that solves for both the infrastructure and environmental justice barriers cities face in the deployment of EV charging.

Why do you do what you do?

Because no one else is doing it.

Why Graham & Walker Loves itselectric

We’re thrilled to have itselectric in our portfolio! Tiya and Nathan are no doubt an exceptional team. Their passion for fighting climate change, strength in architecture and design, and expertise in executing public infrastructure projects make them the right team to build out this vision. We believe itselectric will revolutionize the way public infrastructure is developed and operated, and positively transform communities contributing to a more sustainable future.

Learn more and connect:

G&W Team

Never Miss a Story

Sign up to receive email updates.