CHECKING IN WITH 6D
We have been thrilled with our Sprinter and the whole process was amazing for us. We use our van in many ways; racer support at events, transport of product between our local logistics partner and our offices, trips to dealerships for open houses, R&D trips to the test lab, the track and more. Last July we drove across country for the AMA Amateur National Championships that encompasses an entire week of racing and racing activities.
Our Sprinter was a huge asset as we were able to set up shop on-site to assist our customers at the most important event of the year. We are completely self-sufficient with our setup with full power, parts, cleaning capabilities, and repairs being managed track-side!
YOUR DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD ENTRY STORY
Our submission story is pretty funny actually. We tried originally in 2012 before we launched our company publicly. Our entry video was comical, as we tried to do it in one sitting at someone else’s business. After all, we were still running our business out of my garage and had no capability to edit a video at that time either! When we ultimately secured the funding to start our business I told one of our investors that we were going to win that van. He told me I was wasting my time!
For the second year entry, the deadline almost got away from us as we were so busy. So we shot the video in our lobby just one day before the deadline and then had an intern edit it for submission overnight! Our second entry was actually pretty terrible too, but I think it was our technology and its relevance to today’s concern and awareness of brain injury that did the trick for us. I know Mercedes liked the safety aspect of our technology and our commitment to motorcyclist’s out there. I will never forget getting to call our investor to say “Hey, guess who won that Mercedes-Benz Sprinter?!”
What do you think 6D did with its entry that got it noticed?
Definitely it was our technology and perhaps a bit that we were an intriguing start-up. I think they could see the passion and our commitment to safety, and our desire to improve technology in a critical equipment category.
Did you do something special to plan for your submission? Sketch out a “script” for your video?
Actually, none of that, at least the second time around! The first time we had our graphics guy comp up a rendering of how we would design the exterior look of the van with a strong branding message in the design.
Did you do any type of research?
We did a lot on our technology obviously, but none on the submission! I was a Fast Company subscriber and just saw the advertisement. I thought to myself that we could really use a van like that for our business, so I told my partner we were going to win it! I guess part of my message to others would be: You can’t win if you don’t try, and if you don’t win, try again!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR 6D
Winning the Sprinter was huge for our company. The national exposure was incredible and beyond anything we could have done on our own. Our business is currently in a very vertical segment of the helmet market, but with significant potential reach well beyond just motorcycle and bicycle protection. I believe the exposure generated from our award, and subsequent relationship with both Mercedes-Benz and Fast Company has helped to open doors for 6D and validate our position as the technology leader in head protection.
We use our Sprinter almost daily in many aspects of our operations and it is a great tool. I honestly don’t know how we would have coped without it! The van makes an incredible statement for 6D just rolling down the road or pulling into an event. I will be forever grateful to this contest for helping us get our company started off right!