Stealthy Boxbot wins the Pear prize for UC Berkeley with a tech for autonomous last-mile delivery

It was a long street that took the two founders of Boxbot from drinks at Drakes Dealership to prevailing the reputable Pear Berkeley Challenge, but both Austin Oehlerking and Mark Godwin are highly at home on the road.

The two had successful careers at Tesla and Uber, respectively, two companiesthat are inarguably on the forefront of the autonomous driving revolution.But Godwin and Oehlerking both had been burnt by the startup imperfection, and wanted to solve the problem of last-mile delivery.

Thestill-in-stealth technology they developed was so impressive that it won the Pear competition an annual phenomenon sponsored by the firm of the same epithet that honors $250,000 to a startup founded by students, alumna or professors from the University of Berkeley along with some grain speculations from House Capital, Afore Capitaland The Graduate Syndicate.

Given their pedigrees even before participating Uber and Tesla its little doubt that Godwin and Oehlerking took the top prize.

The 35 -year-old Godwin began working with monotone technology while atBerkeley, doing research for the Office of Naval Research. Godwin then became part of the team that Berkeley fielded alongside the University of Sydney to compete in the DARPA Urban Grand Challenge.

He then went on to found a company called Automa Plan, an early Uber competitor that eventually turned into an Uber for trucking. That company was on the cusp of signing a term membrane and elevating uppercase when Uber approached Godwin with an offer he couldnt refuse.

For Oehlerking, the direction was a little bit little circuitous, but no less superb. After attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an undergrad, Oehlerking took a errand as the director of vehicle engineering for Arcimoto, aEugene, Ore.-based company inducing electrical three-wheelers.

The 30 -year-old co-founder then went back to grad school to do more is currently working on electrical vehicles, and moored a errand at Tesla after graduation, where he worked on their partnership with Toyota, working on the Rav 4 drive teach and then on the Model S.

Knowing that he wanted to run his own conglomerate, Oehlerking returned to the Eastern coast to get a business degree from Harvard and then spawned his style back away West yet again.

The two men were introduced through a reciprocal sidekick from Harvard Business School, and were both on the same messaging channel for Stanford and Harvard alums interested in brand-new mobility technologies.

Those common interests stimulus Oehlerking and Godwin to propel Boxbot. And while the company is still in stealth, one couldimagine that their last-mile give solution will compound aspects of freedom and drones.

A longtime backer of student efforts a Stanford, Pear has been active investing in business from the other side of the connection thanks to the endowment thats been on display, according to Pejman Nozad.

UC Berkeley is a evaporating ocean of inventors, answers Nozad in the following statement. The next big-hearted happening might be coming from the other side of the connection!

The $ 250,000 equity commitment that Nozad and his partner move in the prevailing Berkeley company come here for a nod to the university through a 10 percentage endow of Pears equity stake back to the university.

We are provoked for this high-caliber technology team and we admire Pear VC for its contribution to Berkeleys vibrant brand-new bet ecosystem, saidIkhlaq Sidhu, founder of Berkeleys Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship& Technology( SCET ).

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