Marc Tarpenning, CFO at Tesla Motors

Marc Tarpenning


Tesla Motors

A visionary worth following.

Marc Tarpenning might be less known to vehicle buffs than Elon Musk, but I maintain that it was him (together with Martin Eberhard) who was the fundamental person behind the electric car revolution. And undeniably behind Tesla. To paint a full picture about Marc Tarpenning and his genius, we have to mention eBooks first. Which name comes to mind when we speak of the e-reader? Jeff Bezos of Amazon, I bet?

But again, it was Marc Tarpenning with Martin Eberhard who pioneered e-books with the company NuvoMedia, a vision made reality and sold for $187 million, seven years before the launch of Amazon’s Kindle. At that time, the brand new technology of lithium-ion batteries was used, but Mr. Tarpenning couldn’t possibly know how useful this experience would become on the way to changing the world of transportation.

The best rated conference on Event Advisor

Tickets from $109

February 12,13,14 2018
Redwood City, California

Startup Grind

Engineer, visionary and shrewd businessman, Marc Tarpenning gained career experience with several companies, including Seagate and Bechtel, where he worked on software, but the idea of changing the landscape of sustainable transport started in the Middle East.

Not everybody can be a visionary

It was his stay in Saudi Arabia and experiencing what kind of world oil money helps to create that planted a seed in his mind. Global warming and even wars in Middle East provided irrigation to this seed. Mr. Tarpenning went on a mission to rethink something different for the world of transport: sustainability. The seed was growing; experience was collected, and one fine day in 2003 Marc Tarpenning’s brainchild Tesla was born. Accompanied by his partner in business Martin Eberhard, Marc started a company that is changing the world today. It was all about moving beyond oil and reducing fossil fuel usage, and electricity was only one of the options.

The main aim was lowering emissions. Every calculation and analysis was showing the greater and greater advancement of electricity. Even hydrogen cells were considered but quickly dismissed. After all the analysis, electricity was the perfect winner. An epiphany. Pure electric vehicles. Mr. Tarpenning couldn’t understand why nobody else was working on an electric vehicle.

Another important moment, or breakthrough, if you will, came when he saw an (ahem) ugly Toyota Prius, a hybrid car, parked next to an attractive sports car. Tesla decided to build a performance vehicle for affluent clients. This idea, which has been proven to be crucial, was supported by the performance of a new electric engine. The famous roadster was being constructed when Elon Musk decided to bet 30 million dollars on it. Today, every car company around the world has a program for electric vehicles, with some exceptions still chasing the hydrogen dream. Some still don’t understand Mr. Tarpenning’s vision.

In 2008, Mark Tarpenning decided to leave Tesla, but stayed in the game. He went on investing, mentoring and doing consulting work. He made an investment in Alta, a company developing electric motorcycles, which has the ambition to tap the 100 billion dollar global motorcycle market. And what is his next vision? Come and find out at the Startup Grind Global Conference 2018 in Silicon Valley on February 12, an event currently rated 9.32/10 on EventAdvisor.

Meet Marc Tarpenning at Startup Grind Global Conference 2018

Reserve Seat

February 12,13,14 ● Silicon Valley

Other Speakers

Read about other speakers at Startup Grind Global Conference 2018