Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2007 (Revised April 2009)

TH!NK: The Norwegian Electric Car Company

by Joseph B. Lassiter III and David Kiron

Abstract

On August 1, 2007, 61-year-old Jan-Olaf Willums' plane was flying along the Greenland coastline on his way back to Norway after intense discussions with several prominent U.S. venture capital investors, among them Kleiner Perkins and Rockport Capital Partners, about investing in a plan to accelerate his company's entry into the North American market. A successful engineer, entrepreneur, and sustainable development champion, Willums was CEO of Think Global AS (TH!NK), a privately held Norwegian maker of electric vehicles (EVs). Having already raised $85 million in venture backing, TH!NK was just a few months away from the broad European launch of its line of EVs, the first commercially available, highway-safe cars in the world that produced zero greenhouse emissions.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Innovation and Invention; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Environmental Sustainability; Pollution and Pollutants; Auto Industry; Green Technology Industry; Europe; Norway;

Citation:

Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "TH!NK: The Norwegian Electric Car Company." Harvard Business School Case 808-070, October 2007. (Revised April 2009.)