Case Study

Bobsla: E-motion on snow

15 pages
January 2022
Reference: IMD-7-2315

FULPMES, AUSTRIA, AUGUST 2021. Sergey Ignatyev, the founder and CEO of Bobsla, had arrived in Austria in 2019 from his native Saint Petersburg, attracted to the country by Startup Tirol, a foundation dedicated to bringing top technology startups to Austria. His revolutionary electric vehicle, a hybrid between a snowmobile and a sled on tracks, had already won multiple prestigious technology and innovation awards and was the talk of the town on European slopes. The list of possible uses was growing every day. At the same time, the quest for investors had proved more arduous than expected. The question now was whether he could salvage his startup and finally turn it into the “Tesla on Snow.” Prototypes were making the rounds between exhibitions and technology fairs already, attracting attention and supportive editorials. The thrill of riding an electric snowmobile at 30 km/h sitting only millimeters above the snow was an incomparable and addictive experience. The hard part now was to define a proper business model (Selling hardware? Organizing events? Licensing the patented technology? B2B or B2C? Austria, US or Canada?) and developing a robust business plan to take the Bobsla to the world’s snowy slopes. Every dimension of the plan needed to be internally consistent and sustainable to make the Bobsla the “Tesla on Snow,” the ideal replacement for the snowmobiles craved by nature lovers around the world but which were actually environmental disasters: noisy, polluting and gas guzzling.

Learning Objective

The case is designed as the base for an integrated entrepreneurship/business plan development discussion and group work. The product, an electric snowmobile, creates a new category of electric vehicle (EV), with superior sustainability footprint as well as entertainment and functional value. Participants are expected to argue for the most potent business model and plan to take this new vehicle to market, including positioning, funding needs, distribution, marketing, etc.

Snowmobile, Electric Vehicle, Growth Management, Business Model, Positioning, Pricing, Market Entry, Clean Energy​, Affordable Energy​, Industry Infrastructure, Industry Innovation, Sustainable Community, Sustainable City, Climate Action, Life on Land, Scale-up, Start-up, Growth
Bobsla, Automotive, Electric Vehicles
Field Research
© 2022
Available Languages
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Teaching note, Video
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