Will Fan, founder of Emobily, is a Vancouver-based multi-faceted entrepreneur fascinated with making the world more efficient and less reliant on outdated modes of energy and transportation.
Emobily is a sustainable micro-electric vehicle business focused on micro-mobility and charging stations and a technical visionary with almost a decade of experience in private equity.
In 2022, he became a Top 10 recipient of the Microsoft Founder Hub Program and a TEDx speaker speaking in the Science & Technology category on the future of mobility and sustainable energy in transportation.
In addition to his roster of EV ventures, Will is a Global Strategic Advisor to South Korea’s SG Entertainment Group, which produces K-pop idols, performers, and creators. His background includes a decade of experience in K-pop market trend culture and designing entertainment marketing strategies. Will has studied the Arts, including filmmaking and animation, choreography, and choir dancing. He has a proven track record in bringing business, music, and art together, making him a valued player in the entertainment industry.
Will’s desire to improve the world began at a young age. He grew up in a community where bullying, drug use, and violence were everyday occurrences. Tragically, as a child, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was placed in the care of an elderly doctor. Over time, Will was cured, but the doctor who saved his life, passed soon afterwards. Before he did, he shared with Will: “You have to continue to live, no matter how difficult it may be.”
Will says, “The doctor saw a fighter in me, and I knew I had to do something meaningful with my life. In my early 20s, as a seaman, I met my first mentor, a senior in a private navy crew and a radar specialist. He taught me how to navigate life and what it is like to become a responsible and strong person. Because of these two incredible people, I have so much to live for. I am dedicated to continuing their legacy.”
IN HIS WORDS
“At 26, I was working in the petroleum industry, and in 2017 after completing an IPO through Vancouver’s Lawson Lundell law firm, I decided to shift my future from a private equity perspective to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. These two professions are very different as one focuses on selling future commodities in the hopes of a good valuation per share return; the other focuses on building an actual business with products and services to customers.
“The discovery that I could help companies go public made me realize I could do it for myself, so I was inspired to start a business venture from that experience.
“At the time, I was taught that everyone needed energy in the petroleum industry due to its daily usage globally; however, making an impact and doing something more meaningful would not be possible if I stayed in that mindset and at that job.
“I became focused on becoming an environmental entrepreneur by reusing computers and recycling lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicle technology components. Industry-wise, that is a big jump, and I admit I struggled initially. I thought, “This technology stuff is the future, and it’s cool!” However, it requires trusting your gut intensely and adopting a mindset of optimistic opportunity to pull it off more than anything else.
BELIEF IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES
“Friends and associates said I was out of touch with reality, but I believed the electric vehicle industry would become the next trillion-dollar industry behind Apple and Microsoft. Deep inside, I knew I had finally found something more meaningful and impactful to pursue.
“Therefore, before the pandemic it was timely when I stumbled upon some electric bikes in my warehouse, quickly leading to a venture that would become my passion – Emobily.
TAKING A RISK ON EV
“Embarking on this new path, with no related networks or connections in the sustainability or EV industries, was daunting yet exhilarating. Building everything from scratch, travelling the world to network with strangers, and meeting CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies, private and listed on the Fortune 500, became a new way of life. I built this new venture into an international success in less than three years.
LIME IS THE NEW GREEN
“With the globally recognized Lime E-Bikes, my company was one of a few in North America that knew how to repurpose, maintain and distribute them. I secured a time-sensitive deal from a US contact, and eventually, many E-Bikes and electric scooters landed in my warehouse.
“This was not to be a traditional buy-and-sell business model but one that assisted people in getting to places affordably. The electric motor propels them quicker than a standard bike, and with vehicle prices, gas and insurance rising to mortgage-rate levels; I knew I had to be the person to bring these to the city.
“These EVs are ideal for students, entrepreneurs, workers, anyone and everyone. They provide flexible transportation, and electrification makes them an innovative product that can help battle climate change by getting more people off the road and away from dependence on fossil fuels.
EMOBILY X BUGATTI
“All of this leads to the incredible opportunity for my company Emobily to partner with the renowned automotive legend Bugatti. Bringing and launching Lime E-Bikes in North America garnered me an impeccable reputation in repair, maintenance and distribution.
“In May 2022, when ByTech for Bugatti launched its electric scooter (perfect for the ecoluxury lifestyle) including the new LEGO Technic Bugatti, it generated over 50 million views within two-week of the launch.
“With the limited number of EV-qualified people able to partner with Bugatti, I contacted them. I negotiated an agreement over the next twelve months from both sides, which led them to invest directly into Emobily! This outcome was entirely unexpected and definitely mind-blowing. I am honoured to be selected by such a prestigious luxury brand as a partner; it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The Bugatti brand is something only some people can obtain, and the process was rigorous. I underwent many interviews and was background checked; you name it, I had to pass it. The rest, as they say, is history.
AN ENTREPRENEURS JOURNEY
“Each time a key project of mine is launched, I feel fulfilled. In my heart and mind, I know that my plan was executed perfectly and that my vision aligned with how I wanted it to be. It is like winning in any game; that accomplishment is the best reward. You know when you have earned it.
“When I meet with entrepreneurs just starting their journey, I share the value of giving back and promoting well-being while in business. In my early career, I only focused on making money but had many moral dilemmas as the years passed. I knew ‘making money’ held no part in finding true happiness. I wish I had known this earlier, but to fix the past, we must go into the future and help as many people as possible. To not just make money or chase success but to find joy and hope in oneself first.
“I have seen how being generous brings joy out of people and those who surround us. By being as selfless as possible, we can impact our surroundings more effectively. Believe it or not, generous people are often deemed suspicious or thought to have ulterior motives just for being thoughtful and kind. I believe the only way to fix people’s negative perceptions is to take action and set a good example. Promoting well-being and getting them to contribute actively is the most important part of engaging with the community.
Read the original version of this story in PORTFOLIO.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs here!
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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