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Fisker Automotive

Fisker Automotive

Irvine, Calif.
Founders: Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler
VC investment over the last four quarters: $90.5 million

Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler met at BMW, where both worked as auto designers (Fisker is credited with designing the Z8). In 2007, they founded Fisker to build plug-in hybrid luxury cars, with the goal of selling to car buyers who want to improve their impact on the environment but not have to make a compromise when it comes to style. The 45-employee company, which is still in the development stage, is predicting the recession will improve by midyear 2009 and that consumers will be turning to eco-friendly cars for good, explains Fisker spokesperson Russell Datz.

Key to startup success: "Have a solid business plan and stick to
deadlines."