While the entire Ryvid team has always been firmly invested in their future-forward mission, the State of California provided the company with their own endorsement in the form of a $20 million grant late last year. Receiving the grant through the California Competes - California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (created for companies that want to relocate, stay or expand in California) has meant Ryvid could fulfill their mission to have the Anthem in production in August 2023 – a date that had many dubious as too aggressive compared with other brands in the same market segment that took years to get to deliveries.
After connecting with the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the Ryvid team got to work on a grant proposal. “They wrote the incredible story of Ryvid: how we founded the company, exactly what we intended, and what we are doing,” co-founder Dong Tran says. Applying to the California Competes Program made perfect sense because GO-Biz has been key to transforming California to a more sustainable economic model and local manufacturing is remarkably important to Ryvid. Without expecting too much, the founding team submitted their proposal. Then they got to the second round. “Next thing we knew, I was in front of the board explaining who we are,” Tran continues.
The $20 million is being put to use in numerous ways, such as establishing a Hawaiian Gardens headquarters and a San Bernardino manufacturing facility. Of course, the funds are also going toward paying employees fair and livable salaries. “That was one of the biggest things we promised California – we're going to keep jobs here. We're going to sell these products all over the country and all over the world, but we're going to build them here. That could only happen because of what we're doing with manufacturing and assembly.” Ryvid has seamlessly integrated their thoughtful design principles into the manufacturing and assembly processes in a way that means generalists are even more crucial to their production than specialists.
Working closely with GO-Biz and their California Competes team meant the Ryvid team could focus on manufacturing the Anthem in a timely manner. Now, having been in production since late August, Tran believes the grant was integral in achieving their goal. “There was, and is, a lot of work but it’s doable. It's only impossible if you do it how it's always been done,” he says.
Making sure Ryvid is sustainable includes everything from materials to assembly and finances. While $20 million certainly sounds like tons of money, in the world of large-scale manufacturing, it’s a modest amount. “The number that we came up with is essentially the number that gets us through production and to a place where we are profitable and independent, without relying on future investments,” Tran explains. Making sure Ryvid is sustainable includes everything from materials to assembly and finances. “We still have a lot of work to do. There's much more to do and there always will be, but I think the biggest thing is that people come into work treating this like their own mission.”