February 22, 2024

This Black Survivor Winner’s Space-Age Tires Are Disrupting A $300 Billion Market

Black-owned startup The SMART Tire Company (STC) is calling on Black celebrities, investors, and engineers to help disrupt the global tire market industry at $300 billion.

SMART tires: TIME’s Best Inventions

STC is best known for its space-age tires, which are changing the way vehicles perform on and off the road.

The tires were initially designed for NASA’s Mars Rover program, but STC was founded to commercialize this advanced tire technology as part of the FedTech NASA Startup Program.

The company’s inaugural product is a high-performance, airless bicycle tire made from shape memory alloys that are elastic like rubber yet strong like titanium. It was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023. 

STC’s aspirations extend beyond bicycles, with plans to develop tires for the automotive and trucking industries, including a prototype for Hyundai Motors.

Credit: The SMART Tire Company

Now, In celebration of Black History Month, the company is seeking involvement from Black celebrities, investors, and influencers to join its mission. 

“As we celebrate the rich contributions of Black leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs throughout history, we recognize the importance of diversity in driving progress and innovation,” said Cole.

“We are committed to building a team and a product that reflects the diversity of our society.”

Meet the founder: Entrepreneur, Inventor, & Survivor Winner

The brains behind STC, founder & CEO Earl Cole, isn’t a stranger to success. 

A serial entrepreneur and inventor, Cole first gained prominence as the first Black man to win CBS’s “Survivor (Fiji)” unanimously. 

He’s also recognized for orchestrating an all-Black show finale, a first in the show’s history.

Cole’s pivot to tire technology came when he put his doctoral studies at USC on hold to participate in the NASA Startup Studio. This program aims to identify entrepreneurs capable of successfully commercializing NASA technology

Cole emerged victorious, seeing potential in applying this technology to the tire market.

Today, Cole has amassed over 15 years of experience designing smart technology solutions and is a NASA partner and a mentor for multiple Techstars accelerators.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.