Will Drewery Reflects on His Time with Elon Musk: ‘Toughest Challenge I’ve Faced Before Launching Startup’

Will Drewery co-founded Diagon, a firm that facilitates equipment procurement for manufacturers. According to Tech Crunch, after finishing from business school in 2012, he moved to the Bay Arena and discovered Tesla through a friend.

Tesla employed him to source manufacturing equipment for its plants, such as industrial robots, metal presses, and plastic molding machines.

While acquiring manufacturing equipment for Tesla facilities, he became motivated to establish his own business. The supply chain manager founded his company to help businesses of all sizes benefit from his experience sourcing equipment for Tesla’s electric vehicles and battery installations.

Companies in industries like as automotive and aerospace can use Diagon to find eligible vendors from its network of equipment suppliers, system integrators, and service providers, according to Tech Crunch.

“Big projects companies are building now, like battery manufacturing, need very specific types of process equipment and automation equipment to build a factory and automate,” Drewery said in an interview with TechCrunch.

“I’d been hearing and witnessing tendencies toward nearshoring and reshoring in American industry. As a supply chain manager, I’ve been looking closely at how it will actually happen. People intuitively understand that they want to source batteries for the cars they’re building in the United States or near the United States, but they have no idea that if that capacity doesn’t exist anywhere, they won’t be able to find a qualified supplier or the necessary infrastructure to manufacture those products.”

In 2023, Drewery started Diagon alongside Shri Muthu, a former Zoosk engineering leader. The startup employs Artificial Intelligence to provide answers on the type of infrastructure that businesses require.

Drewery worked as an equipment buyer for the majority of his career before co-founding the company. Working in the business appears to have been ingrained in him since childhood. His father and uncles worked in the steel business, which he described as a “great way to make a living for a long time” before globalization relocated industrial centers overseas.

“It impacted me to see not only the industry, but the businesses that supported it, being affected,” Drewery said. He went on to say, “I had this intuition that there was a much bigger significance to being able to manufacture to support a local economy.”

Drewery also worked as a consultant for PwC before joining the US Department of Defense as a contractor.

His company recently raised $5.1 million, which included a previous $800,000 SAFE round. The funds provided to Diagon will enable the company to actively hire, including a head of product and go-to-market.

Drewery remarked on working for Elon Musk, “I’ve never learned more than I did in that role, but it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.” I used to say that before establishing this company.”

Drewery noted that procuring equipment requires attending trade exhibitions, which was problematic with Musk as the boss.

“A lot of times I would have to do it under the radar,” stated Drewery.

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