By Allie Armitage
We are developing the next generation of bike sharing: an electronic bike lock that works with our software to create a new combination code for every ride. This lock completes weBike's station-less model, which uses a mobile app and text-based communication platform to rent a bike from any rack in the community and return it wherever you're going. It's simple, flexible and affordable; an innovative solution to get bike sharing in more places.
In more depth, tell us the story of what you want to do and what your mission is.
We are building the next generation of bike sharing because we think it's time that more than just big cities have all the shared bike fun. Started as a college project in 2007, weBike set out to design bike sharing on a budget. We have replaced the station-based concept, which is expensive and difficult to install, with a simple, flexible, and affordable model that is specifically targeted towards smaller markets. Places like colleges, corporate campuses, small towns and residential communities; all who are small but mighty and deserve to have the benefit of public biking too.
What is the positive impact you will have on the world and how will you measure that impact?
When everyone starts biking, great things happen. A short list of benefits include - traffic reduction, healthier (and happier) people, parking lots that are re-purposed into valuable public space, lower health care costs, and a community where people get out of their cars and interact with each other. We measure impact through our management software which tracks usage data and reports the hard numbers on ridership. Then, we dig deeper through direct user engagement to find out how users feel about their experience and report changes in their lifestyle. Here's an example from Nicholas Thomas, an avid weBiker in our College Park system - "I am a Master of Landscape Architecture student and so environmental awareness is a big part of my daily life; using weBike not only validates my environmental awareness but the fact that these bikes are shared means that the carbon footprint of the bike is substantially reduced, as well as my own."
Excited about our recent blog on Huffington Post! Check it out ... http://huff.to/RWQ6v6
Check out the incredible faces of those who've contributed to the campaign.. enshrined on our newly minted Wall of Fame!
We crossed the halfway mark this week! Still a lot of work ahead to hit $15,000 but we're ready to get there with some new material coming out soon, including a Huffington Post blog, video rapping on a bike and a vote for our next tee shirt design. Stay tuned!
We have surpassed 1/4 of our goal as we are one quarter of the way through the campaign! We still need momentum to carry us through the rest of the 32 days, so stay tuned for a couple articles and stories to come out soon. In the meantime, custom weBike postcards have arrived so baikus are being crafted and raps are being drafted.
Please keep sharing our story with others - and when you do, be sure to let people know why you support the effort. Why should they join the movement to make shift happen?
Thanks for your support! Hasta muy pronto.
The weBike Team.
Thanks to your amazing support this campaign is headed in the right direction. We're the highest funded on the Launcht site and we're looking good for reaching our goal in the stretch that will take us up to September.
Now, T-shirts are being designed, Baiku verses crafted and custom raps written, all of which will be coming down the pike over the next week or so. In the meantime, feel free to share the campaign with anyone you know who'd think it's cool .. and give yourself a major pat on the back for being an early supporter of what we're doing. We can't tell you enough how grateful we are for your support.
Until next week!
The weBike team.
Allie is co-founder and Marketing Director for weBike (also holding down the female fort on the team). She spearheads outreach for the company by engaging users, building new client relationships, and developing innovative strategies to promote the growth of the company. In addition to weBike, Allie coordinates a Mentorship program at the Entrepreneur's Organization in Alexandria, VA, and is actively involved a variety of young entrepreneurial organizations including Hub DC and Sandbox. She graduated from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 2008. Allie also sat on the William James Foundation Board in a seat reserved for a recent competition prize winners.
Vlad has a B.S. in Computer Science and a specialized study in Quality Enhancement from UMD. By day, he works as a software developer for PNC Bank; at weBike, he oversees our technology development and is actively involved in design and operations. Vlad is also an avid cyclist and has a solid background in bike maintenance and repair. As CEO, Vlad is also responsible for company strategy and future development.
Yasha is a Senior Developer at Optoro where he designs rich online presences for clients on a variety of web sites. He is always on top of cutting-edge web technology, content management systems, web architecture, and the trend for online development. As weBike's Chief Technology Architect and Engineer, Yasha manages the current and future development of the company's technological footprint.
Brad graduated from the University of Maryland in May 2009 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He currently works at an emerging start-up energy software company as the Director of Development. Working at a successful investment backed start-up gives Brad great business insight and valuable experience to apply to weBike. As CDO for weBike, Brad is responsible for business development, finances and operations.