Students pave way for bike sharing service
By Ashley Altus
The founders of Campus Bike, a company created to support more environmentally sustainable campuses, plan on changing the way students use on-campus transportation by bringing bike-sharing to Baylor’s campus.
Bike-sharing is an automated system that gives users 24/7 access to a group of bicycles shared by a community.
“Right now, you can look around campus and see there are messy bike racks everywhere, and it’s an eyesore,” Glenrock, N.J. freshman and co-founder Kyle Bogert said. “Our mission is streamlining transportation and environmental awareness and sustainability.”
Houston freshman and co-founder Jonathon Permetti said one of the advantages they have as a company is being their own customers.
“I wake up every day pretty much running to class to be on time,” Permetti said. “We know the needs and are able to suit them because we’re living them. We feel that it’s a need that needs to be filled.”
Bogert said Campus Bike does not provide the bicycle-sharing but instead is a consultant firm for universities to license its technologies.
Permetti said the company is looking to be on Baylor’s campus within a year with its goal of about 350 users and 160 bikes.
Campus Bike offers different packages for students. A yearly pass with Campus Bike is $79.95 which includes unlimited 45 minute rides.
Bogert said he drew his original concept of his docking system full-to-scale on his dorm room wall.
Bogert pitched his bike-sharing concept to his roommates to get them to be a part of his idea in the Entrepreneurial Living-Learning Center in North Village.
“We weren’t really on board at first, but then after looking at how things go, we hopped on board and decided to keep working on it,” Dallas freshman and co-founder Paul Worrell said.
The group meets three to five days per week in the Dottie S. Riley Conference Room in Moody Memorial Library to work on Campus Bike.
The team said they work 40 to 60 hours per week on their company and have seen their social lives and grades slip.
“It’s like having a full-time job and taking classes,” Clinton, N.J. sophomore and co-founder T.J. Gawalis said.
Campus Bike will also have a chance to gain more funding for the company by presenting on the FOX Network’s Crowd Funder Show.
“They are trying to raise us $25,000 for development, and whatever you donate you get back in gift cards donated by their sponsors,” Bogert said.
The episode featuring Campus Bike is expected to air in the next 30 days.
The co-founders said one of the main differences between Campus Bike and other bike-sharing services is its docking system.
“We’re going for a very minimalistic design for our walking stations.” Permetti said, “It’ll literally be like a pole coming out of the ground with a locking head on it which we will have patents for.”
The group will be presenting their idea in the California Dreamin’ Investor & Fast Pitch Competition at Chapman University in Anaheim, Calif. against 29 other teams selected from their respective universities. Campus Bike will be the only Baylor representative at the competition.
The team will be competing for a first place price of $70,000 with access to $1 million dollars in equity financing.