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Featured Startup: Ridekick

Fort Collins loves bicycling! With flat terrain in town and challenging, hilly terrain just to the west, there’s a little something for everyone in the bike arena. But what if you if still find yourself a little tired, a little worn out upon arrival at your destination? There’s a new company in Fort Collins that is solving lots of challenges of bicycling for the everyday commuter to the rusty bicyclist who is anxious to get back on a bike.

Ridekick is a Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative (RMI²) client company with seven employees working to keep people’s cars in their garages and bicycles on the road. With a patent pending battery system that hooks on to your bicycle’s frame, people are able to pedal their bike, or engage the Ridekick system with a simple lever, and zoom, you are off with no physical work, riding up to 18 m.p.h. Well aware of the regulations around motorized vehicles on bike lanes, Ridekick is perfect for street bike lanes and slow acceleration or pedaling on pedestrian trails. The battery pack is inside a compact plastic storage tub on wheels that holds two or three bags of groceries, work supplies or a change of clothes.

Founded by Mark Wagner and Ken Schrader, the Ridekick team is composed of local talent. In fact it’s one of the most special aspects of the company. They are very proud of their staff and the serendipity that weaves around the whole timing of the company, their invention and the need for qualified, dedicated staff. Entrepreneurs in Fort Collins are often “graduates” of large corporations with offices or headquarters in town. The network of people in Fort Collins who are experienced, excited about new opportunities and are willing to take chances is wide. Luckily these kinds of people know one another and relationships and partnerships are easily formed—especially in Ridekick’s case!

Being a client company of RMI², Ridekick gets the peer support that new startup companies need to succeed. The offices on Mountain and Mason, and soon, the new building on Vine Street, lead to casual conversations, lunch appointments and brainstorming sessions that help everyone involved. Ridekick is also a graduate from RMI² second FastTrac® TechVenture™ entrepreneurial workshop.

Other fast facts about Ridekick:

  • The battery is a sealed lead acid battery...it lasts for 5,000 miles of travel before it needs to be recycled and replaced
  • Ridekick is for ages 14 and up
  • It saves energy—instead of driving a car, drive your Ridekick and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Ridekick is open to discussing co-branding and selling fleets of the motorized trailers to companies

Look for their product in local and national bike shops in early 2011. Meanwhile, you can go to their website, watch a couple of YouTube videos, follow them on twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about RMI² at www.rmi2.org.