MaRS client Revelo Bikes Inc. to launch crowdfunding campaign on Bike to Work Day
TORONTO, May 24, 2013 /CNW/ - A Toronto company with an innovative electric bicycle will unveil its production prototype and crowdfunding campaign on Bike to Work Day - Monday, May 27, 2013, at MaRS Discovery District.
Media are invited to attend a press conference and test drive Revelo Bikes Inc.'s LIFEbike, a lightweight, compact, chainless electric bike that allows commuters to combine the environmental benefits of cycling with the convenience and comfort of a scooter. The company will use the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, to raise funds for its first production run.
"In Toronto, 82 per cent of downtown dwellers commute less than 10 kilometres and only six per cent travel by bike. To encourage people to bike, we need a simple solution that offers the option to travel without breaking a sweat, and not worry about showering, changing, and parking - that's where the LIFEbike comes in," says founder and CEO Henry Chong.
The LIFEbike has an ultra-light production weight - approximately 33lbs including battery - and can reach speeds of up to 25 km/h. The bike's compact design allows for seamless travel from a small condo, into an elevator and directly into the office.
"For less than five cents a day of electricity to operate, the LIFEbike presents an affordable form of transportation. The freedom from congestion and costly transportation options can be extremely empowering," Chong says.
Chong, a graduate of OCAD University's industrial design program, developed the LIFEbike as his thesis project. He sought the assistance of MaRS Discovery District, first through its Entrepreneurship 101 program, and later as a client in its Cleantech practice, to help turn his idea into reality. Chong became a client of MaRS after winning its 2012 Up-Start! Competition, a business pitch contest with a $10,000 prize for the top business plan.
"I had this vision, but I had no idea how start or run a business. MaRS provided an incredible wealth of expertise and support that was needed to develop our business plan and to execute on key milestones," he says.
"Forget thinking outside the box," says LIFEbike's MaRS cleantech advisor Lisa Harun. "Henry has drawn a new box, igniting a new paradigm; he's created a new category within the Personal Electric Vehicles market that has international appeal. This is only the beginning for LIFEbike."
Chong rides the LIFEbike regularly in downtown Toronto and will use it to travel to the press conference.
"The LIFEbike draws a lot of interest. People ask me where they can buy one. I didn't have an answer for them - until today. We're excited to bring this revolutionary Canadian product to the world market," Chong says.
The Indiegogo campaign aims to fund an initial run of 20 bikes, with a price point of approximately $1800 for the first, limited edition run.
What: LIFEbike press conference - demo and launch of Indiegogo campaign
When: May 27, 2013, 10:30am
Where: MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street, Room CR3
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada's next generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised over $500 million in capital, earned nearly $300 million in revenue and created over 2,600 new knowledge economy jobs.
Image with caption: "Henry Chong, founder and CEO of Revelo Bikes Inc., rides the LIFEbike in downtown Toronto. (CNW Group/MaRS Discovery District)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130524_C9912_PHOTO_EN_27039.jpg
SOURCE: MaRS Discovery District
For further information:
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8100 ext. 2710