Eurobike Start-Up Award ‘paves the way’ for entry to bike market

The 2020 Eurobike Start-Up Award is going to be awarded according to the same procedure and criteria as every year, organisers have said, “paving the way” for entry to the bike market.

The Eurobike Special from 24th to 26th November will be a pure B2B event. As a result, award winners can expect to “reap the benefits on the same scale as in previous years”, organisers have said. This means generating interest and winning potential business partners and retailers to new ideas and solutions. The award winners will be announced digitally on 2nd September 2020 at the prize-giving ceremony following the start-up pitch event.

“The Eurobike Award has become an important feature that neither trade show visitors nor its many participants want to do without. This is due to the unique recognition it creates for all who enter,” said Eurobike project manager Dirk Heidrich.

“We are delighted to have been able to offer the Eurobike Award for two years now as a tool for start-ups to help these innovative companies present their exciting ideas in a convincing manner. Ultimately, the resulting creative solutions cross-fertilise the entire industry.”

The award winners from 2019 describe the benefits and opportunities that they have experienced in their own words in the following interviews.

Tatze has completely rethought pedals and propulsion. The start-up founded by Armin Hofreiter has created a surprisingly different mountain bike pedal with a pedal/spindle system that is significantly thinner than conventional products. Among other things, this provides greater ground clearance.

What opportunities are there today for start-ups to promote change in the bike market?
The big firms don’t want to cover every niche, so start-ups with functional, high-quality products can make waves. For example, we started with the ADD-FLAT Adapter – a conversion kit for Shimano pedals to convert the XT or XTR pedal into a powerful combi pedal. The market for this solution might be modest, however, it brought us recognition and generated our first profits. We then went on to develop our current bestseller, the TWO-FACE combi pedal.

Why does your product represent a revolution in its sector?
The revolution is in the way the pedal and spindle are combined. As the bearings for the pedal are integrated in the spindle, the pedal can be made with a much thinner construction. In standard pedals, the parts are combined one on top of the other: axle, then bearings, then pedal body. With our integrated standard, we want to drive forward system integration of spindles and pedals for more clearance and greater efficiency.

How has your company developed since winning an award?
After the Eurobike show, we were able to sign contracts with wholesalers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition, we are now expanding our product portfolio with the MC-FLY click pedal – it weighs just 305 grams, which makes it the lightest enduro pedal on the market. The integrated system we showed at the Eurobike was a study that was ready to run. We are now involved with testing the system in a further developed version. We’ll be exhibiting the finished series production product at Eurobike 2020.

Did winning the Eurobike Start-Up Award help you?
The award gained us recognition on an international scale. As a start-up with a Eurobike Award, we found that people took us more seriously. You don’t need to work so hard to explain how great your products are. It made a big difference to our brand building, our overall visibility and also to our commercial success.

The industry is opening up more than ever. Mobility now also means not just bikes, but scooters too. John Irving, CEO of British company Aer Electric, has developed a very special electric scooter with the Aer 557. Designed to offer a new level in ergonomics, it also scores highly on sustainability and performance – and convinced the Eurobike judges.

What opportunities are there today for start-ups to promote change in the bike market?
All new inventions face the problem that they have to get noticed and understood. At Eurobike, there are huge opportunities for a start-up and we’re very happy to be part of the community with our own scooter. We view Eurobike and the bike industry together with the light vehicles sector as part of the solution for the growing problem in cities.

Why does your product represent a revolution in its sector?
We have built the first e-scooter to win this coveted bike design prize as the expert panel of judges recognised the outstanding design and quality of the product combined with its bicycle principles. The right geometry for 20” wheels, foldability, ergonomic, high-quality components… This all offers better performance than other designs.

How has your company developed since winning an award?
After two years in development, winning the Start-Up Award and subsequently gaining international recognition was an exceptional success for us. Even with the hurdles posed by COVID-19, we have been able to expand and develop a completely new scooter project. We have capitalised on the demand and are already working on an exciting brand partnership with other internationally active brands. In addition, we also produce the driver’s paddock scooter for the best Isle of Man motorbike team. And we have had great press, including being named by “Wired” as one of the best e-scooters of 2020.

Did winning the Eurobike Start-Up Award help you?
The Eurobike and the award brought us the recognition and momentum we needed to further extend our retailer relationships. For 2020, we’ve booked a larger booth in one of the main halls.

The Bike Box Company from South Africa has developed a modular transport packaging system for a wide range of bikes that won the Eurobike Start-Up Award. CEO and founder Christine Collins answered four questions.

What opportunities are there today for start-ups to promote change in the bike market?
The bike industry is developing fast as more and more people are taking to bikes. This is creating new entry sectors for small firms that see a gap in the market.

Why does your product represent a revolution in its sector?
Ever greater numbers of riders are taking their bicycles with them when they travel by plane. This means schlepp and logistics. Our BikeBox is filling a gap in the market as its reasonably priced, extremely light and yet offers outstanding protection for bikes during plane transit. A further advantage: our BikeBox folds together. This means that the box stores away easily and takes up minimal space when not in use.

How has your company developed since winning an award?
We are a South African company, but since winning the award, we have started to establish ourselves abroad, including outside of Europe. We now have a distributor in France and the USA. Talks with a German manufacturer have had to be called off due to the Corona pandemic.

Did winning the Eurobike Start-Up Award help you?
The Start-Up Award was a great honour and confirmed that our product is also generating big interest in Europe. With the award under our belt, we have started to establish ourselves here. This is a development that the international pandemic has only been able to slow down temporarily.

E-bikes are becoming more and more diversified. Swiss company Asfalt has dedicated itself to a particular version. The Asfalt LR has the design of a normal, classic sportbike with full, no-compromise, bike and e-bike functionality. David Oreiro, one of the brand’s founders answered the questions.

What opportunities are there today for start-ups to promote change in the bike market?

Today, it’s more possible than ever to develop new, innovative products with small, and in particular, agile teams.

Why does your product represent a revolution in its sector?
It combines minimalist Swiss design language with riding performance and technical innovation for the real everyday needs of customers.

How has your company developed since winning an award?
The next step is distribution outside Switzerland. To this end, we have made further improvements and completed certifications to take on other markets. Our bike will now be available in Europe this year.

Did winning the Eurobike Start-Up Award help you?
We suddenly had requests from all over the world!” The response was massive and we had extremely positive feedback. We would definitely recommend every start-up to take part in the Eurobike Award.

The Eurobike Award also serves as a symbol of innovation and creativity for established companies. And this is something also appreciated by partners and customers of the winning start-up outfits. Timo Kieninger, head of marketing and distribution at component manufacturer Magura explains in this interview:

Does the Eurobike Award also generate new impulses for established companies?
The Eurobike Award is an institution in the bike industry. As such, it always provides a stimulus for companies with a long tradition. An industry so heavily dominated by new products and innovations certainly benefits from having new products selected and evaluated to stand out from the crowd.

Are there advantages for a company’s brand image through the Eurobike Award?
The Award is organised by the leading international bike show. This means it has resonance and impact. As such, it is an important brand building tool and ideal for communication.

On the German and international e-bike market, Riese & Müller is well-known for innovation and quality. Markus Riese is co-founder of the company, which also received a Gold Award in 2019.

To what extent has the Eurobike Award influenced product development at Riese & Müller?
The Eurobike Award serves above all as high recognition for the huge amount of work that we put into analysis, engineering, component selection and product design. Our product development itself is primarily influenced by the requirements of our customers.

Do you see advantages for a company’s brand image from the Eurobike Award?
Products with a Eurobike Award definitely have high visibility. Seeing that the Eurobike brand is also known and appreciated by end consumers and has credibility, the award has a positive effect on our image.

Read the latest edition of BikeBiz below:

In other news...

Industry reacts as NAO report shows Government not on track to meet cycling targets

A National Audit Office (NAO) report released today, Wednesday, June 7, has revealed that the …