University College London student Marcin Piatkowski has raised over £180,000 to bring a chainless electric folding bike to production.
Claiming to be ‘the first of its kind’, the lightweight (15 kg) Jive e-bike is propelled via an enclosed drive shaft linked to the pedals, as opposed to a chain.
Using CrowdCube, the graduate secured donations ranging from £20 right through to more than £50,000.
Marcin, 25, came up with the idea while studying the Msc Technology Entrepreneurship at UCL in 2012. He has been supported by the university to develop his idea through winning a £15,000 Bright Ideas Award and also won a business plan competition organised by UCL Advances, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship, which provided Marcin with a further £10,000 in funding.
The bike fully charges within two hours and will offer a 20-mile assistance range per charge. The fold takes the bike down to a ‘suitcase’ size.
Piatkowski now hopes to have production units available during the summer of 2014. Orders for the bike – which will retail at an anticipated price of £1,500 – have already started rolling in since the investment round concluded.
Piatkowski said of the journey so far: “Jive Bike will make commuting a totally different experience. From the outset we have kept weight as low as possible, both through the use of aluminium and also through keeping batteries small and light.
“Other electric bikes exist with a further range, but for commuters in cities – which the bike is built for and who have already made up a big block of interest – a range which gets them to the office and back, with a rapid charge, is ideal.
“Our intention was to design a product that offers benefits of having a bicycle, without any lifestyle compromises. I think we have succeeded.”