60 second start-up: Jyrobike

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Jyrobike designs and manufactures Auto Balance Bicycles for children and adults to help them experience the joy and freedom of riding a bicycle in the quickest and easiest way possible… phew, that’s one sentence, right?

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

A world wide digital first, direct from manufacturer to consumer model, which is executed via our e-commerce website jyrobike.com. In parallel, we are looking to partner with select retailers to promote and demonstrate our products first hand. Most importantly, we want to build products that people love.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

Actually there are no other products like ours, anywhere in the world. In that sense, we don’t have any direct competitors…indirectly, kids can learn to ride using a number of other methods ranging from stabilisers (that are really quite horrible), trial and error (the scrapes and tears model) or transition slowly from a push and scoot balance bike (6 month commitment). Or…kids can learn to ride a bicycle in a single afternoon with Jyrobike.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

We invented and patented a new product called a Jyrobike Control Hub. Built into the front wheel, the Control Hub uses gyroscopic technology to keep riders upright and balanced, even when they tip or wobble. To most observers it has an almost magical quality that seems to defy gravity.

Everyone knows from their own experience that learning to ride can be tough. Jyrobike is the easiest and quickest way to take riders from cant to can. It also never fails to put a smile on their faces; you have to see it to believe it.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

I pitched at several London “Dragon Den” style events, which quickly led to the first round of seed funding in November 2013. 

I received initial seed capital from a group of private angel investors and a professional fund manager in the form of Co-Fund NI, which is a £16 million equity fund set up by Northern Ireland (NI) government that co-invests with business angel/private investor-led deals.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

After school, I went straight into business, building Australia’s largest independent retail technology solution company with AUS$8 million in revenue and 20 staff.

Eight years later, I sold my shares to my partners and moved to the UK looking for my next challenge.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The concept was conceived out of a graduate project at Dartmouth, Thayer School of Engineering in the US.

The engineering students worked on the principle that bicycles become inherently stable at high speeds. They discovered that at 14km a bicycle naturally self stabilises. In an attempt to simulate high speed stability at low speeds, they experimented by putting a gyroscope (a faster, spinning flywheel) inside a slower wheel - e.g. the front wheel of a bike. Ta-da! The idea was born..

When turned on, it provided a stabilising force, working just as gyros do to keep helicopters stable in the air, boats stable at sea and spaceships stable in orbit.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Figuring out at an early age that there are no real right or wrong decisions. Everyday is a second chance to get it right. Once I understood that, I wasn’t afraid to try things that seemed impossible and life started to become really interesting.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Going into business without a contract. I was young, optimistic and trusting of my business partner. It was all too easy to split up future profits, equity and responsibilities when everything was just an idea. By the time the ideas turned into reality, the handshake promises where all but a long lost memory.

It was a fantastic lesson to learn early in my career. Always put it in writing. Contracts help focus business partners and ultimately can help to build better businesses.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Tim Tam is composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate. This little, unknown Australian biscuit is the perfect blend of genius and deliciousness, which is loved by all who have tried one. Those who have not, have so much to look forward to.

My brilliant, yet unknown product is about to get launched to millions of people - we hope they love it as much as I love TimTams.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Red Bull. It is so simple and perfect. Deliberate, unapologetic and a fantastic brand which sells 5 billion cans a year. Privately held with just one product, launched amongst established competitors. I think the best ideas in life are uncomplicated and easy to understand. Kinda like an Auto Balance Bicycle…

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Hopefully, after our Kickstarter campaign Jyrobike will have successfully launched the world’s first Auto Balance Bicycle for children, and we’ll be gearing up to launch our adult model, which is currently in development. 

 

To find out more about Jyrobike, click here, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up: Code Kingdoms

 

 

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