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OmnEbike - An e-bike that regenerates your own energy!
by Startacus Admin
Aiming to make the environment and people healthier, two Strathclyde University masters students Omar Koryakin (Managing Director) and Shwetal Shah (Market Developer) have designed an electric bike that is operated by a powerful hub motor which is attached to high capacity lithium-ion batteries.
Shwetal Shah, Market Developer and Startacus member, highlight the miles covered by the young company - right from that initial eureka moment to where they’re parked right now!
So Shwetal, take us through the ride from the beginning!
Omar who was pursuing his masters in Advanced Manufacturing and I, pursuing my masters in International Marketing met at an event for masters students in our university. Just like all the legends from Google and Facebook to Sun Microsystems, OmnEbike too was started by two individuals who were passionate about doing something meaningful beside the school work. As we discussed our hobbies and ideas, Omar told me about this electric bike he had developed in Finland and all the great features it had, the business person in me woke up and I thought we have stumbled upon something really interesting here. The rest as they say is history.
So how did you come up with the name of the company?
Originally we decided to name the company Theaglestorm due to its speed, then Power-On-Bike and then finally we settled on OmnEbike. We went the crowdsourcing way and asked the community to come up with the name and got some brilliant names but OmnEbike, (which I came up with) stuck for various reasons. The word omni means being present everywhere, Ohm is the symbol of electric and Om is the first two letters of Omar. Our logo and website were actually designed by Omar.
So did you face any roadblocks or potholes on your route?
Our journey is similar to many startups. We had a lot of challenges, the main one being funding and lack of time as we were on an intensive masters course - finishing essays by the day and doing business research by night. We were able to secure free office space and help with the business plan from the incubator based in our university. However our other challenge was also on segmentation. Since this product can be marketed to many industries such as travel and tourism, transport and health the challenge was also scaling the business and not losing focus. We had to learn how to work on limited to no budget, scheduling time for all the meetings we had with various other organizations such as the Scottish Environmental Technology Network. We also had to attend various networking events and identify and apply for various funds and grants. Attending hackathons was my responsibility, whilst also working on my thesis. Some days were literally spent at my computer screen without moving an inch. Coming up with branding was something which we struggled with for many weeks before finally settling on our current branding. In all though the end result of our hard work paid off and we both are currently developing the business, I from London and Omar from Denmark.
How do you work given that one member is based in Denmark and you in London?
Since our jobs are completely different, it doesn’t really affect us if we don’t work alongside each other. I am responsible for networking, identifying new market opportunities, seeking funding, undertaking marketing and publicity while Omar is responsible for logistics and liaising with vendors and contractors and also the general operations. We have been doing really well so far but we still need to strengthen and consolidate our business further.
So what are the immediate and future plans?
Our immediate focus is on developing relationships with our vendors and looking into partnerships. We have currently partnered with a wearable technology company based in London and soon will be selling wearable technology devices for bikes on our online shop, also getting contracts from big organizations, primarily tourism industry and opening a stand alone retail store in Denmark.
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And if you’re a bike enthusiast then you can buy a bike here