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CLIP: e-motors to make biking more accessible to more commuters in Indianapolis.

Portable e-motor designed to transform any personal, shared bike into an e-bike instantly. Motors can be rented for $10/month.

Photo of Clement Alcala
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In Indianapolis, bike commuting has increased by 20% over the last 5 years, still, only 0.5% of the commuters in Indianapolis ride their bike to work.

The key barriers to large scale bike-adoption by urban commuters in Indiana and across the world are effort and safety.

We want to make bicycle commuting effortless, safer and the no-brainer choice for all urban commuters in this new decade of climate-change emergency. We would like to pilot this solution in collaboration with commuters, private and public organizations,  in Indianapolis.

Our solution is CLIP, a portable device that can be easily rented by commuters and attached to any of the world’s 2 billion personal or shared bicycles to transform it into an electric-bike, instantly. In addition to reducing the physical effort of biking, our mobile-app platform integrated into the device will generate crowdsourced maps of bike-lanes to improve riders' safety.

Switching from cars to bikes for urban commuting, reduces CO2 emissions by a factor of 10. It is CLIP's mission to empower everyone to adopt biking as their primary choice for urban mobility and help move the needle beyond the target of 10% Global Cycling use by 2030 from the current 0,5%, in Indianapolis.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

In Indiana, 25,000 people ride a bike to work everyday, and more than 5,000 people do it in Indianapolis. We know that a larger part of the population will be interested in bike commuting if the main barriers of effort and safety are reduced. Our solution consists in making bike commuting a lot more accessible and safe to commuters in Indianapolis. CLIP is an All-in one, Universal, Portable and Swappable e-motor attachment device for bicycles to easily convert into e-bikes. The device can be rented from CLIP or project partners' for $10/month. CLIP can be attached to any shared or personal bike, in 5 seconds. At he end of the ride, CLIP can be detached just as easily to recharge from any wall-outlet. Light enough to carry along use on any shared-bike along a multi-modal commute. Our waze like mobile-app also generates crowdsourced maps of bike-lanes to augment rider’s awareness of oncoming road hazards with real real time information, to improve riders' safety.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have not launched the product yet, but we get a lot of feedback from our pre-orders surveys (300+ commuters), observations and demo sessions (20+ potential users). Our target is mainly interested in CLIP because it is easy to integrate in their commute: price, portability (size and weight), versatility (can be used with personal and shared bikes).

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

CLIP is a project co-leaded by Somnath Ray, CEO, MIT award-winning designer 10 years in mobility projects and Clement de Alcala, COO, MBA 10 years leading energy/environment operation. Som brings expertise on design & tech and Clem brings his experience in operations & deployment. Our efforts are supported by Maeve Lynskey, head of Marketing and Miguel Perez, head of engineering. CLIP partners with 10xbeta and Boonzo, for hardware and software design and prototyping.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

50% of the budget will be allocated to the production, logistics and maintenance of a series of 50 motors (total cost per unit: ~$1,000). 50% of the budget will be allocated to a team of 5 people, including transportation, accommodation, etc. in charge of the pilot in Indianapolis (total cost per week per person: $1,000)

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We envision to conduct the pilot on a 10 weeks period, 2 weeks at the beginning and end of the pilot will be allocated to setup and finalize the pilot: providing e-motors, and training 40 bike commuters in Indianapolis to start the pilot; getting back the e-motors and compiling data from commuters and other partners at the end of the pilot. During the remaining 8 weeks, the team will make sure that commuters can use the e-motors to collect data, alternating observation and interview phases as well as analyzing the real time information generated by the mobile app. Our team would love to collaborate with private and public organizations in Indianapolis, e.g. Indiana Pacers, City transportation team, etc.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will measure the success of the pilot using 3 main criteria, on an individual and a community level: - Economic: cost and benefit analysis resulting from the increase of the share of biking in total commuting modes. - Social: Number of people accessing to healthier and more sustainable mode of transportation within the pilot and projections in Indianapolis, and Indiana. - Environment: Number of tons of CO2 emissions avoided, resulting from switching from current commuting mode to biking or increasing the share of biking in total commuting modes.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

YES! We will be able after the pilot to start leasing ($10/month) and selling CLIP ($350/unit). We are now building our MVP, a first series of 5,000 e-motors will be produced locally and available in 2020.

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