EZ-Bikes, an electric bike (e-bike) rental business for college students, is just one of the business ideas being pitched to investors at the 2018 Fairfield StartUp Showcase on Thursday, April 26.
One of our focuses is the environmental factor, and how e-bikes emit less pollution compared to cars...Our goal is to revolutionize the way students commute.
— Anthony Mastrocola '19
Fairfield juniors Nico Gavrielidis and Anthony Mastrocola are on a mission to revolutionize the way college students commute. Their business idea, EZ-Bikes, is a transportation company designed to alleviate the stress of finding and maintaining transportation for students through assistive electric bicycles that can also be pedal-operated. Gavrielidis had the idea to bring e-bikes to college campuses after realizing the struggles students have when it comes to finding transportation. Gavrielidis recruited Mastrocola to join him to develop EZ-Bikes and pitch for a spot in the annual entrepreneurship competition, the Fairfield StartUp Showcase.
“Students have very little time in between classes, and parking can often be hard to find,” said Mastrocola. Instead of relying on friends for a ride, or risk being late for class, Mastrocola explained that e-bikes offer a low-cost, eco-friendly solution.
“One of our focuses is the environmental factor, and how e-bikes emit less pollution compared to cars when turned on and off to drive short distances between classes. Our goal is to revolutionize the way students commute on campus.”
While Gavrielidis and Mastrocola work to find the right manufacturer for their e-bike, they’ve had success developing a partnership with a global bike share software startup. EZ-Bikes has partnered with Lattis, developer of a product called Ellipse -- a smart bike lock that connects with mobile devices to provide keyless entry, theft detection, bike sharing, and more. Lattis has agreed to sponsor EZ-Bikes for the StartUp Showcase and EZ-Bikes will have exclusivity in the Northeastern United States as Lattis continues to expand in North America. By using Lattis’ bike share technology, EZ-Bikes can implement a dockless bike share model where inventory can be better tracked and utilized. By going dockless, EZ-Bikes will also save $10-$20K, the cost of a kiosk-docking system that companies such as Citi Bike use. College students will use the Lattis lock to lock their bikes at existing bike racks, and EZ-Bikes will be able to track where their bikes are at all times.
EZ-Bikes will also be able to track each bike’s power level. Bikes are powered by plugging into a charging station and take about 4-6 hours to fully charge. To expand off campus, Gavrielidis and Mastrocola hope to partner will local restaurants popular with Fairfield students to install EZ-Bike parking spaces equipped with charging stations where students can charge and drop off their bikes for return. Gavrielidis and Mastrocola plan to implement a monthly subscription, an hourly rental rate, or rental by the minute for shorter trips.
To see the EZ-Bikes pitch at the 2018 Fairfield StartUp Showcase on April 26 at the Quick Center, be sure to save your seat at Fairfield.edu/startup.
Can’t make it to the Showcase? You can watch the action live on Facebook.
For more information about entrepreneurship opportunities at Fairfield visit fairfield.edu/entrepreneurship.