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Start Garden invests in bike sharing

January 8, 2014
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Start Garden invests in bike sharing
A2B Bikeshare’s Smart Bike – Dumb Rack bike-sharing system is positioned on each bike, not the bike rack. Photo via fb.com

Start Garden is investing in a senior at University of Michigan’s College of Engineering.

A2B Bikeshare

The last $5,000 that Grand Rapids-based Start Garden, a $15-million seed fund, invested in 2013 went to A2B Bikeshare, created by Ansgar Strother.

A2B Bikeshare is an idea for an automated bike rental and sharing system, providing “green transportation alternatives to communities,” according to its website.

A2B Bikeshare would create a Smart Bike - Dumb Rack: a touchscreen between the handlebars of a bike, providing riders with rental details, maps, tours and possible points of interest, as well as a tracking system.

“Our Smart-Bike Dumb rack systems cut the capital cost by a third,” Strother writes on his Start Garden page. “Cheap and plentiful dumb racks lower redistribution costs, which is a major drive of overall operations cost.”

“Our lower capital and operations cost, which make bike sharing profitable, remove the need for the long government funding process,” Strother writes. “This allows for a quicker business cycle and will disrupt our competitors, as we move the market away from government subsidy.” 

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