Changing gears: expanding modern urban mobility using electric biking pedal power
An interview with Moritz Meenen, co-founder and CEO of ElectricFeel, an electric bike sharing service startup that is paving the way for happier people, more sustainable companies, and a well-integrated, new urban transportation system.
Who are you and what is your project?
My name is Moritz Meenen. I’m 29, and the co-founder and CEO of ElectricFeel. ElectricFeel is a for-profit company that brings an electric biking sharing service into cities, for fast, fun and clean urban travel.
Which problem does Electric Feel solve and how will it sustain itself?
The 2 problems ElecticFeel aims to solve are :
globally, on average, an individual’s daily commute reduces his/her personal happiness more than anything else
current urban mobility options greatly contribute to global warming and air pollution.
Aiming to solve these problems, ElectricFeel was created, to bring fast, free, and clean urban mobility into cities. Via an easy-to-use online platform, people can attain access to this new form of transportation.
Our business model sustains itself by enabling our hosts, consisting of companies, residential building management and campus networks, to subscribe to our electric biking sharing service and brand it with their corporate identity. This way, our hosts can provide a clean transport service to their employees, tenants and others, and thereby also participate in the sustainability of the city.
As the ‘architects’ of this sharing service, we design the components of ElectricFeel so that it is affordable, easy-to-use and well-integrated into the respective urban area.
Connecting our ElectricFeel hosts to our “one big city electric bike network” is simple, with one click of the mouse. This way, we are able to create a new, bottom-up transportation system – just where people want it.
Why did you start ElectricFeel?
I wanted to start a business on my own with a concept that interests me, and where I see a great potential to make people happier.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
In 2011, I worked on ElectricFeel for 3 months entirely on my own. Because I really enjoy working in a team, it’s a mode I do not want to return to.
How has the HUB contributed to Electric Feel’s development?
The HUB has contributed a lot to the development of ElectricFeel. At the HUB Zurich, I have met people who are relevant to my company and to my life. First and foremost, I met my co-founder there, Pratik.
Both the HUB Zurich team and a great number of the active members live the values that are important when starting a for-impact organization. I believe that at the HUB, each project and team can learn something from one another. With the events and programs they are running, they have an awesome set-up.
I believe that a person truly attracted to the HUB is likely to be driven to create positive impact in the world, which is attractive to me.
How can others help you take Electric Feel to the next level?
We are looking for people to implement Electric Feel’s service in their city, e.g. at their company. We are also looking for investors to support ElectricFeel in realizing its mobility vision.
What’s your biggest learning that you want to share with the world?
I am beginning to understand that starting a business is less about my technology or financial model, and more about understanding people.
Interview by: Kate Karius, September 2012