Joyride is a cycling technology company that’s developing the next generation of tracking and analytics for smart cities. Their patent-pending technology leverages public Wi-Fi to monitor, track and protect bike sharing programs. We talked to Founder Vince Cifani about the inspiration behind Joyride – here’s what he had to say:
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Unfortunately, it was getting my bike stolen one too many times. After looking online and in plenty of bike shops, I realized that the cost of tracking devices were too high. I wanted to see if there was a way to create a device to track my bike without having to pay for any monthly tracking fees (because who wants to pay for another data plan?!)
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? THE MOST CHALLENGING?
The most rewarding aspect about being an entrepreneur is creating something that solves a problem and helps people. There are a lot of emotional high and low moments when you’re an entrepreneur, and the most challenging part for me is to not get too caught up in the highs and not to wallow in the lows. Staying laser-focused on your vision every day is key, and don’t sweat the small stuff (for real).
ENTREPRENEURSHIP – HOW HAS IT DEFIED (OR LIVED UP TO) YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
I don’t think I had any expectations, because it wasn’t that I one day decided to become an entrepreneur. Rather, I decided I wanted to solve a real problem that I experienced.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH INNOVATION FACTORY?
A friend of mine had been a client of iF for several years and he recommended that I set up a meeting. Shoutouts to Hangry for the advice.
WHAT HAVE YOU VALUED MOST ABOUT INNOVATION FACTORY’S SERVICES/SUPPORT?
The willingness to go above and beyond our expectations in looking for ways to give our business an edge. It could be assisting us with funding opportunities, market research, or connecting us with industry and customers.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
By doing the following:
1. Ask customers how we can improve our product.
2. Improve our product.
3. Go back to customers with new and improved product.
It can be a hardware feature, or fixing a software bug, or even refining the marketing language or value proposition. But this continuous process of tracking and collecting customer conversations means we’re on the path to success.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION?
Our ability to track location with Wi-Fi without relying on cellular networks. That was a key differentiator for us, because it means we are the only solution on the market that doesn’t require any additional tracking fees.
WHAT IS THE BEST RECOGNITION YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
We recently received a spot in the Startupbootcamp IoT Connected Devices accelerator in London, which validated for us that we were solving a global problem.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
Short term: We are testing newer lower power wireless technologies and working through manufacturing and supply chain channels, which are the tedious realities of any hardware startup.
Longer term: We want Joyride to become a leader in smart city cycling analytics, and help cities of the future build world-class cycling infrastructure.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL YOU LOOK TO INNOVATION FACTORY FOR IN THE COMING MONTHS?
iF has been very helpful with connecting us with contacts in the UK and funding opportunities, which we will continue to leverage.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS WHO MAY JUST HAVE AN IDEA?
If you can solve a real problem that people are willing to pay for, then you’re 90% of the way there. Continuously fine tune your idea and test it with the market as quickly as possible.
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