The popularity of electric bikes is forecasted to be the largest growing electric vehicle segment, with an estimated 130 million being sold by 2025.
Bob Vander Woude, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Conscious Commuter, is positioning his company to play a central role in that upcoming demand. Conscious Commuter, based in Portland, Ore. was founded by Vander Woude and designer Gabriel Wartofsky to bring commuters a better designed, folding e-bike.
“Conscious Commuter Corporation was born to help shape the future of urban mobility – to change the way people move around cities for the better,” Vander Woude said in a recent interview with us. “We provide a seamless way to integrate commuting with public transportation for those commuters who are tired of commuting by auto due to high gas prices, traffic congestion, parking, pollution, and a growing sense of eco-consciousness.”
Wartofsky came up with the Conscious Commuter folding electric bike design while working on his thesis at Art College of Design. Vander Woude became enchanted with the idea of e-bikes during travels in China and when he saw Wartofsky’s design, he immediately contacted him. They joined forces, fittingly, on Earth Day of this year.
Within the start-up’s first eight months, it was chosen as a finalist for the San Jose Cleantech Open, where Vander Woude said the company gained exposure to angel investors, venture capitalists and government agencies that could potentially provide grants down the road.
“We have been approached by various investors from the CleanTech open, even though we haven’t yet put together our first outside funding round,” Vander Woude said.
The company has also being approached by major automobile and transportation companies, as well as product manufacturers, impressed with the design. Vander Woude said what sets apart their e-bike from others is its intuitive folding design.