Research Foundation News

October 27, 2017

Purdue startup launches bicycle sharing program on campus, West Lafayette with goal of expanding

VeoRide VeoRide Inc. founders Edwin Tan (left) and Candice Xie stand in front of one of the company’s distinctive teal bikes with Greg Deason, senior vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation and director of innovation and entrepreneurship at Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park. Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue-affiliated startup is getting into the dockless bicycle sharing business, launching its service on the West Lafayette campus with an aim toward expanding to other Big Ten schools and other major college campuses nationwide.

Purdue graduates Candice Xie and Edwin Tan created VeoRide Inc. with the goal of providing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation, especially in and around universities with dense student populations and strong bike access. They say Purdue is a pilot program

“We want to make it easier to get around campus so people can ride a bike right to where they are going instead of struggling to find a parking spot and then walking across campus or waiting for a bus that’s frequently late,” Xie said. “Our bikes let you be in control of your time.”

They believe bike-friendly West Lafayette was a good place to start the business, and Mayor John Dennis agrees.

“As part of the $120 million State Street Redevelopment Project, West Lafayette has more bike trails than ever, and we’re ready to meet the demand for a bike share program,” Dennis said. “I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot program and hope to permanently implement this amenity for our residents.”

Xie believes students will find VeoRide more convenient than hauling a bike back and forth from to campus.

“You can find a VeoRide bike nearby and you can drop it off anywhere,” she said. “If you bring a bike, you have to take it with you the whole day. If your friends don’t have a bike, you have to walk the bike with them. With VeoRide your friends can ride with you.”

Two months ago Xie and Tan placed 25 bicycles around campus and invited friends to give them VeoRide test rides so they could make sure they were ready. They put 160 of the distinctive teal-colored bikes around campus and throughout West Lafayette and launched their business Monday (Oct. 23) by making a phone app available on Apple Store and Google Play.

Riders can use the app to find nearby bicycles and unlock them in three seconds. It’s a pay-as-you-go system at a rate of 50 cents every 15 minutes, with no annual fee. When the rider is done, they simply press a lever on the back wheel to lock the bike and stop the billing. Riders must keep the bikes in West Lafayette.

Xie and Tan believe VeoRide has several advantages as a bike sharing program including:

  • Riders don’t have to return bikes to docking stations.
  • Tires are designed so they don’t go flat.
  • Bikes are constructed from parts that are recyclable.
  • Use a water-based paint process to minimalize the environmental impact.   

Also, VeoRide’s bikes can be custom-painted to be match various university’s colors. VeoRide hopes to expand its bike sharing program to more than 20 other campuses by next year and hopes to be in universities nationwide by 2019.

“We think there is a lot of opportunity,” Tan said.

Xie, who received a bachelor’s degree from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, and Tan, who earned a master’s degree from the School of Mechanical Engineering, noted the support they received from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator on campus. They say entrepreneurs in residence helped them come up with a business plan and provided valuable advice.

The business is based in the Purdue Railyard, an entrepreneurial co-working space in the Kurz Purdue Technology Center in the Purdue Research Park that gives businesses access to meeting rooms, networking events, business services and networking events.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in five sites across the state of Indiana with locations in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 5,000 people. In 2016, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities co-named the Purdue Research Park a top recipient for an Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about leasing space in the Purdue Research Park, contact 765-588-3470 or click Purdue Research Park

Purdue Research Foundation contact:  Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org

Source:
 Candice Xie, xie181@purdue.edu

Edwin Tan, tan157@purdue.edu


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