Founding Student Names: Jake Maude & Ty Filsinger
Brief Description of Solution: BikeLord is a better way to buy a used bike online. We take care of all the problematic parts of buying a bike, such as discovery, payment, delivery, and quality.
Funding Dollars: Bootstrapped
What led you to launch this venture? In 2017, I had a bad bike buying experience – the bike that I had spent dozens of hours trying to find and then buy fell apart on me during my first-day riding.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with your venture? We have sold hundreds of bicycles and love hearing people tell us that it was “so easy” and “exactly what the bike market needs.”
How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? The Babson MBA has helped me tap into some incredible resources from faculty and staff. We have numerous professors who have said they are “only a phone call away” whenever we need them. If they can’t help us find a solution to a problem, they most certainly know someone who can help!
What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? Tony Hsieh, the founder at Zappos, inspired me in my quest to start my own business. When reading his book Delivering Happiness, I realized that starting a business requires passion and drive behind it and can lead to such incredible changes in the world. In the book, Hsieh describes how he left millions of dollars on the table when he left his previous startup before his shares had fully vested in order to pursue his dream. It helped me realize that being inspired to work on a business for more than money is what entrepreneurship is really all about.
Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Definitely Managing and Growing Businesses with Edward Marram. I’ve never had a professor who talked so candidly from such a breadth of experience. Plus, the founder speakers he invited to our class were always exactly the right fit for a lesson. The biggest lesson that I learned from the course was that, when you are the founder, you’ll need to make difficult decisions. Sometimes, there is no one to tell you which way is right except your own gut.
What is your long-term goal with your startup? Our long-term goal at BikeLord is to be the future of the bike market. That means helping bike retailers expand their offerings, helping customers get access to the perfect bike quickly and easily and in general increasing the utilization of technology in the bike buying and selling experience.