January 15, 2020 • By Sydney Charles
Five Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE) students from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business pitched their cutting-edge technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 6-9. BikeZero Ring—the world’s first combination of an electric scooter and bike–redefines micro-mobility and offers a safe, sustainable way to travel.
The team pitched their ideas in a two-minute presentation spearheaded by Alina Wu , MIE ‘20. Alongside the nine other teams that competed, Wu was precise in her delivery and carried a confidence that showed the audience that she stood behind a product that she believed in. The BikeZero team took home third place in the contest and even earned the first sale of its Ring model.
CES is one of the largest consumer technology shows in the world and is attended by industry leaders from over 160 countries. The annual event showcases game-changing technology and attracts more than 170,000 attendees each year—making it the perfect platform for pitching a start-up like BikeZero.
Wu explained that the inspiration behind the portable “scoo-bike” came from a personal experience.
“My boyfriend’s dad rode his bike every morning for at least ten miles ever since he’s been young. Then, one day he explained that he was getting old, and he can’t ride anymore. We felt like there must be some way he can overcome this physical challenge,” she said. “We finally came up with the idea of BikeZero Ring. It’s fully electric, you don’t have to pedal, and it’s something that can help with commuting.”
BikeZero Ring features an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and a foldable, compact design. The e-bike folds up in seconds and can then be rolled like luggage—enhancing portability. It not only provides easy transportation for people with physical limitations, it also promotes a “greener” way to travel. Team member Alan To envisions UCI as a school that relies on sustainable transportation.
“I’ve enjoyed being able to potentially build a community at UCI where people have access to micromobility and the chance to reduce their carbon footprint,” said To.
Team member Borna Malekshahi was proud to represent both BikeZero and UCI at CES:
“More than anything, MIE students were grateful for the opportunity to attend an event so in-line with their program’s goal of innovation and entrepreneurship. Through each engagement with likeminded individuals from institutions across the world, the BikeZero team not only took pride in representing The Paul Merage School of Business in the best light possible, but we also leveraged UCI’s reputation to build working relationships with other student start-up teams. Being the only UCI team at CES was a unique yet rewarding experience, and we hope to see a more diverse selection of anteater-led start-ups making it to CES next year,” he said.
The group left with a newfound confidence and clearer direction for the future of BikeZero.
Malekshahi stated, “As a result of the reaction we received from the media, we feel confident that our idea and prototype represents a true product-market fit, something which is absolutely critical for success in the growing micromobility industry. Next, BikeZero will move full steam ahead to release its product to market and refine its design to make it even more hassle-free for users.”