I’ve been working a bit with a group of MIT grads on a really interesting project. I’ve been invited to offer some manufacturing and start-up advice to the team. I think it’s a stretch to use the word ‘mentor’ here, although that’s what I was called; they don’t need my help and there’s not really anything on which I can mentor them.
I believe I was approached, in part, because Seven Cycles does manufacturing, was a start-up – and still feels like a start-up, and works in the outdoor active sports market.
Update | December 10, 2012 | Urban Hero Sports is ready for production of their first product. We’re meeting in a couple weeks to talk about manufacturing, logistics, and the possibility of me getting more involved in their work.
The company is Urban Hero Sports. Because their current project is not yet public, their website shows one of their previous projects They say of that project:
We believe people love the feeling of flight, a temporary suspension of gravity. Flight can be felt on a swing set, a ski jump, and while cruising down a wave.
Hero Springs are the first product in our line of Hero Gear. They are powered by composite spring technology with 15x more power to weight than any other spring and wearable so people can take their power with them wherever they want to go.
This project is being supported by TechStars. In fact, I was invited to help on this project through Bob Mason; he does some work with TechStars. I don’t think TechStars does a lot with product companies so seeing what Seven Cycles does might be helpful. About TechStars:
TechStars is the #1 startup accelerator in the world. We’re very selective – Although thousands of companies apply each year, we only invest our money and time in about ten companies per program location. We have selection rates lower than the Ivy League, so you have to be among the best of the best to earn investment from TechStars.
Project timeline in reverse:
December 10, 2012 | Urban Hero Sports is ready for production of their first product. We’re meeting in a couple weeks to talk about manufacturing, logistics, and the possibility of me getting more involved in their work.
November 14, 2012 | I went to the TechStars investor demo this evening. Here’s an overview of the 13 start-ups that were looking to raise funding. The group with which I’ve worked was one of the 13; they presented and did a great job. I have no doubt they’ll raise the money they want. They were one of only two product companies; the rest were software companies. Hardware yay.
November 8 | I’ve been invited to the Techstars Demo Day next week. I’ll get to see a bunch of young entrepreneurs pitching to angels and VCs. Oh, I remember the days. Urban Here Sports will be there and I’ll be rooting for them.
October 19 | I had a great meeting today with a group of MIT grads about a company they’re starting. Details of the project and products are still under wraps but it has to do with outdoor activity in a way I’ve not seen before. These three guys are smart, motivated, and bring a lot of energy to the room. I look forward to seeing how they proceed with this project. One of the interesting aspects – from a business standpoint – to me is that they’re creating a new space. I’m lucky that when we started Seven the bicycle space already existed for a few years. They have to not only create the product and start the business, they also have to create the space, market, and educate people. Very challenging. I’m glad to have been invited to work on this by Bob Mason. It is a project supported by TechStars.
September 26, 2012 | I’ve been asked to mentor a group of young entrepreneurs that are working on a sports product company. It sounds like a really interesting project. Bob M. invited me to be part of this project. It looks really interesting and the product on which these new entrepreneurs are working could be revolutionary in the human motion arena. I look forward to meeting the group and seeing how I can be helpful. First meeting is a couple weeks.