Student entrepreneur gets on his electric bike to woo commuters

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He came up with the concept while studying for a master’s degree in Technology Entrepreneurship at University College London (UCL).

Mr Piatkowski has raised £180,000 from Crowdcube – a crowdfunding site based in Exeter that raises equity online for start-ups.

The Jive Bike – the first of its kind – is chainless and constructed from aluminium, propelled through enclosed drive shafts linked to pedals, instead of a chain.

It will roll off the production line next summer at an anticipated retail price of £1,500.

Targeted at commuters, the bike has an electric motor in the hub of the front wheel, which provides a top speed of 15.6mph when being used instead of pedal power, and has a range of 20 miles before needing recharging. It charges fully in just two hours, and folds down to the size of a small suitcase.

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The bike, which weighs only 15kg despite the batteries and motor, can also be wheeled.

The portfolio of individual investments raised to launch Jive Bike from Crowdcube range from £20 to more than £50,000.

The MSc Technology Entrepreneurship programme began in 2007, having started life as the MSc Technical Ventures and Foundations of Entrepreneurship programme.

The course was conceived as a way to provide students with practical entrepreneurial skills through academic study, and engagement with the “real-world” business community.

Students from more than 60 countries have completed the course.

Vungle – a tech company now based in San Francisco, which recently raised $6.5m (£4m) investment – was another successful product, and Michael Langguth, from Germany, founded the mobile retail app Poqstudio when he met his business partner during the course.

The entrepreneurial qualification has attracted international recognition from the US Fulbright Commission, which now works with UCL to offer a scholarship for one US student per year.

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