Featured Startup Pitch: FreeBike Project has developed a new and innovative channel for marketers to reach college students

By Editor February 4, 2013

FreeBike Project logoCompany: FreeBike Project

Website: www.freebikeproject.com

Founders: Kim Sanderhoff and Johan Bender

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Year Founded: 2012

Investors: Bootstrapped

Employees: 2 (founders)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/freebikeproject

Brief Company Description: A new type of eco-friendly marketing that helps brands grow while doing good for the global society.

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FreeBike Project foundersBy Kim Sanderhoff and Johan Bender, co-founders

Product Overview

FreeBike Project introduces a new type of eco-friendly marketing that not only provides brands with a unique marketing solution for college campuses, but also empowers college students to do good for the global society.

FreeBike Project enables brands to reach and connect with college students by providing them with free bikes carrying a logo or an ad. As students ride and park on campus, the ad gets thousands of impressions every day. In addition, students share photos of the bikes online to win weekly prizes. This further helps the brand by increasing its social media presence.

After every semester, FreeBike Project aids in donating bikes to the Philippines. For every sponsored bike, FreeBike Project helps to ship another bike overseas through a one-for-one model.

FreeBike Project creates a win-win situation for brands, students and people of the third world.

Founders’ Story

We are two Danish students from Copenhagen Business School who came to L.A. for studying business at USC for a semester. During an entrepreneurship course, we developed a new marketing concept utilizing bicycles and social media for a greener and more effective way to market on college campuses. After finishing the semester, we both decided to make the project into a reality.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Most of the marketing has been done through social media (Facebook) and word of mouth on the USC campus. In the future, close relationships with major universities and housing companies will play a big role in expanding across the nation. A commercial video is currently in the works to bring FreeBike Project to the lips of every college student in the U.S.

Market Opportunity

Brands are currently struggling to get college students’ attention and must pay expensive fees to promote their products or services on campuses. FreeBike Project offers brands an innovative, durable and cost efficient marketing solution. With more than 100 bike-friendly campuses across the nation, there is plenty of room for growth. In 2012, $13 billion was spent on college marketing alone. Studies of 2012 have shown that college students’ discretionary spending went up 40 percent over last year.

How We Differentiate from the Competition

As opposed to traditional marketing which people have now become experts at ignoring, FreeBike Project utilizes bicycles to become a natural part of students’ daily life while integrating social media and social responsibility in a way that makes students both excited and eager to do good for the world.

Business Model

Brands pay a monthly fee to be advertised on a specific number of bikes for a set period of time. FreeBike Project offers brands the opportunity to select students based on key demographics such as gender, major and lifestyle. The advertising revenue covers all operational costs such as bike manufacturing, design work, student administration and marketing. In addition, a great portion of the revenue is spent towards shipping bikes to the third world.

Current Needs

We are currently seeking investment to implement more sophisticated technologies for better metrics and scalability. Private investors, venture capitalists and incubators are all more than welcome to contact us.

Free Bike Project – www.freebikeproject.com