Ryan O'Connell of Switched On Bikes, with Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Councillor David Lee and Councillor Malcolm Sparrow
“We are proud to be supporting Switched On Bikes as part of the Smart Energy Challenge, and we’ll be matching all donations to their crowd-funding campaign dollar for dollar,” says Councillor David Lee, Climate Change Portfolio Leader.
The Smart Energy Challenge, now in its second year, is a partnership between Wellington City Council and Enspiral that develops and funds community-driven projects that make better use of energy.
As part of the Smart Energy Challenge, Switched On Bikes were one of five teams that spent six weeks in an “entrepreneurship bootcamp” for passionate Wellingtonians with smart ideas for the Capital’s low-carbon future.
Switched On Bikes is bringing electric bike hire to Wellington, but not only that – the company also aims to make electric bike tours a premier tourist activity. Switched On Bikes was already in motion before the Smart Energy Challenge, and the people behind the project saw the Challenge as the perfect opportunity to supercharge their idea.
Councillor Lee says that it is great to see the Smart Energy Capital Fund catalysing such smart projects and ventures, and supporting our budding social entrepreneurs.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who initiated the Smart Energy Fund and has an e-bike, is very supportive of the campaign. “E-bikes make Wellington far more accessible if there’s a headwind or a big hill,” she said.
Ryan O’Connell and Sofia Robinson of Switched On Bikes say that they want to provide a fun, unique and green way to explore our capital city.
“We've got five electric bikes that have been eating up Wellington's hills, but we need five more to be really get started, which is where our crowd-funding campaign comes in,” says O’Connell.
Switched On Bikes PledgeMe campaign ends on Thursday 7 May, giving Wellingtonians a week to donate and get behind the project and donate.