VentureLaunch Helps e-Scooter Start-up Find its Niche
When emerging start-up Zipp Mobility joined VentureLaunch, the team had a solid plan for delivering an electric scooter rental service. But as they went through UCD’s annual accelerator programme at NovaUCD, they came up with a better one.
“When we came into VentureLaunch, we had an idea of where we wanted to bring the company, we thought we were ready to launch and scale,” says Zipp Mobility founder Charlie Gleeson, who works on the venture with Cormac Cullinane.
“But going into VentureLaunch brought us back and made us look at our raw product. We spent time identifying our customers internationally and we found a new niche.”
Gleeson, a recent graduate of the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, pitched the new plan at the at the UCD VentureLaunch final. In front of a packed auditorium at the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science, he outlined how Zipp’s approach offers a quick and convenient way for people to travel to and from public transport links.
Meanwhile, it sidesteps some of the issues that other e-scooter rental companies have already faced, such as the challenges of using the gig economy, poor unit economics, and parked scooters posing a hazard for pedestrians.
Zipp Mobility plans to launch dockless e-scooter rentals on university campuses around Ireland and later internationally, building up customer bases off public roads. Then, when legislation allows, the start-up will be well placed to broaden the service beyond campuses.
Zipp Mobility will also have full-time staff to redistribute the scooters and swappable batteries, allowing the operation to be cost-effective. Geo-fencing technology will also ensure that users park the e-scooters at designated sites, minimising the nuisance of scooters left in the paths of pedestrians and cyclists.
“We plan to launch our service in UCD and moving to other campuses in Ireland after that,” says Gleeson. “Ultimately, we plan to deliver the service in six countries by 2022.”
Blog post written by journalist, Dr Claire O'Connell.
11 December 2019
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