Cyclizor: Thank you CUNVC
Cyclizor, LLC began when my colleague and I (both aerospace engineer grad students at CU) decided we were done with uncontrolled, swinging bicycle handlebars causing a nuisance when we parked our bicycles or lifted our bicycles onto car racks. Our solution – Cycle Halter – evolved during mountain bike escapades in California and commuting in Boulder, becoming a product that we knew would be a great solution to the problem of uncontrolled handlebar rotation faced by bicyclists everyday.
However, we had no idea where to start and no business experience…
…Until we went to the CU New Venture Challenge.
From the day we gave our first ever 60 second elevator pitch, we had multiple contacts for help with business development, an experienced mentor, and a structure for developing our business. Brad Bernthal introduced us to successful entrepreneurs, gave feedback about our business, and organized NVC events with amazing speakers. Dave Mangum and Jacqui Dietrich organized CUNVC modules where teams submitted Lean Startup documents, interviews, and presentations after attending informative lectures given by Lean Startup experts.
The CUNVC modules were essential. There were guidelines and deadlines for key Lean Startup concepts, documents, and research. From the support and structure of CUNVC and its volunteers, we are orders of magnitude further along in our business development then we would have been doing it alone. Cyclizor is an official LLC with a bank account and website. The Lean Canvas Module lead us through market research, problem and solution validation, financial projections, unfair advantage, and value proposition. The Interview Module required us to “get out of the building” and interview target customers to validate the problem and solution. The Investor Pitch Module divulged financials and taught the team how to present to VCs and Angel Investors. And finally, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Module pushed us to complete our CAD design and print a 3D working prototype. We have won money from CUNVC modules and scored the best mentor we could dream of. The CUNVC and our mentor, Ray Johnson, have given us the opportunity to establish and develop an exciting company. Our prize money from the Modules has helped pay for IP protection and prototyping – milestones we would have never accomplished by now without the support and guidance of CUNVC.
We recommend participating in CUNVC whether interested in joining a startup team, making a team based on an innovative idea, or developing a company further with the support and experience CUNVC has to offer.
Corrina Gibson and Brandon Benjamin are aerospace graduate students at CU-Boulder. They will soon be selling Cycle Halter at http://cyclizor.com/Site/Welcome.html.