Secure Parking for Bikes & Scooters: The Next Big Streetscape Marketing Opportunity

Back in 2016, I bet it all on urban secure bike parking–specifically the notion that this was the next “big” amenity for urban streetscapes.  Lots of people thought I was crazy, some still do, but recent industry developments and trends have only increased my confidence. The company I founded, Oonee, has created the first modular, smart bike parking kiosk that can be scaled in cities. We envision a vast infrastructure network that offers secure bike parking, as well as other services and amenities.

Below is a quick look at some of the dominant trends in today’s market along with some basic commentary on why the planets are continuing to align for this opportunity, especially for sponsors and marketers.

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How We Iterated Oonee; A Landscape Analysis

Cycling is poised to become a dominant mode of urban transportation in the United States. Since 2000, most major American cities have seen triple digit percentage increases in cycling trips; here in New York, the nation’s largest metropolis, cycling daily trips are increasing 11.2% every year. Similar trends are unfolding in Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Yet, as cities invest in better roadway infrastructure and bikeshare, secure parking option have largely been ignored, leaving a major pain-point in the urban cycling experience. Surveys have shown that about 50% of current cyclists have experienced bike theft, while large numbers of commuters suggest that the lack of secure parking infrastructure is a key deterrent to choosing bicycles over other modes of transportation.

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Introducing Oonee

This week we officially raised the curtain on Oonee, a patent-pending pod that provides both secure bicycle parking and public space amenities. Oonee is designed to combine a modern, industrial design ethic with unparalleled opportunities for customization through a smart, modular framework.

In creating Oonee, we sought to craft an experience for everyone; cyclists, as well as those who’re just walking by or hanging out. Through a lengthy, iterative process, our project incorporated feedback from a variety of local stakeholder groups–including cyclists, residents, property owners, policy experts and business leaders.

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Review: MTA’s New Design Build Stations Are Way of The Future

Verdict: New York’s much maligned Metropolitan Transportation Authority has quietly, and cost effectively, completed impressive transformations of three stations along Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue Line. With a few caveats, I feel fairly confident suggesting that these renovations be replicated throughout the rest of the system.

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Local Reporting Suffers a Major Loss

The loss of Gothamist and DNAInfo this week is difficult to fully fathom. Launched in 2003, Gothamist heralded the emergence of a new generation of hyper-local news reporting in New York City. The blog soon spawned offshoots in major cities across the country, and then the globe. Other sites including Patch and DNAInfo soon followed, their reporting filling in a crucial niche as more traditional outlets either went out of business or dramatically cut back on local coverage. Early this year, Gothamist and DNAinfo completed a merger in an attempt to make the business model more sustainable.

Yet, this week, but outlets were abruptly and callously shuttered, and their staff dismissed.

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Four Things I Learned About Raising Money

Last week our company officially closed the book on our first round of financing. We couldn’t be more excited to dedicate our full attention to product development and other elements of the business.

This was my first time at the helm of a startup’s financing round and I’ve learned quite a few lessons, large and small. Here are some of the most important ones:

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Four Better Ways To Raise Money For The Subway

Last week Governor Cuomo made headlines by announcing that the MTA would be seeking to implement a corporate sponsorship model for New York’s subway stations. Cuomo argues that conservancies, which are mostly funded through private dollars, worked for parks and thus could inject New York’s struggling subway system with some much needed capital. The city’s subway denizens who suffer through both chronic delays and dreary, nasty stations environments, may be inclined to agree.

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