College Bike Shawn Chi story

College Bike: A Stukent Student’s Success Story

Welcome to our first installment of our student-propelled success stories.

Each installment will highlight a Stukent student and the cool things he, she or they are doing online. We hope this motivates you to see how other students from around the world are using their entrepreneurial and marketing skills to grow a company.

Wait until you learn about this college entrepreneur:

Meet Shawn Chi, Founder of College Bike

I asked Shawn a bunch of questions about his story to learn more about his company, College Bike. You can read that interview below:

Taipei Taiwan mapHey, Shawn. Let’s start off with you telling us a little about yourself.

{Q} Where are you from?

I’m from Taipei, Taiwan.

{Q} What university do you attend?

National Taiwan University (NTU)

{Q} What are you studying?

Double major in Economics and Philosophy

{Q} Tell us about some of your hobbies.

Riding bikes, of course, haha. I also enjoy playing the guitar and basketball (I’m on a basketball team).

Tell us about College Bike.

{Q} When did you start college bike?

In the summer of my sophomore year of college, August 2014.

{Q} Why did you start college bike?

college-bike-team2-opt

I had the idea of starting College Bike since my freshman year.

Most of the bikes students are riding at NTU are simply ugly and awfully-designed. I couldn’t accept that haha!

I tried to find a good-looking, simple, and affordable bike on the internet, but I found nothing satisfying. That’s when the idea first occurred to me, and I thought If there’s no one making this type of product, why don’t I go have a try?


 

“If there’s no one making this type of product, why don’t I go have a try?”

 

{Q} How does someone purchase one of your bikes?

They go to our Facebook page or website and click the purchase link. It’ll lead to a shopping cart where you choose the bike you want. Then it’ll generate a code that one can take to the convenient store to pay.

After one pays, he can choose the date and the store from which he’d like to pick up the bike. These stores are all over Taiwan.

{Q} Where do you get your bikes, do you build them yourself or get them manufactured?

Manufactured. We design them and then order from a factory to produce it.

college-bike-metallic

{Q} What has been the hardest part of starting your own business?

The hardest part I think is the first step. My partner and I jumped in a car and went all over Taiwan, visiting every factory we could find and asked them if they could produce bikes we’ve designed. Of course, we got a lot of rejection, but ultimately we found one.

{Q} How are you marketing College Bike?

Mostly by Facebook, because students spend a lot of time there. The connection between Facebook and students is very strong and intense.

We also do marketing in the real world by demonstrating our bikes in hot spots (e.g. square, shopping mall).

{Q} How did you grow your Facebook page to almost 20,000 likes?

Our strategy on Facebook is “one message at a time.”, We make each post as clear and simple as possible by cutting off all the trash talk and ambiguous information. We Focus on one clear message.

We also ran a giveaway campaign where if you shared the post you were given a chance to win a FREE bike. We randomly selected one winner and gave him a free College Bike.
The campaign cost one bike ($120 USD) but generated 250,000 Facebook views. So it was quite an efficient marketing campaign, partly because the marketing strategy, partly because our product itself is attractive.

college-bike-teal

{Q} What advice would you give to a college student looking to start their own business?

I’ll suggest anyone who has a great idea: find a good partner and start “immediately”. Many people spend lots of time worrying the market response and money. But it may let you miss the best timing to create the business. There are tons of smart people all over the world; it’s impossible that you’re the only one who’ll come up with this idea if the idea is truly great. So the one who moves first, wins.

{Q} Do you have a favorite book, website, online tool/service that you’d like to recommend to Stukent nation?

I recommend Kickstarter, lots of cool stuff and entrepreneurs there. Worth following!

{Q} If you are willing to share, how many bikes do you sell a month?

Our selling model is by “season”. One season a semester and every season has new bikes coming out and limited quantities. The second season we sold out of all 350 bikes within a day!

{Q} Anything else we should know about College Bike?

Our ultimate goal is to become the best city bike brand in East Asia!

I’d like to thank Shawn for introducing us to his company. His bikes look amazing! I wonder if they’d ship a navy and lime green (Go Hawks) bike to Idaho? 🙂

If you’d like to connect with and follow Shawn online you can connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow his company on Facebook.

 

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Trevor Erikson

Vice President, Stukent, Inc. at Stukent, Inc.
I'm from Idaho, best place ever. Currently working the pavement on our ed-tech startup - Stukent, Inc. Follow me through my social media channels to see what keeps me busy.

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