1. PedalCell: Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Finalist Team

    February 8, 2018

    Who are the team members?

    Adam Hokin (COO)
    Anna Moreira Bianchi (Business Strategist)
    Vishaal Mali (CEO)
    Gar Waterman (Prototype Designer)
    Alexis Baudron (Hardware Lead)
    Tori Wu (Brand Manager)

    How did you decide your team name?

    The story behind the company’s name is quite simple. We wanted the name to resonate with the cycling community but also within tech as well. We eventually fell upon “PedalCell” as it was reasonably friendly, easy to pronounce, didn’t tie us to a specific market, and, most importantly, wasn’t taken!

    Tell us briefly about your business idea.

    The idea stemmed from a calling to fight global warming. But as teenagers, we realized that inventing technology to single-handily save the planet was infeasible. Instead, we built bike-powered phone chargers that inspire sustainable behaviors. Moreover, there are countless other applications for cyclist power we’re excited to explore!

    How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?

    We’ve made a ton of progress over these past few months, and the challenge helped us prioritize certain milestones. MBC especially pushed us to verify all of our assumptions and research to ensure that our business model created discrete value for our market.

    What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this idea?

    PedalCell’s bread and butter is its bicycle energy capture technology that awards riders consistent, high-power electricity never-before-seen on a bike. These innovations will allow power-demanding technologies, such as embedded sensors, IoT hardware, and smart city communication standards, to ultimately materialize on the bicycle.

    What been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

    MBC has opened our eyes to the entrepreneurial community U-M and Ann Arbor has to offer. We’re excited to continue to tap into these invaluable resources in the future!

    If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?

    We’re currently deploying stationary bicycles with embedded phone chargers around campus! You’ll see them popping-up in Ross and University gyms. Check out our social media and website to see how you can charge-up, stay healthy, go green, and be one of the firsts to try PedalCell technology!

    Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

    MBC has been a remarkable experience for our team, and we are excited to continue the momentum! We appreciate the support we’ve gotten from the U-M community and encourage those who are interested to stay updated on our progress via @PedalCell social media handles and the new pedalcell.com!


    Join us on Feb. 16 to watch this team compete for the $15K grand prize in the Impact Track Finals!

    Read more about all of the finalist teams: Adelie| Canopy | Foodfinder | PedalCell