MBA grad pioneers new transportation mode
By Ross MacDonald-Allan
Kody Baker has parlayed his Beedie School of Business education into a new venture – one that could revolutionize transportation around Vancouver.
Baker, who is graduating from Beedie’s Management of Technology (MOT) MBA program, is a co-founder of VeloMetro Mobility, a company that has invented a new mode of transportation.
The technology—called a Velocar—combines the best elements of an electric vehicle, a bicycle, and car2go.
It is currently in beta testing, with Baker and his colleagues recently completing fabrication of the first prototype model.
They have since been riding around the back streets of Vancouver to test it, and aim to begin pilot testing within six months using a car2go-style vehicle-sharing business model.
“Our Velocar takes your power input and multiplies it, giving you the feeling of having the legs of two Olympic athletes,” says Baker.
“It looks like a skinny smart car, and for 25 cents a minute will take a single rider anywhere a bicycle can travel – they don’t even need a driving license to operate it.”
The finished model will feature a tablet for navigation, and room behind the seat for storing luggage or groceries.
Baker co-founded VeloMetro during his second year in the MOT MBA program, and has also worked with SFU Venture Connection to further develop his business.
He says that the knowledge gained from the MOT MBA and Venture Connection provided the skills to turn the invention into a viable business.
“By the time we founded the company I had a great understanding of how to launch, run and grow a business, as well as how to properly position a new product for development.”
As the company continues to grow, Baker has not forgotten its SFU roots. VeloMetro recently hired an SFU mechatronics graduate and a Beedie School of Business MBA intern to help cope with the increasing workload.