'FreeBike Project' gives students the resources to ride
It’s cheaper, healthier, and more sustainable than driving. No wonder more and more Americans are biking as a form of pleasurable exercise and transportation. While studying abroad at USC, former students Johan Bender and Kim Sanderhoff were determined to make biking more accessible for their classmates. These young entrepreneurs created a bike lease system that puts Manhattan’s Citi Bike and D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare to shame. Why? Because it’s free for users and has a charitable component.
Danish students Bender and Sanderhoff defy the stereotype that studying abroad during college is just one long party. As tempting as it may have been to lie on the beaches of southern California all day, they had a mission to help make biking as popular in America as it is in Denmark.
They came up with the idea to start this business in 2011, and founded the company in 2012. The FreeBike Project began as a hypothetical concept that they created for a course on entrepreneurship. But with educations from Copenhagen Business School under their belts, the students quickly set forth transforming ideas into actions.
“Kim and I strongly felt that our concept had the potential to create positive change in the world. The idea was to promote green, healthy and free means of transportation for college students, while providing a better youth-marketing alternative for brands and businesses,” Bender said. Born on USC’s campus, the FreeBike Project has already reached colleges and universities nationwide, in cities such as Boston, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. The founding duo currently resides in the United States, dedicating their lives to the project’s expansion.