It’s light, it folds up in a trice and its electric battery is hidden in the top tube of the frame. Now Flit, the new folding ebike which has been developed in Cambridge by a former Jaguar Land Rover engineer, is smashing its crowdfunding targets, winning prestigious design awards and lining up a lot of customers.
It has been an impressive growth journey for this grassroots start-up since initially winning a grant through the Department for Transport Innovation Challenge Fund to develop their first prototype and then its appearance on Pitchfest, the EEN’s flagship pitch training and showcase programme in the East of England.
“The support from the EEN has been awesome over the last couple of years,” says Flit’s managing director Alex Murray. The company has worked together with EEN on their business strategy and through the Innovate 2 Succeed (I2S) programme, which promotes business innovation.
Since completing the I2S programme, Flit has secured two EU grants and its first round of equity investment from Cambridge angel investors. This has allowed the team to develop the ebikes to a stage where they were ready to bring it to market. The design has been finished, many of the manufacturing tools and fixtures have been prepared, initial testing and certification completed, and three new sets of prototypes with their manufacturing partner are being developed and built.
This summer, Flit won the 2019 ACID Design & IP Champion Award. This prestigious award was given to their design lead, David Turpin, for his work translating the engineering behind the Flit ebike into a clean, modern, and coherent design. One judge commented that it was “rare that the combination of mechanical and technological innovation lead to a product that is also desirable in consumer eyes” and that the company was “set up for a great, ‘protected’ future as a business.”
The company’s recent Kickstarter campaign launched with a funding goal of £25,000 - a target that was smashed within five minutes of going live. At the time of writing, Flit was 400% funded.
The company has also made it to the final of the Eurobike Startup Award.
The support from the EEN has been awesome over the last couple of years