2020: A never-ending roller coaster!
2020 feels like a never-ending roller coaster! A really special and kind of weird year.
As CEO of a startup company, I am used to uncertainty and minor predictability. That I can manage and live with, but none could ever predict a pandemic like the COVID-19.
The pandemic affected Podbike too, but not to the extent as many other companies. This year we should have been on the road in Europe visiting suppliers and partners and also meeting our patient pre-order customers at test ride events in Norway and Germany. It became impossible with travel restrictions. In addition, the demand for bike parts has exploded – as the e-bike and bike demand is booming. Which really makes us happy, we want more people to bike! But, it gives us challenges with our planned production. Following, the delivery time for bike parts has become a challenge. Thus, making it necessary for us to delay production for a few more months than our original plan.
Anyway, my great team and I are very pleased that we despite the COVID-19 situation have reached some important milestones this year:
1. Our test bikes are out on the road! Built in our prototype workshop and been out on street testing through the year.
2. Signed agreements (Letter of intent)) with assembly partners for our first series manufacturing and we have done upgrades and improvements on vital parts.
3. Awarded EU‘s Seal of Excellence. A quality label awarded to project proposals submitted to Horizon 2020 the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, to help these proposals find alternative funding. We are very proud to be in this top-level league of the EIC Accelerator funding program.
4. Podbike were elected for EMNY – Entrepreneurial Marketing New York program. EMNY is a special program from Innovation Norway where they select and invite a few startups which they really believe have international potential. The goal of the program is to rig Podbike for growth.
5. Last but not least: Frikar is partly in production. Even though COVID-19 is interfering with our production plans, I am happy to share with you that a lot of parts are already set in production. For instance: Head light, rear light, baseplate, chassis and body parts.
We are still working on securing the full financing support to optimize the vehicle platform for a scalable production in 2021. But, I am optimistic for the months to come.
THANK YOU to all our fantastic and patient customers in Europe that are waiting for their FRIKAR® e-bike and all other fans that are cheering on us. It is really a great motivation in our daily work!
To you and your families, have a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Stay healthy and safe!
CEO and CoFounder