In 2010, Gediminas Maslauskas (24 years old) migrated from Lithuania to Denmark. He had not expected to become a successful bicycle business partner after two years of living in Odense, Denmark. To speak the truth, from the early childhood G. Maslauskas had many ambitions to create something of his own, however, this kind of a twist in his life was hardly foreseen. Moreover, a lucky coincidence played a significant role in his story of success.
Right person at a right time
Maslauskas actively played hockey in the second league of the country while studying in one of the Danish universities. He met an Estonian man – Kasper Peek, who had just quit sales Manager business in London and fled to live in Copenhagen, where his girlfriend lived. Though, not only love attracted Casper Peek to Denmark. He also had an intention to open a new business there.
In K. Peek’s eyes Danish people seemed not only the happiest nation in the whole world, but also one of the most enthusiastic bicycle users. Therefore, he had no hard time deciding which branch of the business he should choose. And that is how “KP Cykler” workshop was born. To be precise, in November Kasper Peek invited G. Maslauskas, who also adores everything connected with bicycles, to join his crew.
“Those holders are very useful in many ways, you could hang almost anything on it. It is even possible to repair the bicycle on those holders comfortably. Basically, it is a product for the city bicycle owners, who are concerned about the look of the holder, with or without the bicycle”.- G. Maslauskas
The young Lithuanian entrepreneur shares his experience in business development: “There are plenty of bicycles and their users in Denmark, so no wonder, there are many companies offering services for them. That is why we started to search for new methods in order to stand out among others, who are offering the same services. We have found our niche quite accidentally”.
Same thing, different style and function
“Once a Norwegian customer stopped by our workshop and claimed: – “I need a hanger, so I could keep my bicycle suspended on the wall”. We looked at each other and responded, that we do not sell this kind of devices and we have no idea what to offer.
And then, all of a sudden, the client pointed his finger to the direction of the bicycle handlebars, which were simply designed to hold all the bicycles in the workshop, and said: “Could you make one of these for me?” –recalls G. Maslauskas
This incident made it clear that the simplest answers are usually in front of your nose. Maslauskas and Peek realized that similar hangers could be the special thing that “KP Cykler” has been searching for. Unfortunately, a new challenge occurred – “KP Cykler” had no money for new hangers to produce and to take a loan seemed a bit too risky idea. On the other hand an idea to search for the fortune at the “Kickstarter” finance platform seemed very appealing.
“Previously we had created a finance campaign, but sadly, it was a failure. The good thing is that we had accumulated necessary knowledge and information, and now we were quite sure, how to act/ We knew that Kickstarter is a wonderful way not only for the income, but also for the opportunity to check its quality. Of course, the speed in this business is fatal, because the same idea might come to other people too.” –these entrepreneurs are convinced.
When Maslauskas and Peek developed the minimalistic and stylish prototype of the bicycle holder, they have received some important advices and help from their friends and acquaintances in order to create a suitable promo material for the “Kickstarter” (the descriptions, a video clip, etc.). Even G. Maslauskas and K. Peek were sure about the need of their product in the market, they were very stunned, when it was announced that their idea in three days collected all the money needed (10 thousand Danish krone or about 1.3 thousand euros) to start the production of bicycle holders.
Getting on the right track
The luck of “KP Cykler” did not stop there. The number of people willing to purchase a bicycle holder – on a pine tree plate attached chromed steering wheel from Taiwan, which overall looks like a living room trophy – increases rapidly every day.
Maslauskas said that they do not have priority markets from which donations or preliminary customers could be attracted: “to name a precise country is almost impossible. The orders are reaching us from all over the world: from Denmark, Singapore, United States of America, Australia, etc. In my opinion, this is happening because we chose the most suitable financing platform. Kickstarter assists in search for the financial support and also as a huge and powerful advertisement platform, which reaches quite a tremendous audience.
It is important to mention, that Kickstarter administrators has chosen “KP Cykler” project as their one of their favourite and awarded in the category “Staff Pick”.
The interest in product is much more bigger than anyone was expecting. The tide of the pre-orders provoked the partners to get into the producing of the product as soon as possible. The production is going to be implemented in Lithuania.
“I am lucky to know the craftsman, who has “golden hands”. He will craft the bicycle holders the way we have designed it. For now, all the holders will have the base made of pine tree, but in the future we hope to make if from oak. Likewise, all the other ideas are also going to be implemented later. For example, to use the steering wheels from old bicycles”.
“KP Cykler” holder is able to sustain up to three bicycles. This product is receiving a huge interes, but G. Maslauskas does not want to make it mass-production commodity and is hoping to maintain the uniqueness and singularity of their product.
“Of course, it is possible to hang a lot of different things on these holders. It is even possible to repair your bicycle, while it is on the holder, it is much more comfortable. On the other hand, it is a product for the city bicycle owners, who are concerned about the look of the holder, with or without the bicycle”. – specifies G. Maslauskas.
Bicycle is one of Denmark’s attribute. You do not need to invent new bicycle to start you business, but you can find that small little detail, improve it and make fortune out of it!