Reinventing Electric Bikes: Meet “Riide”

Jeff Stefanis & Amber Wason, GWSB BBA ’07, launched a Kickstarter campaign for their electric bike company, Riide.

“Imagine if you had a vehicle you could park anywhere, didn’t require gas to fuel, and could even pass sitting cars. Imagine the time you would save. Stop imagining.”

That’s the motto of the newly launched electric bike company, Riide, based in Washington, DC. Riide offers electric bikes that can be plugged into any standard wall outlet and recharge in half the time of other e-bikes on the market.

Founded by Amber Wason, GWSB BBA ’07 and Jeff Stefanis, Riide recently launched its Kickstarter campaign after 15 months of planning, testing and working with manufacturers to bring Wason’s and Stefanis’ vision to life.

Now, the Riide team is raising funds to support manufacturing and tooling to produce its initial run of bikes.

Riide has already exceeded its Kickstarter goal, but with 33 days left in the campaign, Wason and Riide hope to continue the momentum and blow their goal out of the water.

“There has been so much buzz and positive feedback from customer interviews and test riides,” says Wason, “but the true excitement will come when Riide is changing the way people get around!”

Riide’s electric bikes offer a sleek, lightweight design.

What makes Riide unique? For starters, a sleek design that hides the battery and controller to keep them protected from the elements. Riide bikes are also extremely lightweight, weighing 40% less than the average electric bike.

In addition, the bikes are affordable. “Our bikes, priced at $1799, are built with many of the same components that are used in $4,000-5,000 electric bikes,” says Wason.

Riide’s journey began when Stefanis was in China for business and noticed electric bikes everywhere he went. Perplexed by the fact that he hadn’t seen them in the US, he and Wason met to try and find the answer.

“We discovered that the industry was just emerging in the US, and nobody at the time was making an electric bike for the modern, urban professional. So, we decided to build one,” explains Wason.

That hands-on, entrepreneurial spirit has been with Wason since she was a child. “I undoubtedly acquired this trait from my parents, who were small business owners,” she says.

Wason built on that spirit during her days at GW, where she formed “[a] network of amazing individuals.”

“Many of them,” Wason adds, “are still my best friends and have played a HUGE role in the success of Riide.”

With 15 months of hard work behind them, Wason and Stefanis are ready for more as they take Riide to the next level. “We are so excited,” Wason says, “to get Riide bikes in the hands of their owners!”

–Melissa Nyman

Want to help Wason and Stefanis take the next step? There’s still time to support their Kickstarter campaign! And be sure to follow and share their story: Facebook | Twitter.

If you’re in the DC area, swing by the Foggy Bottom campus on Thursday, Jan. 16—from 3:00-5:00pm, the team will be giving test “riides” in front of Whole Foods (2201 I St NW)!

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