SINGAPORE — Did you know that the quantity of men and women who took up biking in Singapore has doubled given that 2015? According to the 2020 Nationwide Sports activities Participation Study, biking is now the third most common activity in the region just driving going for walks and jogging. In previous many years, swimming and badminton normally rated larger than cycling.
While it is apparent that biking is trending, it wasn’t just the modern growth that encouraged Kelvin Phang to make an energetic mobility app — it was his alternative to make active mobility safer and much more pleasant for everybody so that it gets to be the initially choice for any commute. And the app is not just for cyclists, it can be valuable for runners, walkers, and even skate boarders.
“With extra persons cycling on the streets and on the Park Connector Network (PCN), shared paths and pedestrian walkways, incidents and friction in between highway end users are bound to materialize. Lots of are also unfamiliar with Highway Site visitors Laws and the Active Mobility Act 2017,” he told Yahoo Finance Singapore in a the latest interview. “Sadly, there has been an boost in fatalities between cyclists in the latest years.”
His app, RIDEnjoy, introduced in December 2021 and the beta variation now has slightly in excess of 17,000 registered people. The app, which is no cost on cell application outlets, uses OneMap created by the Singapore Land Authority for its detailed mapping, and pulls information from the Land Transportation Authority for bike parking and Biking Path Network information and NParks for its Park Connector Community.
But what seriously would make RIDEnjoy stand out are its social characteristics — customers can see real-time locale of other end users and perspective experiences submitted by the RIDEnjoy local community these types of as bicycle incidents, potholes, or wild pet dog and otter sightings. In addition, consumers can see bike-particular spots of desire like bicycle stores, bicycle rentals, bicycle self-assistance kiosks, h2o coolers, and bike-welcoming routes. It also has locale-dependent companies that makes it possible for people to love actual-entire world advantages at lover merchants.
“In circumstance of unexpected emergency, consumers can strike the SOS button to alert 995 and other riders in the vicinity. The a lot more studies and info the app receives from buyers, the extra practical it results in being to every person,” Phang stated. “We hope diverse active mobility end users will search out for each individual other, and sharing information and facts in genuine-time by means of the app is a person way of creating factors much better for all.”
Phang admitted that the highway to RIDEnjoy would have been extremely distinct with no the pandemic. To establish the application, he applied his particular assets and tapped into the Sports Resilient Package’s Blended initiative for funding.
“Most start-up grants by different companies are commonly all over S$50,000 and we ended up fortuitous to receive a little two times of that to construct the application,” said the 50-12 months-outdated previous triathlete.
Timing was crucial as well. The cycling boom prompted by the pandemic created teething challenges for street people which encouraged him to launch and deliver a go-to-market campaign in less than a few months to assistance handle some of these road safety issues rapidly.
The freshly-minted techpreneur shared some of thoughts on his entrepreneurship journey.
You are a journalist-turned-marketeer-turned-techpreneur. How has it been like for you to enter the tech area at 50?
I purpose to debunk the phrase “you just can’t instruct an old dog new tricks”. In advance of I was awarded the grant to build RIDEnjoy, I attended a 6-month section-time Company and Facts Analytics system by Boston Consulting Team. I’m nevertheless discovering new items about functioning a tech organization and I usually get schooled by someone considerably younger — it’s humbling but exhilarating.
I established my built-in promoting consultancy firm, Empower Asia, when I turned 40 and dealing with the up-down business enterprise cycles prepared me for start out-up daily life at 50. But the start off-up grind is not for every person and it wasn’t a 996 way of life during the months leading to the start, it was much more like 157 (15 hrs day by day, seven times a 7 days)!
How do you control amongst remaining a relatives man and operating two companies?
When RIDEnjoy takes up 95% of my time, Empower proceeds to present internet marketing services to customers many thanks to my colleagues. Unfortunately, the pandemic intended I was absent from my wife and little ones (who are dependent in Penang) for almost 19 months. Although I overlook observing them, the “separation” intended I was able to focus on developing and launching RIDEnjoy. Fortunately the borders have reopened and I can now travel to take a look at them regularly.
Inform us extra about the RIDEnjoy mascot
Our mascot is termed Kobi, brief for “yorokobi”, which is Japanese for “joy”. As an alternative of a dinosaur, it was to begin with supposed to be a biking lion given that we are a Singapore organization. But locals adore dinosaurs and the concept of a dinosaur riding a bicycle is funny supplied that they normally have big thigh muscles fantastic for cycling, so we determined on dinosaurs. We contact them Ridesaurs and we will be introducing a lot more in future functions.
What’s up coming for RIDEnjoy?
My co-founder Adrian Tan and I are now actively fundraising to scale up and launch the total model of the app afterwards in the year. Expanding outside of Singapore is a little something we hope to realize in a calendar year. In addition to online-offline retail, bikecations and city tourism, we are also searching at companies like bicycle financing, mobility insurance, virtual and in-particular person functions.
Where by do you attract inspiration from?
Two books that really encouraged me were “The Future is More rapidly Than You Assume: How Converging Systems Are Reworking Company, Industries, and Our Lives” by Peter Diamandis and “Trailblazer: The Power of Company as the Biggest System for Change” by Marc Benioff. I nevertheless refer to highlighted webpages and sections from both of those publications for inspiration usually.
When I have to have to perk myself up, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” are my go-to tracks.
What’s the best suggestions you’ve ever acquired?
A mentor instructed me early in my occupation that I should really normally be inquiring the issue “what did I learn today” at the stop of every single working day. I’m a significant believer in self-understanding and I try to commit at the very least an hour looking through every single working day ahead of I rest — from media article content to white papers, from tech to organization, from entrepreneurship to leadership, the ultimate hour of each and every working day is my “invest in yourself” time.
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