In 2012 I owned two companies. The first was MyBike, which was my baby. The second was Viking Sports that Zach and I bought the year prior. In 2012 my oldest son (and only child at the time) was turning one, Viking was really just doing a few summer camps and sports clinics, and I was HUSTLING to make MyBike a nationwide company. That’s when Mahoney entered MyBike into the MassChallenge. At the time it was a relatively new start up competition that allowed a select few companies from around the world the ability to scale in a start up incubator by providing every resource at their disposal.
We were a pretty nothing company that had little chance of making it past the first cut of 1,700 applications, but Mahoney was confident that MyBike was unique enough to at least give us a shot to make it the pitching round. The cool thing is that even though it was a world wide competition, it took place within walking distance to our bike shop in South Boston.
After completely forgetting about the application, Mahoney called letting me the know that MyBike made the cut. That was pretty cool. The next round they were to little the group down to its finalists and to make that happen we had to pitch the company to a shark tank-esque panel. At 41, I would’ve nailed it. At 31 I was a novice. I mean, I was good, but I’ve upped my power point deck game significantly since then. I made an unconvincing sales pitch of how MyBike or long term rentals with advertising mixed with onsite bike repair would revolutionize the bike environment in urban areas throughout America.
The panel asked their doom and gloom and questions, but ultimately we did not make it to the final round. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, Mahoney and I took the exposure and prestige of being on the global short list to increase our business presence locally. That’s when we started winning bike repair contracts for colleges, residence complexes, and major employers in Boston which fundamentally changed our business model for the better.