The idea to start BoltAbout came to Matt Maxwell in November 2015, when he was frustrated by public transportation options. He found the perfect alternative in the form of electric bikes. In April 2016, he decided to turn this passion into a business by launching a pilot program to lease a small fleet of e-bikes on a monthly basis. The feedback he received from his customers, largely Cal Poly SLO students, was extremely positive. Through simple word of mouth, his waiting list to lease an e-bike grew to several hundred names. In June of that year, BoltAbout joined the Summer Accelerator Program at the Cal Poly CIE SLO HotHouse, at which point they became SBDC Clients.
Over the course of six months, BoltAbout has expanded dramatically. CEO and Founder Matt attributes much of his company’s success to the support of the Cal Poly CIE SBDC. The SBDC has connected Matt with top-tier advisors and investors, which has ultimately facilitated more than $150,000 raised to date through investors, grants, and local bank financing. SBDC consultants trained him on legal contracts and negotiations so that he was able to strike a deal with an e-bike manufacturer out of Florida. In addition, consultants showed him how to create financial projections and tax and accounting systems to manage his expenditures and revenue.
BoltAbout now serves over 100 customers in San Luis Obispo, and their team has doubled in recent months to include six full-time and three part-time employees. They signed a one-year lease to a 1,900 square foot warehouse downtown, bringing in business and foot traffic to a space that had long been abandoned. BoltAbout will also be expanding into two new California cities that have strong bicycle cultures, and the SBDC will be supporting them through this growth.