When Mailchimp cofounder Dan Kurzius first visited Krog St. Market in 2014, he was surprised by how many shoppers were riding their bikes to the food-and-retail hall. And with Mailchimp’s move to a similar structure—Ponce City Market—on the horizon, he was feeling a little bit inspired, too.
“The popularity of bikes on the Krog St. property validated that we needed to do something special for our employees at Ponce,” Dan says. “It’s clear how important non-auto options are to the area and the people who live and work in this part of town. We didn’t want to rely only on our building’s amenity, though. I worried there wouldn’t be enough opportunity for everyone who wanted to access a bike.”
He and one of Mailchimp’s Executive Assistants, Shalini, researched manufacturers and ultimately settled on Priority Bicycles, which is based out of New York. (You can read more about them in What’s in Store issue #57.) Once they delivered 7 of their finest bikes to Mailchimp HQ, Michael from our Marketing Operations team—an avid cyclist himself—offered to build them and run the program.
And then he realized we had a problem.
“I was researching some bike share apps and none of them really worked for our use case,” Michael says. “The majority of the apps on the market work with a system of racks, locks, and Bluetooth devices that are meant for large-scale operations. We wanted a simpler solution. So, in the Spring of 2016, I contacted Alejandra about having an intern build an app.”