When you've had four bicycles stolen, and even hear a hacksaw at 3 a.m. to discover your entire porch and bike gone, tougher security is needed.
Or at least a way to track down the thief would be helpful.
These situations led Clay Neigher to create BikeSpike, a gadget attached to a bike alerting your smartphone of any tampering. It will also alert parents when their child is riding too far from home, or when there's been an accident, Neigher said.
"It also allows you to use your smartphone or computer to capture the full profile of your bike," Neigher said. "You can record every nook and cranny, all its modifications, the date of purchase, receipt, the serial number and more."
Neigher, who lives in Chicago, recruited Bryan Knight, who was raised in Libertyville and now lives in Mount Prospect, to help with the project. BikeSpike is a collaboration between two companies. Neigher is co-founder of Three Man Rocket and the other company is ColorJar, where Knight is partner and lead tech.
While the team and plan are in place, they need funding. They started a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com that runs through Tuesday, April 9.
So far, they've received pledges for $48,000. The companies are seeking about $150,000. If a person pledges $155, they would receive the BikeSpike package to protect their bike once it's manufactured and available to distribute.
If the companies raise the entire amount, they will get the money and be able to produce and distribute the BikeSpike. If they don't reach the goal, Kickstarter doesn't release any of the money, and the men would have to seek alternative funding, such as venture capital. They've avoided venture capital because investors often seek equity or ownership shares, which wasn't appealing.
If the fundraising is successful, Knight also will move ahead with developing the app and other online features. Knight will spearhead the product's website development where users will monitor their data, stats, file police reports and other features.
Also, the BikeSpike isn't just for bicycles. It can be used for automobiles and motorcycles, too, Knight said. "It can track anything," Knight said.
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