CTRL+T podcast: As long as it tastes like chicken, folds my clothes for cheap and doesn’t run me over

Startups


Wait, what? Yeah, this week a company called SuperMeat announced that it raised $3 million to create chicken in a lab. It requires real chicken cells, Petrie dishes probably and some patience. The benefits for fake (fake real?) chicken are numerous, not the least of which it’s better for the environment. But we wonder how it will taste. Like chicken? Like fake chicken?

In the lead-up to CES 2018, the topic of robots that fold laundry is on our minds. Apparently it’s a thing and it costs a lot of money. Like, a lot of money. Two companies, FoldiMate and Seven Dreamers (which is working with Panasonic) don’t want you to have to fold your clean clothes, which is arguably not the worst part of doing laundry (at least according to Henry).

And finally, Volkswagen and Hyundai announced that, by 2021, they intend to have autonomous taxi fleets on the roads. Autonomous cars are coming, so why not start with taxis? The only thing better would be autonomous pizza-delivery vehicles.

Our guest this week is Ryan Rzepecki, CEO of Social Bicycles, the startup behind Jump, a dockless, electric bike-sharing startup. In the last couple of years, bike-sharing has become a hot space for founders and VCs alike. In China, companies Ofo and Mobike have both achieved unicorn status for their respective bike-sharing startups. Over in the U.S., investors have poured in $62 million to LimeBike and $8 million into Spin as both startups aim to compete against Motivate, the company behind Ford’s GoBikes in San Francisco and Citi Bikes in New York City.

Unlike other bike-sharing startups and startups in general, Social Bicycles’s idea with San Francisco was to come into the market and serve a part of it that historically has not been served, Rzepecki said on CTRL+T. Upon its launch in San Francisco, Jump’s bikes went to the Bayview neighborhood first, aiming to connect residents there to the rest of the city.

What Social Bicycles is doing, he said, is “going in and trying to put equity first.” Regarding the tech audience and other potential early adopters, “they will come naturally.”

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