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|Articles - May 2012|
|Monday, April 23, 2012|
When Kristine Akins had a second bike stolen in 2010, the veteran entrepreneur didn’t get mad. She got even. In 2011, she founded BikeTrak, a startup that is building GPS-powered security devices for bikes. Embedded in the bicycle, the unit will automatically alert riders and police when a bicycle is stolen, then pinpoint where the bike is at any given time. “It’s a complete system for thwarting bike theft,” says Akins. The system operates at the nexus of several cutting-edge technologies, including GPS, cellular chip and “machine-to-machine” communications. “There were significant challenges,” says Akins. Other technical hurdles include ensuring the unit isn’t on or activated when the bike is accidentally jostled or when the rider moves the bike, and embedding the device, with its three antennas, in the actual bike frame. Akins is testing a “Beta I” version of BikeTrak this month — the initial round of units will be built into the water cage — and hopes to release about 200 products this summer, just before the September Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Akins has been working with Portland police on the device and says detectives “love the idea” of an automated system. Would-be vigilantes, take note. A notice on the BikeTrak web site likely will read: “Don’t go after the thief yourself.”
Bicycle security devices
Received $150,000 in convertible note funding. “We’re looking at getting $750,000 before launch,” says Akins. Named as a semi-finalist in Angel Oregon 2012. Two full-time employees, several part-time and contractor workers. Retail launch price is $299. “This is heavy-duty technology, but we hope to get prices down over time.”
“Bikes are so easy to steal,” says Akins. “If thieves think they might be tracked, they’ll probably think twice. Ninety percent of thieves are idiots. But we’re struggling a bit in terms of publicizing where the unit will be located on the bike.”
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
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