Colorado State University business graduate Andrew Victora describes himself as a home brewer, bicyclist, pet owner and musician – a lot of skills that, he said, translate well into tourism and entertainment.
Those skills led Victora and partner Kevin Kruglet, a CSU economics and finances graduate, to wonder how they could push everything great about Fort Collins into an entertaining business.
“Biking, green technology and just pure entertainment value – you fuse all that together and you get a bicycle tour,” Victora said. “And how do you do that? Pedicabs.”
Tadpole Pedicabs is one of the five student ventures admitted to The Hatchery in June. A CSU-rented office space in the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, The Hatchery gives these student entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses.
Victora said he and his partner came up with the idea for their pedicab, or bike taxi, while enjoying Denver’s music scene.
“Tadpole Pedicabs sort of came around because we’re big into the music scene down in Denver,” Victora said. “Pedicabs are everywhere down in Denver. They’re consistently filled with people.”
However, instead of emphasizing the nightlife like Denver, Tadpole Pedicabs is intending to appeal more to tourism, a market Hatchery adviser Katherine Gregory believes they have done well in assessing.
“Other than Tadpole, there are no options for people to get … intimate, personalized, open-air tours of both Old Town and the thriving distillery scenes,” Gregory said. “They have leveraged our town’s love of the outdoors and alternative transportation in a unique and ultimately profitable way.”
When she first heard the idea, CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship Assistant Program Director Jessica Rawley wondered how Victora and Kruglet would make their service stand out from the competition.
“In my mind, when I first heard it, I wondered how they would differentiate themselves,” Rawley said. “But their cool front-loaded design definitely gives a different experience than the standard pedicab.”
Though the service has not launched yet, Victora said that the scheduling process is simple. People wanting a tour of Odell, New Belgium and Fort Collins breweries; the Old Town breweries; or the CSU campus can schedule a tour on their website, or on their currently in-development mobile app. They will also offer a free night taxi service and brewery shuttle, though tipping is encouraged.
“Our idea, in the simplest way, is to get involved in the community by providing safe transportation that’s green and Fort Collins-encouraged,” Victora said.
Collegian Business and Technology Beat Reporter Nicholas LeVack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @.