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BoltAbout, San Luis Obispo

The idea to start BoltAbout came to Matt Maxwell in November 2015, when he was frustrated by public transportation options. He found the perfect alternative -- buying an electric bike. Wanting to get a discount, Matt bought two and decided to rent one to his roommate. In April 2016, he decided to turn this side project into a business by launching a pilot program to lease a small fleet of ebikes on a monthly basis. The feedback he received from his customers, largely Cal Poly SLO students, was extremely positive. Through simple word of mouth, his waiting list to lease a bike from BoltAbout grew to several hundred names. In June of that year, BoltAboutjoined the Summer Accelerator Program at the Cal Poly CIE SLO HotHouse, at which point they became SBDC Clients.

Over the last year, BoltAbout has expanded dramatically. CEO and Founder Matt contributes much of his company’s success to the support of the Cal Poly CIE SBDC. The SBDC has connected the BoltAbout team with top-tier advisors and investors, which has ultimately facilitated more than $150,000 raised to date through investors, grants, and local bank financing. SBDC consultants trained him on legal contracts and negotiations, so that he was able to strike a deal with an ebike manufacturer out of Florida and Los Angeles. In addition, consultants showed him how to create financial projections and tax and accounting systems to manage his expenditures and revenue.

BoltAbout now serves over 150 customers in San Luis Obispo County, and is run by four full-time and two part-time employees. Last Fall they signed a one-year lease to a 1,900 square foot warehouse downtown, bringing in business and foot traffic to a space that had long been abandoned. In the coming months, BoltAbout will be doubling its customer base in San Luis Obispo and expanding to new California cities that have a strong need for sustainable transportation, and the SBDC will be supporting them through this growth.

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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the California SBDC closest to you.