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Hack To Start
Episode 4

Ali Zahid

The COO of Vanhawks, Valour - The bike of the future. Safer. Smarter. Sexier.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Episode Overview

Ali Zahid is the COO of Vanhawks, makers of the Valour, the bike of the future. Safer. Smarter. Sexier. He shares his insights on how to build a complete startup and pursuing your vision.

Ali was a biomedical engineering student at Queen's University before he dropped out to join his co-founders at FounderFuel in Montreal. They launched their Kickstarter campaign 12 days before demo day, with the goal of raising $100,000. The target was quickly met (<30 hours) and end up raising 8x the initial goal, becoming the largest Kickstarter in Canada.

Some Of The Questions We Ask

Where are you from, what did you study and how did your interest in entrepreneurship develop?

What is Vanhawks all about? What makes the Valour so different from any other bike?

How did you / the team come up with the idea for Vanhawks? Where did the name come from?

You guys applied to FounderFuel and were accepted. How did that experience help shape the company and product? What were some of the lessons learned?

Ali's funny customs story that he was never supposed to tell anyone.

How did you guys hack your way into the bike market?

You guys become the largest crowdfunded campaign in Canada. How did you guys create such amazing demand?

How much has the Valour evolved since the first prototype?

What apps are you using the most right now?

What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • Why Ali and the team decided to start Vanhawks (and where they came up with that stellar name).
  • Why sticking to your vision is important - no matter what.
  • How creating your own market is sometimes simpler than trying to enter a new one.
  • How Ali and the team created Canada's biggest Kickstarter campaign to date.
  • Why Vanhawks doesn't believe in patents.
  • And more!

Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Ali Zahid on Twitter
Vanhawks on Twitter
Vanhawks on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Books & Apps

Talk from Path

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