“We’re young, so we weren’t as plugged in to the business world that more experienced entrepreneurs might have beenand we were both still in school, so when we hit a wall we put the idea on ice for the time being while looking at other entrepreneurial opportunities,” says Ali. “Then, in the autumn of 2019, Örebrobostäder, a local municipality-owned housing company, held a competition where teams could to submit an idea or concept that would change an area in Örebro.
“I was working with two other guys at the time and they wanted to pitch a big mall. I thought it was a good idea but also suggested including the bike rack concept. My partners thought it was innovative but didn’t really have the same passion for it as I did, so we pitched our ideas separately. The business development person liked the mall concept but then when I pitched the bike rack concept, she saw a big market for it – and wanted to help us make it happen!”
The business development committee at Örebrobostäder faced the same challenges Ali and Ade had faced: difficulty in sourcing a cost-effective supplier in Sweden. They turned to their mentor, who told them, “Remember when you had that idea for napkins with inspirational quotes? You looked internationally for suppliers and you should do the same with the bike racks”.
Looking internationally eventually led them to Bikeep, the Estonian startup that has been empowering secure biking stations through the use of mobile connectivity, allowing people to lock their bikes using their phone, ID, or library or transport card. With Bikeep cyclists don’t need to carry a lock and they have not had a single bike stolen since being implemented. Ali and Ade contacted Bikeep, thinking they would be able to build the bike rack but Bikeep had another idea: instead of being competitors, why not team up and act as the local partner in Sweden.
“So, that’s where we started. Ade was tasked with finding the right people to build our organization, so now we haveMohamed Ali our financial guy, Ali Hussein our project leader, and Sharmarke, who is Ade’s cousin from England who is our product chief. So, it’s five guys aged 18 to 23. We kept the name Bikeep for the product, but our company is called One4Tech, which reflects the Vivalla area in Örebro that we’re all from. The bus line that goes from Vivalla to the University was called 14 or one-four, so it’s like a code that everyone recognizes as going on to big things.”
In less than a year One4Tech has signed Örebrobostäder, another housing company Västerporten Fastigheter, and the major shopping area Ica Maxi Stormarknad University. They are also in talks with a number of other large concerns in the area, includig Örebro University and Akademiska Hus, which develops many of the areas around the university and hospitals.
IoT & Connectivity
One4Tech was contacted by a Tele2 IoT salesperson, who told them he loved the bike rack concept and that he had the right solution for them. The One4Tech team had an unusual reaction.