Home > Business > Crowdfunding > Dada Cycles, The Eco-Friendly Bike Helmet

We discovered this startup during one of our monthly Elevator Pitch sessions at Startup Apéro. We were amazed by the vision of the founder, David Maroko, and the POC he unveiled on stage. Mobility is a trending topic and we were curious to understand how a helmet could be manufactured out of recycled material. We had to learn more about Dada Cycles®.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Dada Cycles®
featured: Dada Cycles® helmets
Tell us about your startup.

Dada Cycles® designs, manufactures and sells sustainable equipment and accessories for urban cyclists. With the vision of a greener city where soft mobility plays an increasingly important role, we founded the brand in August 2018. For Dada Cycles®, the city is a space meant for exploring and connecting with one another.

Along with all the other soft mobility vehicles, cycling combats some of the environmental challenges our cities are facing.

With its first product, it wants to tackle the problem of low helmet usage by introducing the first eco-friendly bike helmet that is also a genuine lifestyle accessory. Dada is the first eco-friendly helmet in the market manufactured in Europe out of recycled and natural materials.

“With the help of the lean start-up methodogy, we ran questionnaires with urban bikers to understand their experiences, expectations, and problems in order to validate our hypotheses.”

How did you come up with the idea?

We are bike enthusiasts. A little less than 2 years ago, we wanted to renew our helmets. We searched all around only to realize that the design and the comfort of current helmets is not built for today’s urban context.

Only 1/4 of frequent cyclists wear a helmet. Helmets have been proven to save lives. In cases of accidents, wearing a helmet diminishes the risk of a major brain trauma and the risk of getting a lethal brain trauma by 75% and 65%, respectively (Dr Jake Olivier, Dr Prudence Creighton, « Bicycle injuries and helmet use: a systematic review and meta-analysis », International Journal of Epidemiology, 21 July 2016).

Convinced that every cyclist must wear a helmet, the brand wants to advocate and entice cyclists to wear a Dada helmet.

How did you build the POC – Proof of concept?

With the help of the lean startup methodogy, we ran questionnaires with urban bikers to understand their experiences, expectations, and problems in order to validate our hypotheses.

We then built a POC based on the conclusions we drew through our ideation and validation processes.

“People have praised the design of the product and backed the green values associated with it.”

What are the main challenges to build a helmet?

The main challenge of building a helmet is that it is an industrial product. Creating the right design lies in finding a balance between technical constraints and aesthetics. This is especially true when we’re required to substitute oil-derived plastic. This objective can only be achieved through prototyping and constant interaction with industrial designers.

It also means that producing a helmet could run into high investment costs for industrial tooling, which can be problematic for a self-financed start-up.

This is why we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign this fall. For anyone unfamiliar with crowdfunding, it allows entrepreneurs to raise funds through online campaigns. In the campaign, a start-up posts its product for individuals to purchase pre-production. Once they hit their target amount, the company can begin production and the « backers » will then be the first to receive it. This is a great way to launch especially for a tangible product like our helmet. Crowdfunding allows a company to test the market and deliver its product without having to pay production costs upfront.

To be the first to know about our crowdfunding campaign and Dada’s attractive discounts (up to 60% on retail price), subscribe to our newsletter!

What is the feedback you have received so far?

It has been extremely positive through our social networks. We were amazed to get quite quickly a lot of followers mainly on Facebook and on Instagram. People have praised the design of the product and backed the green values associated with it. With our modest experience, we can say leaning digital is a good way to understand initial product/market fit.

“Through its workshops, nyuko’s program has been instrumental in providing us with the tools and methodology (lean startup) to help us go from ideation to an MVP.”

Do you already work full-time on this or is it still a side project?

I am working full time on this project!

What did nyuko’s program bring to you?

Indeed, we benefited immensely through nyuko’s program. Through its workshops, the program has been instrumental in providing us with the tools and methodology (lean startup) to help us go from ideation to an MVP. nyuko has, also, put us in touch with their network of experts who’ve provided guidance on a variety of topics: from industrial design to graphic design, communication and marketing. Additionally, the support and guidance of its program manager, Thibaut Ciccone, was and is still very relevant and helpful.

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