Episode 533 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” is co-produced in partnership with the Austin Technology Council, the largest tech industry organization in Central Texas. ATC empowers members by using insights, resources, and connections so their members can succeed and thrive. This episode is an in-depth interview with Mathias Ihlenfeld, the CEO and Founder of woom bikes USA . Check out this conversation about life, entrepreneurship, and Austin.
About woom bikes
woom designs high-quality, lightweight bikes for children of all ages. Our attention to detail sets our company apart—from the careful selection of materials to our commitment to safety and performance, our bikes are tailor-made for a child’s anatomy and needs. woom bikes are often half the weight of conventional kids’ bikes found at traditional retail stores, and 85 percent of our bike parts are individually developed and produced for woom. In all design elements, woom emphasizes safety, ergonomics, handling, and non-toxic, environmentally friendly components.
Riding is easy to learn and easy to enjoy on woom bikes, which range in size from balance bikes designed for children who’ve just learned to walk (18 months+) to pedal bikes for young teens (13-14 years). woom ships directly to customers, and assembly is quick and simple.
Family owned and operated, woom was founded in Vienna, Austria, by Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld with the mission to create the ideal kids’ bike. Helmed by Marcus’ brother, Mathias Ihlenfeld, woom USA began operating at our headquarters in Austin, Texas, in 2014; our aim is to bring the same unparalleled European design and love of riding to families across North America. In 2019, woom USA was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., ranked No. 259 overall and 20th in Texas. For more information, visit us at us.woombikes.com or call 855-966-6872.
About Mathias Ihlenfeld
Mathias Ihlenfeld is the CEO and Owner of Austin, TX based woom bikes USA where he has led the organization to become one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, 20th fastest in Texas and 7th fastest in Austin, recognized by Inc. Magazine. Since 2014 he has been living the dream of owning and operating a business in the entrepreneurial hotbed of Austin, TX, bootstrapped since day 1. woom is on a mission to create the opportunity for as many children as possible to love riding a bike. Through meticulous attention to detail bringing high-quality, lightweight bikes tailor made for a child’s anatomy and needs to families, Mathias and his team have positively disrupted the children’s bike category in North America as the largest and fastest growing direct-to-consumer brand in the space.
Raised in Germany, he moved to the United States in 1994 as a collegiate tennis player ultimately earning his MBA at the University of Alabama. Mathias gained vast experiences in the business world as an IBM and SAP management and financial consultant. It is during that time he learned the intricacies of what was required, and developed the skills and intuition, to successfully manage an international manufacturing business in the fast-paced digitally-driven economy.
Over the last five years Mathias has built a team of over 30 employees collectively driven to change the lives of children through cycling utilizing his background, commitment to building a sustainable organization and belief that it is a company’s responsibility to give back to the communities it serves. woom has a give-back model built into the organization called upCYCLE where customers buying the next size woom for their children are able to return their used woom for 40% of the original purchase price. upCYCLED bikes are then donated to nonprofits focused on getting kids on bikes regardless of their socioeconomic environment. woom US has a goal of donating 500 bikes to children in need in 2020.
About Thom Singer
Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and corporate master of ceremonies / EmCee. He is the author of 12 books and the host of two podcasts.
I love the notion of not even recalling one’s first bike ride, because it is innate and built into the early childhood experience.