Need The Globe: “We chose MK because they deliver incomparably professional services”

MK Subsidy loves sharing the interesting stories of our unique clients. One of them is Need The Globe, which was founded in 2018 in Rotterdam. Having a very ambitious vision of increasing the mobility of people by using their solar powered E-bikes, the enthusiasm and passion of the two founders; Chris van Houdt and Chris Cramer, is contagious. 

A brilliant idea is born

The two Chris’s have known each other for quite some time before their innovative idea of developing a SolarBike was born. The eureka moment occurred when Chris van Houdt first went on a long travel around the world, before coming back ‘loaded’ with ideas to start a new business. Upon his return in January 2018, the first thing he shared with Chris Cramer was a drawing of a bicycle. Why a bicycle though? Nowadays, there are so many innovators in this area, so why would you become ‘just another guy’ trying to get his foot in the door of the market? Well, both Chris’s are fanatic cyclists: “cycling is in our DNA”. Because of that, they wanted to make their dream come true and develop an innovative clean energy bicycle concept.

Due to urbanization, cities become bigger, denser and more polluted. In this respect, there is a global demand for innovative mobility solutions, including demand for shared bicycles. An e-bike is often more convenient to ride than a normal bike. However, a key problem of the current shared bicycle market is that the infrastructure to use an electrical bicycle is not optimal yet. Namely, the charging stations for the bicycles are static and costly to implement. Also alternatives like battery swapping, as used for the electrical scooter industry, can be labor-intensive and costly. So, this is where Need The Globe’s innovation has come in! 

Chris van Houdt and Chris Cramer pursued their opportunity in the current energy transition by introducing the SolarBike: a sustainable electric bicycle with integrated solar cells. What this means is that their bicycles are self-charging – they have integrated solar cells that charge the bike, eliminating the need for fixed charging stations or intensive battery swapping. Are they the first ones doing this? No – there have been some attempts to develop solar e-bikes, but they were too vulnerable and commercially inappropriate, claimed the founders. They understood that on the level of yield projections, costs and durability, little was known. They then collaborated with TNO to go research these topics and have expanded the team to get extra know-how on board.

Why Need The Globe? They are the go-getters!

What sets this company apart is quite obvious – their innovative solution is simply a one-of-a-kind state of art. What’s also noteworthy is how the Chris’s saw the chance to grasp the opportunity in the market. They said: “this needs to be launched in the Netherlands”. The Netherlands is a cycling country, with the best infrastructure to cycle and with children brought up to cycle from a very young age.  

Moreover, both founders have extensive experience in startups and in international businesses, meaning that they have many connections and knowledge to make Need The Globe a success story. And, the best part: even though there are just five people working in the company, they already have a CFO – Chief Fiets (Bicycle) Officer! 

One of the only things Need The Globe doesn’t have, though, are women on board. Are you the one who could advise the company on creating new, aesthetic bikes? Contact them now!

The company’s (bright) future

Although the company is currently in the startup phase, mainly investing time and money to make their product ready to enter the market, they have bright views of the future. 

They are aiming to be an early mover in the mobility- and in the clean energy industry. If they launch the bike as planned, then they might become an early mover. Yes, they face a lot of competition: traditional electrical bicycles, electrical scooters, electrical cars and electrical public transport (shared transport). But the difference is that using a solar e-bike is a) better for one’s physical health. Not to forget, it’s also better for the globe, since using solar e-bikes is highly sustainable.

Concluding on this point, the founders also said: “if it would’ve been easy, it would’ve already been done.” But since they only came up with their idea one year ago and since they’re still searching for technical and influential people for their team, they’re not to be expected to have everything already figured out! 

Need The Globe + MK Subsidy = happiness

Chris van Houdt and Chris Cramer needed investment to continue developing their innovative solar e-bike concept. Though they contacted other subsidy providers before us, they eventually chose MK, since the options for applying for subsidies were quite limited, compared to that of MK. MK Subsidy has expertise in, among other things, the MIT subsidy, which the company has earned and is currently spending on developing a prospect model of their bicycle. Another subsidy that Need The Globe has applied for is the CityLab010 subsidy. Our consultant is currently helping them get that one as well. However, there are more reasons why the two Chris’s have chosen us. First, MK is a young and ambitious, international team which, coincidentally, is based in Rotterdam, just like Need The Globe. The proximity between us and the client is of course, very advantageous. 

Second, the founders had a nice click with Willem Maas, the CCO and co-founder of MK Subsidy. This is very important. Without this good feeling with the subsidy provider, you know that you haven’t found the right partner for obtaining investment. 

Last, our consultant helping Need The Globe is easy to communicate with. Additionally, he understands the process of applying for subsidies very well. This resulted in our client recommending us as the ultimate subsidy provider. 

On a concluding note: if you never try, you’ll never know. Need The Globe have contacted us and they’ve shared their innovative concept with us and look at them now! They’ve successfully received the MIT subsidy and they hope to earn another one soon. Be inspired by this great success story and share your groundbreaking idea with us now! And we promise that you won’t regret having that cup of coffee with us. See you soon!

Do you want to ask Marketa, the author of this article, any questions or do you have any remarks? Contact me here and/or reach out to me on LinkedIn!

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