BoltAbout started in 2016 while Matt Maxwell and his co-founders were students at Cal Poly. They joined the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Summer Accelerator program to jump-start their business. Through the Accelerator, they were provided $10,000 in seed funding and a vast network of investors and mentors. Their lead mentor Lucia Cleveland (founder of Spice Hunter), helped guide them through the early days of building a business from the ground up. Their mission is to help reduce barriers for customers to experience fast, fun, and sustainable transportation that electric bikes and scooters have to offer.
Their initial concept was a monthly electric bike leasing program, primarily marketed to Cal Poly students. For $79 per month, students would get their own electric bike, lights, lock, and helmet, to get where they needed to go quickly without ever having to pay for parking. BoltAbout grew their fleet to over 200 electric bikes with customers in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, and Avila Beach.
During the Winter of 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, BoltAbout made the tough decision to end their college student ebike leasing program and shift focus to their new electric bike and scooter rental/retail store in Avila Beach. They signed their lease for their new store in late January, not knowing about the looming challenges of stay-at-home orders and nationwide lockdowns.
Those first five months after signing the lease for their new retail and rental store were scary times. Avila was a ghost town because California mandated businesses remain closed until further notice. Matt and his team were so uncertain of what the future held that they almost closed the business entirely in April 2020. However, their mission of providing customers with fun experiences on electric bikes and scooters prevailed. BoltAbout opened their Avila Beach store in late June 2020 as COVID lockdowns began to ease. Business swiftly came roaring back to Avila beach and has continued to soar.
Matt, as CEO and Jordan Merrill, co-owner, are thrilled to offer locals and tourists alike incredible experiences on their electric bikes and scooters. They know that Avila Beach is a hidden gem where families continue or start new annual vacation traditions in our beautiful, funky beach town. The Avila Beach locals and vacationers have strongly supported BoltAbout. Their team loves working at the beach with their primary job responsibility of helping customers have fun…what could be any better than that!
On Sept. 13, we welcomed BoltAbout with a belated ribbon-cutting…and know that all of you are as happy as we are that they have come to Avila!