Tell us a little about why you’re a bicycle-supporting business and a little about your business, in general.
Hairu (pronounced Hai-Ru), in essence, is a technology startup that aims to reduce (and hopefully eradicate) distracted driving on public roads. This is an issue that is near and dear to us.
Each of our co-founders—not unlike some Bike Austin members—has been involved in a traffic accident in the recent past. In fact, one of our founders almost lost his life at the hand of an absentminded driver last year. As such, our main goal as a company is ultimately to save lives, and that includes those of motorists, cyclists, bikers and pedestrian alike. We believe our mission statement is inimitably aligned with that of Bike Austin as we aim to leverage technology, education, and grassroots efforts to promote and engineer safer roadways for all of us to enjoy.
Why did you decide to become a Bike Austin small business member?
Bike Austin, being the oldest and largest bicycle advocacy organization in Central Texas, is a natural partner for what Hairu wishes to accomplish within the mobility sector. In fact, Bike Austin was the first organization we reached out to after getting accepted into Div Inc.’s spring cohort because we absolutely believe in and support what the organization does and stands for.
While we’re not a grassroots organization, and would never attempt to impersonate one, we realize that there are other important players within the mobility sector that we can, and should, align ourselves with if we hope to achieve our ultimate goal of making roads safer in Austin and beyond.
What benefits or positive outcomes do you hope to enjoy as a Bike Austin small business member?
As a business dedicated to ending distracted driving, we view Bike Austin as an ally that can help us reach out to the Austin community about roadway safety. We also want to be an effective channel for cyclists to express their concerns to our users.
Cycling within a metropolitan area such as Austin takes a tremendous amount of courage and grit, and if there’s any group of people who care more about our safe roads, it’s the members of Bike Austin; an organization we feel has the leverage and respect needed to bring awareness to the solution we’re providing to distracted driving.
However, beyond all of the above, our hope is to closely collaborate with Bike Austin to devise suitable solutions that will equally take the needs of motorists and cyclists into consideration.
Why do you think Bike Austin is important to the Austin cycling community?
Bike Austin has been the most successful and consistent organization in Central Texas when it comes to holding the Austin City Council accountable for roadway safety in our opinion. The Greater Austin Area is presently experiencing a tremendous amount of growth, and many a times, the needs of the biking community are ignored by the powers that be.
Bike Austin has an incredible track record of grassroots and community engagement in Central Texas; from successfully petitioning the City of Austin to add more bike lanes to securing millions in funding to improve roads for cyclist. Their record literally speaks for itself, and we are excited and honored to be able to work with such an effective organization whose ethos aligns with our very own.
Why/how do you think donations are important to Bike Austin’s Advocacy Fund and education programs?
Well, to be succinct and perfectly honest, while not the heartbeat of an organization, money is the lifeblood that allows an organization to strive towards its goal and overcome most obstacles along the way. Donations to Bike Austin thus ensures that the organization is armed with the necessary resources and clout to combat the harmful effect of policies that do not advance roadway safety.
Anything personalized or fun about your experience as cyclists/small business owners and why Bike Austin has made this more possible, empowering, safe, groovy, etc.
Almost all of our co-founders and team members regularly bike in fact. As a tech company, we spend a tremendous amount of time in the downtown area visiting various office spaces. There’s a certain level of satisfaction in knowing that we can be more mobile and agile by using bikes to get around. We also don’t have to worry about expensive parking that our traditional business peers do. We get where we need to go faster, we get our daily dose of exercise, and we feel better knowing that we aren’t contributing to the growing carbon emissions. So I guess, that technically makes us a green company!