Impact Hub Manila Fellowship

BMB (Big Mike Bike) Solutions

First, we are trying to solve the problem these communities have on a lack of sustainable, safe, affordable, and reliable electricity. In the Philippines alone, 16 million people still do not have access to electricity. This is detrimental to their development as persons. Solving this issue would definitely not only provide them with power but would likewise empower them particularly because electricity is one of the world's greatest enablers. With electricity, children may now study and parents may now work even at night. They may now also sleep soundly knowing that they would no longer need to constantly worry about being exposed all alone in the dark. They may also use the electricity to power different appliances that may either help them make their lives easier and more efficient or would help them expand any existing livelihoods they may have. Lastly, through having electricity, these people may now use mobile devices and the Internet thereby allowing them to enter a whole larger, extensive, and global market and community.

Second, we are trying to solve the problem slum dwellers have with regards to insufficient and fluctuating income. We have discovered that their lack of income stems from either their inability to generate income or their inability to seize possible opportunities to do so. In a gist, their insufficient and fluctuating income is more or less caused either by unemployment and/or a lack of educational and vocational competencies to compete in such a competitive labor market. It is important to solve this issue because money is the currency - it is the language by which people exchange goods and provide themselves with the goods and services they need to survive. Without money, one would not be able to obtain water to drink, clothes to wear, decent shelter to live in, education for their children, and even food to eat.

Lastly, we are likewise trying to solve the problem on a lack of sustainable and clean source of water in communities. Currently, 8.4 million Filipinos still do not have access to clean water. Thus, these people rely on river, deep-well, or various other unfiltered sources for the water they use to take baths, do their laundry, wash their dishes, and perform other household chores. This is detrimental to their health because such water, although is not being drank, may still carry various germs and bacteria that get transferred into items such as utensils they eventually let into their bodies as well. At the same time, such a lack of access to a reliable source of clean water opens the possibility of having no clean water at all particularly when the supplier of such leaves temporarily or when disaster strikes.

Who faces this problem?

The Big Mike bike is designed to be used by individuals or groups under the socio-economic classes from D to E. Within these classes, the prospective users of Big Mike Bike include, (1) marginalized communities with limited access to electricity and other basic needs, (2) unemployed and underemployed individuals, (3) members from already established cooperatives within the Philippines who seek to improve the efficiency of their operations and/or be able to produce more value-added, processed products and (4) rescue operations and calamity victims.

How does your idea address this problem?

As for the problem our consumers have in terms of a lack of access to electricity, our Big Mike bikes provide such  quite simply because the big mike bikes convert the rotatory motion of the user pedalling the bike into electrical energy that may be used directly or stored in a battery for future use. With just an hour of pedaling, the user may now generate enough electricity to power their home (lights, electric fan, phones and/or portable dvd players) for at least five hours.

Second, in order to boost the consumer's income, the big mike bikes contains different pedal-powered attachments that may be attached and detached to it much like a lego bike. By making use of the these customized mechanically powered machines such as shredders, grinders, pulverizers, and pumps present in the Big Mike bike, the consumer may thus process an abundant raw material in their community such as turmeric and chili into powder, calamansi into juice, coconuts into virgin coconut oils, and water hyacinth into fiber boards. These processed products may then be sold for a larger premium to an extensive market outside the market. The amount garnered from such a livelihood thus adds up to the consumer’s daily household income.

Lastly, the Big Mike bikes help solve the issue on unclean water through two of its possible pedal-powered attachments - the water pump and the water filtration system. These two attachments allow the big mike bikes to serve as a means of irrigation so as to allow the consumers to get water from a source they were unable to tap prior as well as allow the consumer to filter such water attained.

What’s new and unique about your idea?

Big Mike Bike is a product that has never been introduced to the society. Due to its ability to generate electricity and produce various different processed products from different raw materials, the Big Mike Bike and its system is considered a unique tool.

First, the big mike bike produces both electricity and a finished product. It generates 220 V just as several alternative energy systems. However, what makes us unique is that the end product of the big mike bike process is not just electricity. Through the simple motion of the user's pedaling, at least two products are formed. Our system is new and unique in this aspect.

Second, our big mike bikes are easier and more portable as compared to other alternative energy systems. These bikes are easier to transport from one place to another, an endeavor, which, for urban slum dwellers is a huge possibility. These bikes also do not rely on the environment for it to work. These do not require intense sunlight or strong winds - resources that are not necessarily readily available especially in the urban slum setting. In fact, for the big mike bike to work, all one has to do is pedal.

Second, the uniqueness of our product lies in our Big Mike system. It is a system based on a tubular grid that allows the big mike bike parts to be assembled and disassembled interchangeably. This would also make repairs and part changes a lot easier. At the same time, such a system allows for the possibility of using several different pedal powered machines on Big Mike. Shredders, food processors, and spinning wheels may all be attached and detached easily to the main bike frame depending on the needs of the community and the demands of the external market.


Lastly, what differentiates our product - what makes us a cut above the rest is the fact that the big mike bikes do not only produce one end-product as others do. The big mike bikes produce a wide-range of products depending on the model used. Thus, we serve a larger market in terms of the markets for our produced products. At the same time, we even serve a market for current enterprises that already have established livelihood programs but would need a better tool for their operations. Basically, the system opens up the possibility of a limitless amount of products to be produced while still standardizing the operations enough to assure quality of both the big mike bikes and the products to be produced, efficiency of both the use of big mike and its manufacture, and control of the enterprise.


How are you going to earn money?

Taking into consideration the low buying power of the primary consumers of the equipment, another customer segment was targeted. This is done so that the primary consumers of the big mike bikes may gain access to such a device. Such a customer segment includes that of funders and investors which are needed as the means for the acquisition and distribution of the big mike bikes.

These funders will initially fund the production and distribution of the Big Mike Bike to its users. For the investors, a business model is designed for the return of their initial investments. They are further subdivided into the following categories:


1. Impact Investors       

Impact investing is the concept where investors place their investments into companies and organizations that are focused on providing social impact while expecting a return on their investments. The profile of the investors includes institutional investors, financial service companies, web-based investors, start-up funders and the like. The beneficiaries include social enterprises, start-up businesses with advocacies, and/or small and micro businesses that are in need of start-up or expansion capital.

2. Philanthropists, Nonprofit and Private Foundations

Philanthropy is the effort to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations. Individuals who practice this are called philanthropists. They seek to promote the wellbeing of others by donating portions of their assets to the marginalized. Known philanthropists in the country include Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Joel Cruz, Manny Pacquiao, and Jaime De zobel de Ayala. John Gokongwei is known to have already donated half of his fortune, which is approximately 20 billion pesos to foundations and charity. On the other hand, Henry Sy has been reported to have recently release $112 million for an unnamed foundation. In the international setting, well-known philanthropists include Bill Clinton, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates. Bill Clinton funds the Clinton Global Initiative that likewise funds Hult Prize International that gives out $1,000,000.00 for winning start-up social enterprises. Warren Buffet is also known to have given 99% of his wealth to various foundations including that of Bill Gates.   

Numerous individual and corporate philanthropists fund non-profit and/or private foundations. These foundations are organizations that donate and support other organizations, start-ups, and/or advocacies. Some examples of well-known foundations in the country include Villar Foundation, Ayala Land Foundation, and Association of Foundations. In the global setting, the largest foundation is owned by Bill Gates, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is followed by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and The Abbvie Patient Assistance Foundation.

Do you already have customers?

We have already tested the big mike bikes on our initial targeted pilot community in Cainta, Rizal. The consumers were very much excited about the product and the probable payment schemes that they wanted to purchase it if possible on the spot. They found the big mike bike easy to use, very useful, and very practical. However, we have yet to mass produce the big mike bikes and sell these to organizations or cooperatives of communities.

Who is in your team?

We are a group of six graduating students from the Ateneo de Manila University with the course: BS Management of Applied Chemistry.

Have you already founded/incorporated your company?


What is the intended positive impact on the environment and/or society of your venture?

As for the positive impact on the environment, the big mike bikes aim to promote and utilize renewable energy in the form of human motion for powering homes. We also aim on providing a means of properly exercising and thus attaining a stronger body especially when it comes to people in slums with too much idle time.

As for the positive impact of the big mike bike to society, first, the big Mike bike aims to alleviate the struggles of poverty through acting as a tool for electricity as well as income generation by producing and processing goods from different raw materials. At the same time, the Big Mike bikes aim on addressing the problem our consumers have in terms of their lack of access to basic services such as that of transportation, water, and electricity. With the big mike bike, they can now have the three aforementioned needs.

Second, as for cooperatives with already existing livelihoods, the big mike bikes would aid them make their processes more efficient. They will be given the means of production they were once deprived of and thus may now more efficiently generate profitable products.

Second, through Big Mike, each individual will be given the capacity to generate electricity when the electricity grid is damaged. Thus, each individual affected by a typhoon will be able to still have access to electricity to be used to light their homes at night, power their electronic devices, and the like. Moreover, the Big Mike bike may also be used to gather water nearby and filter it well enough to allow calamity victims to have clean water to use and drink. Lastly, the Big Mike bike can help the victims recuperate the resources they had that have been damaged. This it can do by being used as a tool for personal livelihood thereby providing a more stable source of income amid tragedy and calamities.

How will the Fellowship Program enable you to achieve your ambitions?

The Fellowship Program will enable us to achieve our ambitions because the program can help us further research and develop our Big Mike bike model, find an efficient and cost-effective way of mass manufacturing these big mike bike, get as much exposure and credibility as possible especially in terms of initiating and setting deals and partnerships with investors, and improve in the distribution of the big mike bikes to various communities.

Are you living in the Philippines?


edited on 18th July 2016, 15:07 by Shawntel Nieto

Matt Jaeggi Jul 12, 2016

Nice idea! Do you already have data available on a) production cost and feasibility locally and b) customer usage and feedback?

keep it spinning!

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 17, 2016

Hello! Thank you so much! Yes we have a rough estimate on the production costs coming from the cost it took us to make our initial prototypes. The prototypes cost 6,000-10,000 pesos to manufacture depending on the model. We are still working on making it more cost-effective. We have likewise visited several communities to validate our value proposition canvas and have also brought the big mike bikes to some of them to test them out. So far the feedback we have been receiving from the members of these communities have been positive. :) Thank you again!

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Priya Thachadi Jul 13, 2016

A simple but innovative idea! I would love to know what the cost of production is and subsequently, will the buyer have an option of buying a basic and add ons seperately, if needed. An innovative pricing model will definitely help with this customer segment.

As an impact investor, I would love to see what the revenue model would be - independent of funders covering the production costs. Have you looked into providing access to finance, typing up with microfinance insitutions?

Great job guys. Good luck.

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 17, 2016

Hi! Thank you so much for your kind comment! Our prototypes cost 6,000-10,000 depending on the model. We are still looking into using different raw materials as well as are tweaking our design so as to make our big mike bikes more cost-effective. Yes, the customer will have the option to choose which big mike model to purchase as well as the option to have just the main bike frame. We are currently looking into different financial models and have likewise considered partnering with microfinance institutions in the Philippines. :) Thank you again!

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Jérémy Callegher Jul 14, 2016

Hi Shawntel and team! I love the idea, simple, yet very useful. However, I was wondering how much you have to pedal to actually start the engine of the machine connected and how long do you need to keep on doing so in order to, let's say, do one laundry? I guess this product is mostly targeting communities away from any energy infrastructure rather than slums for example (since it's much easier and less tiring for them to hijack a connection). Am I right? Thanks guys! And keep it up!

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 17, 2016

Hi Jeremy! Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments! The machines are pedal-powered. Thus, it's a simultaneous process - you generate and store electricity while making the attachments work. The power generated is not used up to power the machine attachments. :) However, we have tried using an electric water pump to see if the power generated can power it and it took only less than ten minutes for the water pump to work well. :) Also, yes! We are also very much considering penetrating rural environments and not just urban slums. :) Thank you again! :)

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Michael White Jul 25, 2016

What type of generator is connected, how much power is generated in amps or watts/min say pedaling 30 minutes, will you need to change riders as most would be tired after that time.

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Igo Trazo Jul 17, 2016

This is a really wonderful idea! More power to you guys!

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Jun gallego Jul 18, 2016

Hi! Thank you so much! :)

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 20, 2016

Hi! Thank you so much!!! :)

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Abigail Racho Jul 19, 2016


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Shawntel Nieto Jul 20, 2016

Thank you!! :)

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henry nguyen Jul 19, 2016

nice idea

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 20, 2016

Thank you!!

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Doreen Allana Manalang Jul 19, 2016

Great idea!

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 20, 2016

thank you so much!! :)

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Jeremie Diaz Jul 20, 2016

Congratulations, Shawntel and your team for winning the Sprint Challenge. You have now a spot to pitch in front of our jury panel on August 6. We will contact you soon for basic guidelines for the Pitch Day. Thank you and Hub on!

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Shawntel Nieto Jul 25, 2016

Thank you so much!

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