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Riding Together Towards One Goal

We hit the pavement with Pelotonia to help the team utilize technology to help cure cancer.

The Challenge

Pelotonia, an organization known for its incredibly successful cancer research fundraising, approached Raizlabs with the goal of spreading their impact beyond Columbus, Ohio, which is where the company is headquartered.

Each year, Pelotonia hosts a charity bike ride, much like the Pan-Mass Challenge, 100% of the money raised going to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund innovative and high-risk high-reward research. The project they came to us with is the biggest initiative and investment since the company’s founding in 2008. And the team had quite the goal, aiming to: “Engage and build a community of people who want to change the world every single day of their lives–and actually do.”

Given Raizlabs’ mission of using design and technology to improve lives, we knew that collaboration would lead to positive results and after much suspense, were elated to hear that Pelotonia had chosen to work with us, despite being in conversations with several other agencies. Once the news was in, we hit the pavement!

The Build

The charity ride that happens once a year in Columbus, OH, usually attracts over 8,000 riders, 3,000 volunteers, and thousands more spectators, but Pelotonia wanted to find a way to extend engagement using technology.

If the Pelotonia team were to bring its Ride to other cities, they could certainly raise engagement, but only about 5K people at a time–and they wanted to go bigger. This is where our expertise came in handy. It didn’t take long to consider using a mobile app to engage users across the country. We began concepting for an app that brought Pelotonia’s mission to everyday people who sought to help cure cancer in their day-to-day lives.

As a charity and nonprofit, the Pelotonia team didn’t have the largest budget, but our team worked together to come up with a minimally viable product (MVP) in a cost-effective manner. We prioritized features across iOS and Android. Our teams decided that the most important thing was to report activity and thus, raise money. Because we found that not as many users have Android phones as iOS, we prioritized more features for iOS. The initial focus of the app would of course be cycling–Pelotonia’s specialty! In the future, our teams envisioned incorporating other activities into the mission-based app, like walking, running, hiking, and more.

This wasn’t the traditional vendor relationship where interest wasn’t aligned. In the end, we were blown away.

Joe Apgar

The Outcome

During the initial stages of the project, the Raizlabs team immediately identified themselves as part of Pelotonia’s target audience.

In an effort to truly understand the experience of riding for one goal, Raizlabs CEO Greg Raiz and a team of 11 other riders trained for the big day. In August 2017, we collectively biked 950 miles during Pelotonia 2017.

The experience was like no other our team had experienced. Likewise, the Pelotonia team agreed that this wasn’t the traditional vendor relationship; our two teams remained aligned in our collaboration. Today, we’re continuing to design and develop enhancements for both the iOS and Android apps and maintain a collaborative partnership.

The Pelotonia team told us before we started that this initiative presented a large risk, and they were right. But the Director of the Momentum Fund at Pelotonia, Joe Apgar, said it just as we rounded the corner towards the project’s finish line: “If you really commit yourself and partner with the right people, you can move quickly with high quality.”

We cannot wait to see how innovative technology can help catalyze this company’s mission of saving lives and curing cancer. It just goes to show, that with great risk, comes great reward–ONEGOAL.

The Raizlabs team at the finish line for the Pelotonia 2017.
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