Community Planning & Economic Development
Business Spotlight: Onyx Cycles
Customized bike in progress for Juxtaposition Arts
Brandon Brown has always been mechanically inclined. At North High, he was a one man robotics team. So, at 19, it was no surprise that he became interested in designing customized bikes. Today, Brandon owns Onyx Cycles, a North Minneapolis business that develops customized pedal and motorized bicycles for outreach and promotional activities.
To date, Brandon has been commissioned to create four customized bikes including three for Juxtaposition Arts, and one for Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC). The bikes are commissioned for special activities and require Brandon to include features like sound systems, room to carry games and activities, the ability to blow bubbles or glow in the dark based on how they will be used.
Last year, Brandon decided to take his business to the next level. Through the City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) provided through Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), he was able to take entrepreneur training, register his business, and obtain assistance writing a business plan. He also received assistance developing an Onyx Cycles brand identity.
While working with NEON, Brandon shared an innovative idea he had for a solar powered bike. Quickly, NEON realized that he had a unique concept that could be massed produced not only locally, but abroad as well so they worked with Brandon to submit a patent. At present, the patent is pending, but one day soon, we could see solar Onyx bikes on the street that go 28 miles per hour for up to 30 miles on one charge.
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Last updated Sep 15, 2014