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Tech Entrepreneurship program clears path for Lehigh Valley native

He is simply known as "the bike guy."

Jonathan Akers '10 '15G graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in finance and a M.Eng. in Technical Entrepreneurship.

The Allentown native has made an impact with a number of companies since his completion of the program a year and a half ago, including work with west coast company Lithium Cycles' Super '73 motorbike, and currently with Bethlehem start-up Altor Locks.

Akers's recent path to success can be traced back to Lehigh's one-year graduate master's program.

The Master's Degree in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) teaches students the basics of creating their own companies with the basis of a graduate education in engineering. The program provides the workforce with graduates who have a rooted knowledge in the creation and maintenance of startups. In this one-year residential program, students take 12 courses exclusive to the master’s degree curriculum, offered in a space designed and exclusive to the program with 3D printers, electronics and prototyping.

Now in its fifth year, the program was created to satisfy society’s need and thirst for entrepreneurial spirit and skills.

Four career paths have emerged from those who have left with the degree: launching their own companies, being an asset to already established startups, innovating established companies, and teaching a new generation of entrepreneurs. 84 students have graduated from the program so far, and it is sure to continue to prepare students for the world of entrepreneurial talent. Many students leave the program and immediately have an impact, as in the case with Akers.

Lithium Cycles' Super 73 motorbike emulates the small motorcycles of the 1970s. It is an electric motorbike with a 1,000-watt motor and pedals for the addition of some human power, if desired. The motorbike has a top speed of 30 mph and a 20-mile range. It sports a removable lithium-ion battery that can charge your phone while you ride and cup holder to hold the drink you need after peddling uphill.

The motorbike’s Kickstarter page reached its funding goal in just a week and ended with exponentially more backing then they had originally hoped for, with 293 backers and over $440,000 pledged. Akers created the Super 73's page and is listed as "the bike guy."

Bethlehem-based startup Altor looks to security as it enters the biking market, launching the 560G lightweight high-security bike lock. The company designed the lock for easy transportation, allowing it to easily fit into a bag or clip onto a belt or strap.

If you want to learn more or are interested in supporting Akers’ projects, you can find the links below. You can read more about the Technical Entrepreneurship program here.

-Matthew Cossel '17 is a student-writer with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

November 7, 2016
Updated: November 9, 2016

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