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David Steadman invented his patented bike rack in 2009. Photo: SteadyRack

Steadman rides to success as Steadyrack goes global

There are numerous words Steadyrack marketing manager Jeff Russell could use to describe the success of his company, so it’s curious that he opts to call it an ‘accident’.

Recounting how company founder, David Steadman, became increasingly frustrated trying to park his car around a mess of bikes strewn inside his garage, Mr Russell said Steadyrack came about in a hurry, with Mr Steadman drawing up the initial blueprints for his patented bike rack alongside his father-in-law in 2009.

A decade later, Mr Steadman’s mobile bike storage device has sold 300,000 units worldwide, an impressive trajectory for any ‘accident’.

It was the scale of that growth that helped Steadyrack capture the Rio Tinto award for growth in innovation at last week’s Innovator of the Year awards.

Reflecting on the company’s course in the past decade, Mr Russell said the company’s rise had coincided with a renaissance of cycling brought on by rising populations, gridlock on roads, and global initiatives to reduce air pollution by curbing automobile use.

Steadyrack has catered to that market with a broadly appealing storage solution – rolling the bike onto a vertical rack that can swing at an angle of 180 degrees, cyclists of any age or body type can use the space-saving device.

Mr Russell believes there are significant growth opportunities in the years to come for a company specialising in bike parking solutions.

Mr Russell cited the rack’s installations at Woodside Petroleum’s building in Perth as evidence the brand had been recognised domestically, while noting that the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google were among the more notable international names to buy-in to the device.

Now, as the business seeks to expand its footprint internationally, Mr Russell said Steadyrack was concentrating on reaching out to retailers and distributors in Canada, the US and France, with deals currently being negotiated with distributors in New Zealand and India.

Mr Russell said Steadyrack’s brand would be the ultimate benefit of this work.

“Now architects will ask for Steadyrack by name when they’re creating new spaces,” he said.

Regardless of international partnerships, Mr Russell said Steadyrack and its five full-time staff members remain proudly Western Australian.

“The biggest takeaway from this whole experience is to give hope to every other WA battler out there who has an idea or accidental business and give them some hope it can come to fruition, just like this did,” he said.

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