I have been in the Pearl River Delta area of China the last few days, so I have seen a lot of bamboo. It is an inexpensive and strong renewable resource that is used for scaffolding, fencing, and many other applications that are highly visible in cities like Dongguan and Shenzen. Of course, you don’t have to come to China to see products (furniture, flooring and of course bicycles) made from bamboo. The United States is currently the word’s largest importer of bamboo, yet we grow very little of it. A group of people in Alabama is trying top change that though with Alabamboo, a new bamboo cash crop that is under development in Hale County, currently the poorest county in the state.
Project M, a Design Lab based in Greensboro, Alabama, has teamed up with COMMON Works to turn some of that domestically grown bamboo into bicycle frames (read the background on that story here). This bamboo bike project is the focus of COMMON’s first Maniacal Business Attack (MBA), a “startup accelerator program that encourages visionaries and their newfound constituents to put their collective talents toward making change happen immediately and collaboratively.” COMMON MBA #001 will be a three-day live event (held April 29 – May 1, 2011 in Hale, Alabama) that will bring together 10 passionate and creative entrepreneurs who want to be involved with “Common Cycles”. If you think you might want to be one of those people, read more about it here and plan to submit a video up to 3 minutes in length by April 10th explaining how you can make a difference.
Since I first started reading about them, I have been a fan of Fearless and COMMON, so I am really looking forward to hearing more about this event and the company that will emerge from it. Let me know if any of you submit an application in the next couple days…I’m thinking about doing it myself.