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Team & Board of Advisors

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Not the best player,
but the best team wins!

The head and president of the Cycling Innovation Accelerator is Robin Schmitt, co-founder of 41 Publishing, investor, serial entrepreneur and visionary. Together with his brother Max, he founded ENDURO, GRAN FONDO, E-MOUNTAINBIKE and DOWNTOWN as well as the Design & Innovation Award. From their own start-up, which kicked off with a € 6,000 loan from Grandma Schmitt, they developed over the past 10 years what has become one of the most influential media companies in the international bike industry with over 30 passionate collaborators worldwide.

Robin loves to tackle new projects and exploit potential, not just engaging with the future, but actively shaping it. With a strong sense for trends and potential, unique product as well as industry experience from thousands of tests, a very strong global network in the bike industry, media, retail, influencers and professional athletes as well as in business management and building, he has a unique combination of assets from which countless start-ups can benefit.

But like every start-up, Robin is not perfect and needs partners who complement him and his ambitions. He is a very strong player, but the combination with the C.I.A. team as well as the international Board of Advisors creates an unbeatable team! As our financial & legal director, experienced entrepreneur and passionate rider Erik Bötzle takes care of law and order at the C.I.A while start-up analyst Manfred Schmitt assesses both the potential and risks of startups weeding out pseudo-innovations and thus avoiding empty promises and unscrupulous exits right from the beginning.

Board of Advisors

dedication. expertise. Passion.

The international Board of Advisors consists of successful entrepreneurs, experienced start-up founders, lawyers, financial experts, international sales managers, business developers and marketing experts. The board supports the Accelerator with the evaluation of product ideas and business models as well as with networking, know-how and investments.


Bastian Dietz (GER)

Marketing Manager MTB – International LEATT

„The Cycling Innovation Accelerator makes it possible to actively shape the future of mobility. As a secret "product nerd" I contribute more than 15 years of industry experience, especially concerning business development and go-to-market strategies. I am an experienced sparring partner when it comes to omnichannel sales & marketing on a global level. Sustainable production, reparability & the circular economy are a matter close to my heart.“


Bob Margevicius (USA)

Executive Vice President

Specialized Bicycles

"As part of the cycling accelerator, I'm passionate on providing inspiration, guidance, insight and mentoring to entrepreneurs who are focused on exciting innovations for active sports."


Frank Aldorf (GER)

Senior Strategic Advisor

"As a long-standing executive, strategist and brand maker as Chief Brand Officer of Specialized, Canyon and Internetstores, I’ve had a decisive role in shaping brands, products and customer experiences in the bicycle industry. Put simply, I’ve built brands, that other brands want to be. I’m delighted to offer my skills, expertise and network to such a remarkable innovation accelerator. I want to contribute to sharpening ideas, professionalizing companies and helping them develop and grow to the next level. So: let's roll!"


Mariano Gon (ESP / USA)

Global Sales Director Transition Bikes

"With decades of experience in the bike industry, I know how to leverage growth and sales on an international scale. As an angel investor, I've helped various start-ups from tiny turnovers to serious businesses. As Global Sales Director of brands such as Santa Cruz, Ibis and since 2023 Transition Bikes, I’ve gained vast experience in leading growth and expansion as well as a deep understanding of the process from raw material to manufacturing processes, import/export, and the final step to dealers and customers. Only if you know how the process works, will you be able to enter and successfully establish yourself in the market. I love business, but the people I am working with, are equally as important!"

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Max Philip Schmitt (GER)

CEO 41 Publishing

"With more than 10 years of bike industry experience, a very large industry network and a very good nose for future trends and potential, I am very happy to support my brother Robin with valuable advice at the Cycling Innovation Accelerator and make his newest baby fly."


How can I apply?

Do you run a start-up, a small business or simply have an idea for a product or service with a business plan and are looking for support?

You can apply for the Cycling Innovation Accelerator until December 30, 2023.

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