How e-bike startup Riide is helping a high school robotics team - DC


Mar. 5, 2015 8:42 am

How e-bike startup Riide is helping a high school robotics team

It involves a neighborhood hardware store and a raffle.

The E.L. Haynes High School Robotics Club learns pneumatics and 3D printing.

(Courtesy photo)

The founders of an electric bike startup and a high school robotics club walk into a neighborhood hardware store. (Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.) Soon enough, they’re organizing a raffle to help the team’s robot, which stacks boxes to win competitions.

That’s what happened at Annie’s Ace Hardware, where the cofounders of RiideAmber Wason and Jeff Stefanis, used to go retool when they were still prototyping out of Stefanis’s basement. “Every now and again we just needed a random tool, and we just had to hack something together,” said Wason. “We were often at Annie’s Hardware picking up hardware and tools.”

Store owner Annie Stom was separately approached by the robotics team of nearby E.L. Haynes High School for a donation; they wanted to make a strong showing at the D.C. regional contest and make it to the FIRST Robotics Championship in April. She then concocted the idea for a raffle: Riide will be selling one of its bikes to the robotics team, which is in turn selling 160 raffle tickets for $25 each. One lucky winner will ride off with the bike (a $1,799 value).

In the past, the robotics team has built a frisbee-playing robot, and a robot that could move a giant exercise ball. (More on their projects here.) Club advisor and physics teacher Shane Donovan said in an email: “our team is almost entirely students whose parents didn’t go to college, and our 4 seniors have currently amassed almost $1 million in scholarship money.”

Wason and Stefanis also plan on coaching the students on “what it’s like to take a product to market,” Wason said.

You can pick up a ticket at Annie’s Ace Hardware, or through the team. The drawing will be held April 11 at 1 p.m.


You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a member for $12 per month
Organizations: Riide


Meet 8 hardware projects taking on social challenges

Capital One Coders gives middle school students a look at software development

Smithsonian adds humanoid robots to help engage museum-goers



Pitch for up to $360,000 in funding at the WeWork Creator Awards

Philadelphia, PA OR Remote

Stitch, Inc.

Director, Alliances

Apply Now

The One and Only Corp

iOS/Android Developer

Apply Now


Experienced Software Engineer – Backend

Apply Now

This keyfob computer lock is about to get funded on Kickstarter

Ideaventions Academy gets STEM-certified

Beacon House gets grant to bring tech to after school programs



VR is cool, but it isn’t mainstream. This local company has a fix for that

Washington, DC


Infrastructure Engineer (DC, SF, NYC)

Apply Now
Washington, DC

Technically Media

DC Tech Reporter,

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!