Craig Ridenhour, a cardiovascular ultrasound specialist from Phoenix, Arizona, invented the first-of-its kind cycle that combines the benefits of stair-step exercise systems and a recreational bicycle. His product, called Staircycle, comes in adult and children sizes and can be used indoors or outdoors. By crossing a stair-stepper with a bicycle, he created a product that offers people a new and fun way to stay fit.
He spent 7 years developing the product, but alas like many other small business entrepreneurs, found it hard to find the resources to help him market his invention. Luckily for him, Ridenhour won in the Yahoo Search Marketing’s “Think Big” search for the “most innovative entrepreneur in the U.S.” His website even sports a photo op he had with Sir Richard Branson after winning the prize! The prize was 10 million free Internet ads at Yahoo.com and help marketing his StairCycle online. Today, he has a state-of-the-art Web site Staircycle.com with telemarketers taking orders for his invention.
However, he found that inventing a product is one thing, but selling it is another. He will expand his marketing strategy by embarking on a multimedia campaign, not just limited to the Internet, including newspaper, Internet and television advertising. Ridenhour still keeps his day job at the Arizona Heart Institute, while continuing to grow his business. But he proves that an innovative product and an undaunting entrepreneurial spirit is an integral first step to entrepreneurial success.