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Young alumni

Aidan Smith

24 July 2023

BE(Hons) Mechanical Engineering 2018

COO and Co-Founder of Shutl


Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to since graduating with your BE(Hons) in 2017?

Over the last five years, I have been working as a mechanical engineer for local design hub, Holmes Solutions. We develop electric adventure recreation rides and transport for domestic and international clients like Google, 3M, and BHP. This role provided me with a great base for technology development and project management and gave me the awesome opportunity to travel to the USA, South Korea, and Australia which I am super grateful for.

You have launched your company this year, Shutl, with fellow UC alum, Connor Read – it’s a pretty big deal to form a startup with a mate! How did this seed sprout between you two?

Connor and I had been working closely together on projects for the last 7 years. From electric race cars to spending three months in Silicon Valley working in one of Google’s R&D labs. We know how each other works, recognise our individual strengths, and compliment each other’s skillset really well.

We hold a passion for pushing the status quo and sustainability, and coincidentally both being keen mountain bikers and having a love for the outdoors, we knew an opportunity in this space would spring itself upon us. In February 2022, we decided that the time was now and we should just go all in. We left our employment in April and after strategic ideation, Shutl came to life!

How do you see Shutl fitting into someone’s life who has never used an e-bike before?

Shutl is about bringing equitable access to light electric vehicles to the everyday consumer through a subscription model. We want to empower commuters and businesses to ditch the single-person commuter car and jump on an e-bike to get to and from work. The benefits are obvious – becoming healthier, happier, and more productive - all while having less impact on the environment.

Our Shutl for business offering is seeing a huge amount of interest as we are empowering businesses to subsidise the weekly subscription for their staff. A powerful feature of this service is the ability to track and report usage, well-being and social and environmental impact of its riders. Businesses will have access to a dashboard where they can see aggregated insights and data of their team members that are using a Shutl e-bike for their commute, empowering not only the rider but for businesses to track, report, and make data-driven decisions.

What excites you most about being in business? Any there any goals you have in mind for the next few years?

Making a real-world positive impact, doing good, and enabling access to light-electric vehicles for individuals and businesses makes me jump out of bed every morning!

Our goals for the next while are about us launching in Auckland with a fleet of 500 e-bikes in early 2023, taking Shutl international and launching abroad in 2024, and broadening our product range to include cargo and logistics e-bikes – so basically international domination in providing equitable access to an unbeatable range of connected subscription light-electric vehicles.

Looking back at your time at UC, are there any memories or experiences that have stuck with you and informed your work

UC Motorsport was exceptional kickstart to our development, it’s where I met Connor and began applying my engineering and people skills in a tangible and meaningful way.

Keen to give Shutl a go? Check out more info here.


Check out Aidan Smith, one of our Dynamic Duo profiles in our 150th Alumni Showcase here.

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