Texas-based Guardian Bikes says it is building its first U.S. production facility in Seymour. The Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. says the bicycle manufacturing startup will invest nearly $7 million in the facility and create 100 jobs by 2026.
Guardian Bikes makes bicycles for children it says are safer with its patented braking system. The company was featured on “Shark Tank” and received an investment from Mark Cuban.
The company says Cuban challenged Guardian CEO Brian Riley to develop a new type of bike factory with robotic automation in the U.S. instead of importing bikes from China.
“The Midwest has a deep history of automotive manufacturing that we will leverage to bring innovation into our new facility in Indiana,” Sam Markel, who will lead in the Seymour facility, said in written remarks. “We are creating the sourcing, operations, and manufacturing leaders in the region that will excel Guardian’s growth path.”
Guardian says the Seymour plant will be the first of several across the country. The company adds having production moved to the U.S. will also create a sustainable supply chain system and reduce its carbon footprint.
The company says the transition to U.S. production will take part in phases with the first phase beginning next month.
While the building is being constructed, JCIDC Executive Director Jim Plump tells Inside INdiana Business the company has agreed to lease an existing building to begin operations.
The Seymour Redevelopment Commission has approved a four-year, $100,000 ECLIPSE loan to help offset startup costs. The JCIDC says the loan could be forgiven based on certain compliance criteria such as jobs created, wages and employee residency.
The Seymour City Council has also approved a $275,000 tax abatement to help cover the cost of equipment and machinery.