Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey

On Wed., Nov. 4, Venture Connectors hosted 2014 Venture Sharks’ winner and rock star entrepreneur Chris Bailey, who discussed his experience with several local startup accelerators, why he had to leave Louisville to secure additional capital and what he learned from his recent involvement in the Techstars program.

Bailey founded GearBrake in 2013 after a motorcycle wreck inspired him to make riding safer. The company’s first product can reduce rear-end collisions by 90 percent. Gearbrake has participated in the Nucleus LaunchIt program twice, the Velocity Indiana accelerator, was one of four Vogt Award finalists in 2014 and went on to win the $100,000 prize at the Vogt Demo Day.

Also in 2014, the company won a prize valued at $10,000 in the Venture Connectors’ Venture Sharks competition, as well as both the regional and state Kentucky Innovation Network pitch competitions. EnterpriseCorp named GearBrake as a 2014 Hot Dozen company. Bailey and his team recently completed the prestigious Techstars accelerator program in Detroit, where 10 applicants are chosen from a global pool of 1,000. Through that program, Bailey rebranded GearBrake as Revio and built a connected motorcycle IoT platform.

Prior to founding GearBrake, Bailey served as an account manager at Siemens, where he was responsible for $20 million in annual accounts, and vice president at Bailey Tools. He received his bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Louisville and an MBA from Bellarmine University. Bailey is a lifelong resident and supporter of Louisville and regularly gives back to the community through mentoring at Startup Next and teaching at Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana.