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With Necessity as the Mother of Invention, Brothers “Rack-Up” Success

With Necessity as the Mother of Invention, Brothers “Rack-Up” Success

by Megan Sheridan It all started at the University of Minnesota”'s Campus Security. As Rolf Scholtz and his brother Derk used to patrol the Twin Cities Cam­pus, they would notice how unappealing and dysfunctional the bike racks were ”“ as far as they could tell, the market for aesthetically appealing, U-lock compatible bike racks was wide open. After spending some time out of college in an eco­nomic development position, Rolf, along with his artistically inclined brother started Dero Bike Racks, now at 2657 32nd Ave S. And since 1995, they have been producing racks that are shipped all across the country as well as other parts of the world. The foundation of Dero”'s work is based on functionality and artistic appeal: all Dero racks are U-lock compatible, so users are assured that their bikes are safe; and all Dero racks are aesthetically attractive, so architects and planners can integrate them as visible aspects of their designs. Dero Bike Racks is also firmly rooted in the community. The original office was located at Seven Corners, directly above Bullwinkle”'s Saloon and warehousing located in Phillips. The company”'s first real break was when they worked with Uptown to do one of the nation”'s first large-scale artistic bike rack installation. From there, Dero landed contracts with the City of Honolulu and the University of Minnesota as the business began to really take off. But even as they grew, Dero stayed in Minneapolis, first moving to Prospect Park and later to their current facil­ity in Seward. In 2003, Hans Steege joined the Dero team. One year later, was when they moved to Seward. Rolf told me that they were ready and almost signed a lease in another neighbor­hood when he noticed the building on 32nd Avenue while out walking his dog (both Rolf and Hans are long-time Seward residents). After moving into the neighborhood, Dero invested in their own equipment. Until then, racks had been finshed [...]

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