The Ohio State Board of Trustees announced the release of a Pelotonia mobile app Wednesday at the Wexner Medical Center meeting. The app, which has not been named yet, will allow riders from around the world to track their cycling and raise money for cancer research.
The aim of the app is to increase the number of riders and donations to the annual cycling marathon. Columbus has been home to Pelotonia for a weekend in August for the past nine years, but during a Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting, Pelotonia CEO Doug Ulman said he hopes to expand participation by enabling donations from anyone at any time.
“[This app] will allow anyone in the world that is physically riding a bike for any purpose — commuting to work, riding their kids to the park or to school, et cetera — to press start and stop on a map and generate money for cancer research,” Ulman said.
Riders from 61 countries came to Columbus, but Pelotonia rides occurred in other countries such as Hong Kong and Bangalore, and according to Ulman, that has encouraged the addition of a globalized tracking system.
“Our goal is to get a couple hundred thousand people to each raise $100 or $50 a year in microdonations that would ultimately add up to $30, $40 or $50 million per year,” Ulman said.
The announcement came less than three weeks after the ninth annual race that occurred at the beginning of August. Pelotonia 2017 was one of the most successful races yet, recording the highest number of riders, volunteers and individual donations in the race’s history, with a projected total of over $25 million in fundraising.
When asked about next year’s 10th Pelotonia, Ulman said, “Given that we are launching this app, we would like to see a significant increase … We are not satisfied,” and said he hopes to reach over $30 million.
Board of Trustees member and Pelotonia Board manager Abigail Wexner said this increase in fundraising is in part due to Ulman’s work. “He is just tireless in his efforts and sees the very big picture and has really galvanized the entire movement,” Wexner said.
Beta testing of the app begins in October, with the projected global release set for spring of 2018.
The Board also discussed Ohio State’s plan to buy a building it leases for laboratory and research on Polaris Parkway for an undisclosed amount.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, improvements are planned for the relocation of some departments from The James Cancer Hospital and Richard M. Solove Research Institute.