When Paul Pinigis was an engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh between 1987 and 1996, he worked a full-time job as an insurance agent to pay for his education. His engineering classes were more than a mile away from work, so Pinigis often ran from one location to the other.
He always wanted a quick, compact way to get from place to place, but could not find one. At the time, he imagined an electric skateboard. But years later, he saw a folding bicycle in a shop while visiting Japan. He began searching to buy a folding bicycle.
Origami Bicycle was started in 2011 with an office in Chesterfield County. In January 2016, the company moved to the Clopton Siteworks development in South Richmond to increase the workspace to 6,000 square feet.
All Origami bicycles are designed by Pinigis but are manufactured overseas, then assembled in Richmond. Since 2011, the company has sold more than 2,500 bikes. So far this year, the business has sold around 200 bicycles.
All models are named after paper origami designs, including the crane and the cricket.
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