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Freewheelin' with Nate Kvamme

March 10, 2009

Staying competitive. Thinking on your feet. Reacting quickly.

These are just a few of the things that Nate Kvamme (’99) learned from his four years as a starting linebacker for the CSU Rams football team. And they are lessons he has applied in his work life as well.

International career

With a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a minor in mathematics, Kvamme worked at a Fort Collins firm for a short while before heading to the University of Louisville where he coached as a graduate assistant with the football team, while earning his MBA.

From there, he moved to a consumer products company, Xyron, managing the product design and development group, ultimately moving to Tokyo, Japan, for three years as general manager of the Asia Pacific region.

“I learned so much about different cultures, how to work with people, what their different preferences were. You’re not going to change things so you have to adapt,” he says.

Good for the body, good for the planet

And that ability to adapt has served Kvamme well as he has ventured into other business arenas. In 2007, he joined Humana as the director of partnership strategy for the Innovation Center, where he reached out to companies and industries with like-minded approaches to health. In that position, he started Freewheelin – a free bicycle sharing program for Humana employees.

“The bicycle is iconic and a symbol of things that are good for your body and good for the planet,” he says. “There is no question that people have an emotion connection to the bike and to their youth…it is a great expression of freedom.”

The popularity of the Freewheelin program set the stage for further ventures into bicycle programs, including the 1,000 bikes provided by Humana in partnership with Bikes Belong – the nation’s largest bicycle advocacy group - at the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention.

Entrepreneur returns to Colorado

Kvamme, a Windsor High School alumnus, is now coming home to Denver with the company he founded, B-Cycle, the first company focused on bike-sharing in the U.S.

B-cycle is a joint venture between Humana, Trek Bicycle Corporation, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. B-Cycle will be launching the Denver B-Cycle program, with Denver Bike Sharing – a local nonprofit – which will make 500 bikes available to the public at 30 to 40 stations throughout the city beginning summer 2009.

Still a competitive athlete

Kvamme continues to challenge himself athletically by competing as a triathlete. His latest venture: an Ironman in Kentucky the weekend between the DNC and the RNC. 

“It was probably one of the toughest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” he says, “that is until we launched B-cycle.”

Competition is definitely something Kvamme can’t give up: “I’ll definitely do another Ironman again,” he says.


This article was originally published in AlumLine, a monthly e-newsletter for members of the Alumni Association. Become a member.

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: (970) 491-3591