“Be optimistic and innovate” — The legacy of Cowboy founder and e-bike pioneer Karim Slaoui, who has passed away
Cowboy, the e-bike startup that creates innovative electric bikes for city riders, has announced that Karim Slaoui, co-founder (pictured above, right), has passed away. Karim stepped down from the board and the day-to-day running of Cowboy last year.
His co-founders Adrien Roose and Tanguy Goretti issued the following joint statement:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce our cofounder Karim has died at the age of 36. He was a gifted engineer, a tenacious entrepreneur, and a visionary in every sense of the word. Without Karim there would be no Cowboy. We have lost a close friend and partner and the world has lost a genius mind, instrumental not only in the development of Cowboy, but in making the world a better place to live.”
It’s understood that Karim died on Friday last week of a rare form of cancer, a synovial sarcoma, after being initially diagnosed in 2019. Karim spoke to Startup Vie about his cancer diagnosis last year.
A hardware specialist, Karim received his PhD as a Civil Engineer in Applied Mathematics from Université Catholique de Louvain in 2014. He co-founded Cowboy with Roose and Goretti in 2017.
A spokesperson for Cowboy said that Karim’s wife Aurore shared that the things he “truly cared about” were to “be optimistic and innovate.”
Slaoui co-founded one of Belgium’s most successful tech startups, which has innovated in the booming e-bike space and contributed to the global fight of reducing carbon emissions and pollution, especially in cities. It’s sold well over 55,000 e-bikes.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.