Institute for Entrepreneurship Welcomes General Manager of Bird Italy, Cristina Donofrio

Cristina Donofrio, General Manager of Bird Italy

Cristina Donofrio, General Manager of Bird Italy

On February 18, the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship, and Business Administration Professor Silvia Pulino welcomed Cristina Donofrio to the online class “Strategic Management.” A JCU alumna, Cristina Donofrio is the General Manager of Bird Italy, a last-mile electric vehicle sharing company, dedicated to supplying affordable, environmentally-friendly scooters in over 100 cities worldwide.

Cristina Donofrio studied at John Cabot from 2011 to 2013. She is Italian-American and has always considered herself an entrepreneurial spirit. In April 2018, she started working for Bird as a launcher, a person responsible for introducing companies to new markets.

Bird was the first company worldwide to introduce e-scooters in 2017. Many other companies, offering similar services, followed in the coming years. Donofrio explained that the goal of Bird is to become the largest shared e-scooter company in the world. She added that in order to achieve such an important goal, a company should know its competitors.

According to Donofrio, working on brand loyalty is another important step towards the realization of a company’s goal. Bird improved brand loyalty by making sure that users could always find a functional and charged vehicle nearby and that they would have a positive app experience, all while ensuring that the choice to ride a Bird scooter was a sustainable one.

Although the Italian market was one of the most challenging ones to enter due to government restrictions, it also turned out to be one of the most profitable. Together with competitor analysis and brand loyalty, strategic partnership has played an important role in the success of Bird in Italy. For instance, today, Bird is an official partner of Enel X, Zig Zag, Trenitalia, and Formula E.

Students asked Donofrio about Bird’s plan to prevent vandalism and ensure road safety. She explained that although vandalism was common when Bird was first launched, today, thanks to the optimization of the scooters, the issue is no longer as concerning. As for safety measures, Donofrio mentioned a recent initiative promoted by the company: users can have access to “ride credits” if, at the end of their ride, they post a picture wearing a helmet.