OneWheel

upstarts onewheel

Kyle Doerksen has a unique measure of success: He wants to bring people joy.

His one-wheeled electric skateboard is designed to do just that. Appropriately called the OneWheel, his invention can go up to 15 miles an hour, recharge in 20 minutes and, best of all, it's self-stabilizing, which means you can balance relatively easily.

Doerksen, who's based in Santa Cruz, California, spent five years perfecting the original prototype, and began shipping the product last November. It's not a slim pricetag: The boards, which are manufactured in San Jose, Calif., cost $1,500 each. (Doerksen says it's cheaper than an electric bike, which is what he sees as the competition.)

The Stanford grad and former IDEO designer sees his product as ideal for short commutes or to cover the crucial "last mile" when public transit doesn't quite reach your final destination.

"There's tons of cars on the road and a lot of pollution," Doerksen, 32, said. "Designing a new kind of electric vehicle and sneaking it in the world as a really fun, new toy is really our vision." -- Aimee Rawlins

First published June 24, 2015: 8:20 AM ET