With today being a monumental day for #cleanweb, #sharingeconomy, #ridesharing, you and me, it is only appropriate that we bring on yet another #cleanweb company spotlight. First off, why is today so exciting for all of us at HQ and in the community? The California PUC has identified “transportation network carriers” (TNCs) as a credible marketplace, legal and free to operate as an equal competitor class to the cab, limo, human four-wheeled transportation industry! Like I said, this is a special day!
IF you’re interested, check out the rules #cleanweb companies like Sidecar, Lyft, Uber, and many others will need to abide by.
It is now time to tell you about one of our most exciting members of the Cleanweb and and let them answer questions sourced by the community. Say hello to Ridescout! These are our buddies from Austin who recently pitched at Houston Demo Day and may have exciting news around the bend regarding funding and scaling opportunities!
Be sure to follow them on @Twitter! @Ridescout @RidescoutDC
Here we go . . .
1. What would Ridescout say is their best feature to cater to business/corporations?
RideScout is an aggregator of all transportation options within an urban area, so in regards to our partner organizations like local public transportation or even Car2Go, we provide value in reaching a broader audience and keeping people engaged not only with their product, but with the habit of public transportation and ride sharing. This habit will result in more riders and more rides for all our partners.
In the future, our B2B operations may also include not only our partners, but local businesses in the cities where we operate. Our users are looking at RideScout to go where they live, work and play!
2. What would Ridescout say is their best feature to cater to the average consumer?
Transportation is a major pain point in most urban areas and RideScout has set out to improve the everyday quality of life for Americans facing these problems. Each day people are fighting inefficiencies and traffic delays that prevent them from getting to where they live, work, and play with ease. By providing a variety of transportation options in our one app, we are enabling the power of choice while facilitating exploration, discovery and booking all in one place.
One specifically great feature is that we are in the process of providing both time and cost estimates for our ride options. You can see below an example for Car2Go. They actually don’t even have this feature in their own app!
3. Does Ridescout have an iPhone/Android/tablet app?
Yes! We do the bulk of our business on our iPhone app and our newly launched Android app. We’re are a 100% mobile business and believe in the power of being able to make choices while on the move. We all need that in our hyper busy startup world.
4. What does Ridescout feel like their number 1 goal is to achieve with this business venture? (mission or vision statement).
By providing real-time, dynamic information and access to public, private, and social transportation options on one mobile platform, we strive to replicate the reliability and flexibility of car ownership.
Our primary goal is to get users from point A to point B with easy and flexibility. Based on time, cost, or the ability to ride with friends, you can choose the transportation option that works for you in every scenario and book it right through the RideScout app.
5. What is one “fast fact” about the industry that Ridescout agrees with the most or would like to change?
We want to change the societal norm that the American Dream involves ownership, particularly ownership and private use of a car. We believe that this country can be better with a more efficient use of existing resources and improvement on great ideas like the sharing economy. Car2Go, SideCar, and AirBnB have built amazing businesses on this concept, but we are adding a new dimension to the mix: choice.
We believe that the new American Dream involves the proliferation of choice and the ability to have a good decision quickly.
6. How is Ridescout using social media to engage its stakeholders?
There are a lot of conversations going on about transportation on Twitter right now and we have just launched a new social media strategy around the medium in our rollout city of Washington, DC. Our goal is to engage deeply with our early adopters so that they provide us with constant feedback and act as a megaphone in the Twittersphere when we need it. We are looking to build real relationships via this grassroots social media approach. Follow us at @RideScout and @RideScoutDC for launch updates!
7. Which technology trends are most important to Ridescout?
Mobile trends are absolutely the most followed by those at RideScout. We are constantly looking for ways that we can improve the mobile experience whether in the future that involves a more intuitive interface or eventually augmented reality integration.
8.Where did the idea originate? How has Ridescout changed over time?
The idea for RideScout came about when Joseph was an Army Lt. Col. working out of the Pentagon in Washington D.C. What should have been a quick daily commute could easily become a mess due to traffic, road closures or weather in the D.C. suburb of Arlington, VA. One weekend while sitting on a porch with his Army buddy and now co founder, Craig Cummings, Joseph came up with the idea and logic behind RideScout so that people can more easily get around crowded cities.
Two years later, the concept of RideScout is still the same, but the offering has become much more robust. In Washington, D.C. ride options including Capital Bikeshare, Car2Go, SideCar, local buses, and metro are featured in the iPhone and Android app. New partners are being signed up every week and we anticipate the ability to provide D.C. riders with all real time transportation options in the next year.
9. What kind of impact would you like to have on the world? What kind of impact would your like Ridescout to have?
We want to see a world that is less reliant on individually owned cars and more interested in public or shared transportation options. Transportation is a global pain point that, if vastly improved, has the potential to improve the everyday quality of life for so many people. At RideScout, we’re on a mission to help people discover ways to get around that consider time, cost, AND the people with whom you want to travel. We’re here to provide options and choice.
10. What kinds of challenges has Ridescout faced?
Our biggest challenge is working to change people’s’ habits and encourage them to ask the question “can I get there without taking my own car?” Once they make that mental switch, RideScout is a huge help in their daily planning of their commute and how they get to extracurricular activities like happy hour. Joseph has changed his habits so much, that he really rarely uses his own car and is looking to sell it!
11. Why are you excited about Cleanweb?
Cleanweb is all about the efficient use of resources to drive impact and we couldn’t agree with that more. Plus, Cleanweb companies and organizations were among the first to recognize the big market potential of RideScout and we always keep that at the forefront of our minds. For example, we finished 2nd nationally in sustainability at the CleanTech open in San Jose in November of 2012.
12. Size of teams + The background of teams
RideScout is growing rapidly and we currently have more fulltime and parttime team members than ever before! Right now, we’re a team of 12 strong and, surprisingly (or not), many of our team members have a background in the United States Military. Veterans make great entrepreneurs and startup employees. In addition, we have a number of Joseph’s former students as well as Craig’s trusted partners.
13. How do they perceive and work with their business regarding profit vs. impact?
We care very passionately for this idea that we are building and don’t believe that profit and impact are mutually exclusive. We are trying to disrupt an established industry, so at the moment impact and moving fast if of the utmost importance. We are in a very early stage, so we’re keeping our heads to the ground, always having a good thing to stay, and ensuring that we’re staying ahead of the game.
14. If Ridescout had a superhero mascot, who would it be and why?
If we had a superhero mascot, it would absolutely be a penguin. Obviously penguins can’t fly, so they have to be creative on how they get around. We feel the same about all our users. There is no one way to get from point A to point B, so we provide people with options. Plus, penguins are pretty cute.
Again, thanks to Ridescout for providing insight into the sharing economy side of Cleanweb. I’m personally moved by how Joseph lives his life and the excitement he exudes for his product! It truly is a game changer and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them into the Cleanweb family!