The following is a guest post form the Sobrio Startup Weekend team, who took first place at the University of Connecticut SW event last year. Roughly one year later, they are preparing for a full launch tour for their app.
Recently, Sobrio has announced that they are launching at 6 additional universities this coming September. Sobrio is a mobile application that connects college students who need rides with the designated drivers at their university. The application got its start at Startup Weekend: Storrs in February 2012. The two founders, Nadav Ullman and Tom Bachant, who were UConn students at the time, met each other that weekend, where they originally came up with the idea, and built the initial MVP by the presentations on Sunday evening. After placing 1st that weekend, the two founders continued to run with the project, and launched it at the University of Connecticut in September 2012.
Since the September launch, Sobrio has seen growing success. Within the first few weekends, the founders watched as hundreds of students would use the app every weekend to get home safe.
In November, Sobrio placed first at the annual Connecticut Technology Council’s Innovation Summit, where they beat out the other top 74 ‘Tech Companies to Watch in 2012’. Now, Sobrio has over 2,000 users and has brought on 3 additional members to the team.
The designated drivers on Sobrio are all students who are vetted by the company. The drivers are able to easily organize their night with features such as rider-queues, navigation, chatting, and in-app payments for the ride. The ride-seekers on Sobrio are able to easily connect with a network of their peers who can get them home safe. The users all have their own profiles, which displays ratings and reviews from past rides, so students can make sure they are comfortable with each other prior to connecting.
When asked about advice for early entrepreneurs, Ullman says, “It’s all about the team. You can have the most brilliant and innovative idea, but if you don’t have smart passionate people working with you, it won’t be more than an idea. If you’re able to build up a great team, then you’ll be able to build up a great company.”
The upcoming Sobrio launches will be at Stony Brook University, University of Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts, Ohio University, Michigan State University, and University of Michigan. You can learn more about Sobrio at sobrioapp.com and follow them at Twitter.com/SobrioApp.