We, SPLT, are an enterprise rideshare platform connecting coworkers to share the commute to work together. Using our app on iOS and Android, employees of the same organization can find one another and let the app facilitate the carpool experience. Most importantly, SPLT works to reduce CO2 emissions, traffic congestion, and saves both time and money.
Our story begins with a problem we experienced first hand. When hailing a ride on a street corner, taxi stand, or hotel, we would often find many travelers heading in similar directions. We'd speak up. “Want to split the ride?” We’d split the cost, and make a friend. Then we thought, there should be an app for that. Our imagination drove us to Techstars Mobility in Detroit, where we pivoted, and found lots of opportunity for impact by focusing squarely on the commute.
Now headquartered in the Motor City, where the automobile was conceived and built, we're changing what the way to work could look like. We’re collaborating with corporate partners to implement successful carpool programs that can drastically change the employee experience for the better. We started off with DTE Energy and now we’ve also launched with Magna. Our solution saves employees approximately $5K a year when used moderately. It creates cross-departmental collaboration, relieves parking stress, and aligns with sustainability initiatives. With every new user, we learn even more about the impact our technology has on our customers lives.
We provide SPLT to large organizations including corporations, hospitals, and universities. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) startups are popping up around the country. How is SPLT any different? We differentiate by first understanding that modes of mobility need to join forces to solve the congestion crises that face our cities. We invite public:private partnerships and pride ourselves on playing well with others. The general public ultimately wants one app to rule them all. We don’t want a dozen, one for each leg of travel. At SPLT, we want to utilize our unique core competency, enterprise commuting, to complement other efforts that have come before us and will come after us.
So, what separates SPLT, besides the above? Team, growth strategy, and mentorship.
The Founding team is made up of Anya Babbitt, Yale Zhang, and Benjamin McMillan. All have come to SPLT with diverse experiences and skill sets. Most importantly, they work extremely well together because they challenge and inspire one another. Techstars requirements for entry are team, team, team, and then market opportunity. Techstars is harder to get into than Harvard. Since landing in Detroit, the Founders have made six local hires in biz dev and tech to grow the team to 12 employees strong. We have recruited intrapreneurial team members who innovate from within.
We've sustained our growth in resourceful ways, by participating in competitions like Techweek, which offer SPLT chances to win “free” money, build business relationships, and gain exposure through positive PR. In total, we won 18 awards, and received $120,000+. It's Mentors in our inner circle like a Jill Ford of the City of Detroit and Ted Serbinski of Techstars who have guided us in this direction. We have hustled on our end to make this possible.
We have pitched our fair share of decks and our humble advice to Techweek competitors is:
1. First comes preparation. Research your judges, know your audience, pitch with one eye open on one leg.
2. Seize the moment. Energy matters. You have to shine, and by doing so you will soak in everyone's gaze. The room should be silent because of your presence. Be fearless.
3. Follow up. Regardless of whether you win, lose, draw. Thank the organizers, congratulate the competition. Gratefulness helps you reflect and appreciate what others have done for you and in turn inspires more support.
We live in the information age. We focus on the information we receive from the vast knowledge of our Mentors. We have Mentors across the globe that care about SPLT and its implication in this world, offering their time to ensure our success. Letters of encouragement, late night and weekend phone calls, intros to customers, partners, and investors, you name it! Our Mentors are extensions of our business and we treat them as such by providing them with constant updates and windows into our activity.
If you have gotten this far in the blog post, thank you. You get our #1 offering of wisdom. A startup, for us, has basically been about starting an adult family. We spend more time with one another than spouses, partners, siblings. We have learned to treat one another as family and grow together through unconditional support to one another. There it is!