September 19, 2014
Jonathan Ofir spent three years in the Israeli military. From 2007 to 2010, he was a member of the safety unit, which was responsible for combat, vehicle and military safety. Despite being in a region of combat, Ofir discovered a frightening statistic. “My cofounder Ben Biron was in the unit with me,” says Ofir, 25. “And during that time more soldiers died form drunk driving than in combat.”
This realization was the inspiration for Alcohoot, a simple solution that turns your smartphone into a breathalyzer. Here’s how it works:
- The Device: Alcohoot uses an FDA-registered fuel cell sensor, the same technology used by police and military devices, according to their site. Users plug it right into their headphone jack and it’s ready to use.
- The App offers various features such as “Actionable Data”, which uses “the SmartLine and Morning Quiz use algorithms to provide actionable steps based on your drinking trends, so you can drink smarter next time,” according to their site. The app also lets people discover personal limits while still helping them enjoy a drink.
- Other features: Users can see a history of all of their readings, can call a taxi home, or look up a route to walk home. “The idea behind that is we want to make it really easy for people to get home and just basically not drive,” says Ofir.
Alcohoot’s Strong Message
Part of the mission at Alcohoot is to help change people’s lifestyle in regards to drinking.
“There are many people who use our product to test before they drive, but there’s another segment that even if they’re not driving, they’re using it to optimize their night and learn what levels are good for them,” says Ofir.
The Alcohoot team believes that they’ve been able to spread their message through their technology’s design, accuracy, and usability. They’ve also partnered with Heineken and Pernod Ricard, which owns brands such as Absolut Vodka and Jameson among other brands.
“The idea behind these two partnerships is that these partners understand responsibility,” says Ofir. “You can talk as much as you want, but when you really introduce a technology that can help you be responsible, that’s a game changer.”
More about Ofir and the Alcohoot Team
Ofir is joined by Ben Biron, the other cofounder of Alcohoot. Both were in the Kairos Society, an organization for young entrepreneurs around the world and it helped the Alcohoot team get their start.
Additionally, Ofir says he’s learned a lot about himself through his entrepreneurial journey.
“It’s amazing that even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re in your element and all of a sudden it seems like you’re an expert,” says Ofir. “Sometimes I surprise myself everyday, that’s what keeps me going and it’s amazing.
Ofir’s advice to young and aspiring entrepreneurs is simple – stay dedicated and don’t give up.
“Anything is possible,” says Ofir. “If you go and apply yourself and put in your dedication into, eventually things will happen and things become real.”
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