November 23, 2013
Remember that time I covered some really cool startups at 1776’s Challenge Cup DC Regional Competition? Do you also happen to remember how four amazing startups won that competition? RideScout – the winner in the “Smart Cities” category – officially launched their app at a pretty pimpin’ (is this, like, even cool to say nowadays?) event held at 1776 (where the startup is a member).
RideScout is a free mobile application that aggregates public, private, and social modes of ground transportation (from buses and trains to taxis and carsharing) in real-time. It provides users with up-to-date information on the various routes and modes of transportation he or she can take, sorted by the amount of travel time or cost.
After a successful beta test in Austin this past summer (with some major usage during SXSW), the company made further improvements on their iPhone and Android app functionality, and expanded their service to DC. Boasting more than a dozen ride options for users, RideScout has partnered with many organizations including car2go, Sidecar, Capital Bikeshare, WMATA, DC Circulator, and most recently Hailo (an e-hail taxi service that debuted its services in DC this past July).
Besides the Texas-style brisket, literally chill IPAs, and some really delicious rice krispies-popcorn hybrid (I like food – if you couldn’t already tell), last night’s launch event was replete with excitement for the RideScout app and anticipation for what some big wigs in the room had to say.
Beginning with Aneesh Chopra, the former CTO of the United States (and former Secretary of Technology for the state of Virginia) made the big announcement that he’s joining RideScout’s Board of Advisors – obviously a huge asset to the startup. He was later followed by DC Mayor Vincent Gray (accompanied by Taxicab Commissioner, Ron Linton, and some members of Gray’s transportation committee), who led the chant extolling RideScout and expounded on how the app will revolutionize commutes by coordinating all of DC’s transportation.
The most important words, of course, came from RideScout CEO Joseph Kopser himself who emphasized that this is our (DC’s) chance for a revolution, and that this will all come together if we work together as a community. He ended his brief speech with what is surely a testament to Kopser’s dedication to RideScout and the people of DC:
“Outside of my wedding, and outside the birth[s] of my children – this is absolutely the best day of my life.”
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