AmRide is working to make transportation throughout Connecticut more safe, convenient, and affordable. The company is one of 22 social impact startups participating in reSET’s 2016 Accelerator program, which is geared toward entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development.
AmRide Head of Marketing Adriel Rodriguez told Innovation Destination Hartford how the startup began and explained its plans for expansion.
IDH: When did the company start and how did you develop the business concept?
RODRIGUEZ: AmRide was started in 2011, we began driving in 2012. In March 2014 the company launched the mobile apps. Our mission was twofold. The founders, Rene Rodriguez and William Fish wanted to solve the problem of people driving their cars home after consuming alcohol and they wanted to provide an affordable alternative to town cars and limos.
IDH: Tell us about the services AmRide provides.
RODRIGUEZ: AmRide offers professional, high-quality, screened, and insured drivers to drive our clients in their cars. We provide designated drivers to get them home safely and responsibly after a night of fun. We bring them to the airport conveniently and for half the price of a town car, and we make the luxury of a personal driver affordable.
IDH: Why did the company become involved in the reSET Accelerator program?
RODRIGUEZ: We saw the reSET Accelerator as an excellent opportunity to share time with energetic and creative people, both with the cohorts and the people of reSET, who are awesome!
Our goal is to refine our skills, particularly in the areas of marketing and customer acquisition. We can use these skills to become a better company as we have an eye toward national expansion.
IDH: In what ways is AmRide making a social impact?
RODRIGUEZ: Our Designated Driver service saves lives. We make the roadways safer by providing an alternative to driving your car home, if intoxicated. Options such as Uber and taxi cabs are great, but many people choose to not use them because they do not solve the problem of what to do with their car at the end of the night.
AmRide solves this by bringing you home in your own car. In addition, our airport and personal driver services help to reduce incidents of distracted driving, which is an ever-growing problem, by allowing people who would normally text, make phone calls, or check emails while driving to not be behind the wheel.
It is important to us to make positive differences in our community. We realized that drunk driving and distracted driving are two sources of death and injury that are entirely preventable, and we felt that this was the best way for us to make an immediate and meaningful impact.
IDH: What are the company’s goals for the next three to five years?
RODRIGUEZ: Our vision is that everyone in the United States will have access to AmRide. We are looking to expand into new markets, in fact, six months ago we expanded into Cincinnati, which allowed us to service southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Eastern Indiana. We are looking to follow that up with regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Southern Florida, and the Washington D.C. metro area over the next couple of years.