Tip Whip is the world’s first ride sharing platform for college students by college students. The company’s service works similarly to Uber and Lyft, but is different in two unique ways: 1) every user is vetted through the National Student Clearinghouse ensuring every rider and driver is a currently enrolled college student. 2) its prime objective is student safety.
The company was founded by Spencer Wood, a recently graduated Masters student at UMaine and former defensive end on the UMaine football team. “We want every college student to get home safely regardless of how much money they have in their pockets,” Wood says. “For that reason, there are no set fees for rides, we only accept tips.” Wood has long been a proponent of student safety, serving as an advocate for Male Athletes Against Violence when he was a college student.
“Tip Whip is a big part of life here at the University of Maine, and I think I speak for all of us when I say it is definitely appreciated,” says Tyler Stimpson, both a Tip Whip driver and passenger. “I always hear about other students getting into accidents when they aren’t fit to drive. I can’t imagine how these accidents affect the student, their family. Tip Whip keeps us safe and provides us with options when we need them.”
Wood launched Tip Whip at UMaine in January 2014. To date, his company has provided over 5,000 rides to almost 20,000 students. Tip Whip drivers are also college students. Every driver goes through a rigorous interview process, car inspection, background check, and motor vehicle check.
Wood expects to expand Tip Whip to 15 new campuses by the end of 2016, and the Scratchpad Accelerator is helping to pave the way. “With Scratchpad’s help, I’ve been able to move closer to my vision of launching Tip Whip on other campuses, and much faster than if I’d been trying to figure it out on my own.” Wood says. “When I see Tip Whip on campuses across the globe, I’ll know Scratchpad played a big part in helping get us there.”
To meet Wood and hear more about his company’s vision, please join the Scratchpad Accelerator for “Demo Day” on December 11 at Season’s Restaurant, 427 Main Street, Bangor. Register now.
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About the Scratchpad Accelerator
With full time support and access to industry experts and mentors, the Scratchpad Accelerator is a pilot program dedicated to helping startup companies uncover answers to critical questions about their businesses. The Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute.
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