Tip Whip, LLC
Tip Whip is an exclusive, tip based, ride-sharing mobile app for a closed community: college students. Every driver and rider is a currently enrolled college student. No fares, just the tip.
How does your business make a positive impact on the community?
Tip Whip is the first ride-sharing service in the world focused on college student safety. The reciprocal economic benefit for both the state of Maine and Tip Whip are undeniable. Tip Whip has provided the state of Maine with more than 100 new jobs. In total, more than 100 student-drivers have provided over 8,000 rides and safely transported over 25,000 Maine college students. Tip Whip saves lives, prevents accidents, and stops students from drinking and driving and getting DUIs. In fact, 17% of the UMaine campus population uses the Tip Whip mobile app on a monthly basis.
What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?
If Tip Whip was rewarded with a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card we would host a driver appreciation and recruitment event! Our drivers deserve to be rewarded for their service to our college community. Not only would Tip Whip use the $1,000 gift card to give back to our drivers we would use the event to recruit new drivers! Interested students could come to the event, eat some food and meet other drivers at their university.
The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.
How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?
Yes, I have worked with the Bangor, ME SCORE group with great success. Not only did I receive financial management and strategy advice I was connected to business service experts in the fields I needed the most help in. Without the help from Bangor SCORE and their connections, my business would not be where it is today. One of the greatest gifts SCORE provided my business where the connections to business professionals in my local area. As a college student, I didn't have a professional network. Working with SCORE I was able to meet and work with local professionals who I still work with to this day.
Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?
WOW! We have to overcome challenges every day but one of our greatest challenges was overcoming our outdated operational systems. Before we launched the Tip Whip mobile app we were operating from a single cell phone. Riders would call the Tip Whip phone and a paid operator would answer and collect the rider’s information. The operator would then dispatch a driver to the location. This multi-step ride request process was laborious, inefficient and time-consuming. We missed countless requests due to our phone line being busy and our drivers falling behind. Drivers were also operating from a cash only honor system and consequently, we were suffering from the false reporting of tips. Our business wasn’t scalable.
How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?
Tip Whip is going nationwide in 2017. We have already received emails from students at over 40 different colleges throughout the United States. The marketing video and national recognition will spread the word about Tip Whip before we touch down on these new campuses. Recognition is exactly what Tip Whip needs to spread across the country. Winning a SCORE award will validate Tip Whip as a high growth, scalable company. Ideally, a SCORE award will attract investors and potential partnership opportunities for Tip Whip as well.