Alex Crosby’s best friend in college had a few too many drinks while out partying in Bozeman, Mont. But that friend didn’t want to wake Crosby or anyone else to bother them for Virtual a ride home, and he made a critical mistake people all over the world make every night: He drove home intoxicated.
Crosby’s friend, who had plans to become a military pilot, got a DUI that night, costing him his flying career. Crosby knew he could have given him a ride home if he had known, but he never had the chance.
“It really kind of pissed me off, and I wanted to create a way that we can passively be available to each other,” he said.
So, he started a company called Hero. It’s cheap oakleys an app that connects drinkers to a variety of transportation options and rewards drinkers and their designated drivers with discounts at restaurants, bars and venues when they take a safe ride home. For bars, restaurants and venues, it provides a way to reduce liability by offering an option for a safe ride home. It’s also a way to give patrons and their drivers discounts that can turn into repeat business.
Businesses can pick whatever award they want. Crosby said the intoxicated riders usually get a $5 value, often through discount, and drivers average about Oakleys sunglasses Outlet $30 worth of value in rewards.
“We want to provide a solution that makes it easier to make the right decision and makes it rewarding to do so,” he said.
The app, which has been available in Bozeman and facilitated at least 1,400 rides in three months, is expected to launch in Austin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Crosby said he has partnered with Matt Luckie, who owns Brazos Hall, Star Bar and several other Austin venues. He also has a partnership with Luxe, an on-demand valet parking service that also will bring your car home to you if you drink too much.
Meanwhile, Crosby is in discussions with major alcohol brands and other venues ahead of the Austin launch.
Hero has landed several accolades for its app. The company completed Techstars’ mobility program, cheap jerseys china and it’s now part of Texas Venture Labs at the University of Texas. Crosby’s startup won the top award from Blackstone’s LaunchPad program at a Forbes 30 Under 30 pitch competition in Boston. And, this week, Crosby was in Detroit to accept a TiE 20 Midwest Award.
Crosby said he’s excited to build a business based on social good. He lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 11 and he had several friends who lost parents to cancer. It taught him how difficult it can be for many people to recover from medical debt and build for their future.
By seeing his friend and others lose opportunities to drunk driving, he felt motivated to provide better options. And he wanted to make sure people could easily identify those options, including the most affordable one–having a sober friend or family member provide a ride.
Stats show the average American drunk driver has driven drunk about 80 times before their first arrest.
“It’s astonishing to the average person,” Crosby said. “But in order to break that habit, there needs to be a reward, too.”