BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Two north suburban teenagers are putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test.
Their idea for a smartphone application that limits drunk driving is quickly gaining traction to go nationwide.
The app is similar to Uber and Lyft in the sense that customers get a ride. The difference is a customer’s vehicle comes along for that ride.
“The first time we [went] into bars, they’re like, ‘Man, who are these kids,” app co-founder Beck Halbeisen said.
Halbeisen and his business partner, Vinny Rowe, said they’re set for their first year of college, but they have a busy summer lined up.
“Just in Colorado, we’ve been to Centennial, Denver, Wheat Ridge,” Rowe said. “We’ll go anywhere, basically.”
Their app, Leave No Car Behind, connects two drivers in a car to a customer who is in no shape to drive.
The drivers promise to make sure that customer and their vehicle get home safely.
A customer is required to plug their location into the app. Halbeisen and Rowe said the current wait time is about 22 minutes.
“People have been trying for years to get people to take cabs, Uber, Lyft,” Colorado Bar Owners Association president Mickey Petrollini said. “It’s the same old problem — you can’t get people to leave and leave their car behind.”
Halbeisen and Rowe, who play active roles by driving customers, said the concept is not new but their app is.
With nothing else quite like it on the market, they are eyeing expansion opportunities with help from Halbeisen’s father, who is an app developer.
But first, the young company needs to grow by attracting more employees and customers.
“It’s been tough to get the word out there,” Halbeisen said.
The idea behind it was a no-brainer, according to the duo. The teens thought of the idea while playing video games, according to Rowe.
Halbeisen and Rowe soon will be focused on business degrees. They plan on attending Metropolitan State University of Denver, then moving on to the University of Colorado.
They said they’re committed to not only a college education but also to their app that launched two months ago.
The cost for the service is a $30 minimum that covers the first three miles of travel.
Then, the cost continues at $2.10 for each additional mile. The app, operated under Leave No Car Behind, has its own insurance policy that covers employees and all vehicles involved.
Halbeisen and Rowe said they’re working with investors.
They expect the app will be in about a dozen cities across the United States by September. It can be downloaded on Google Play and Apple App store.