Think back to the last time you used a rideshare app. Your final destination was probably a friend’s house or a restaurant near your house. But with a new app created by two UT Austin freshmen, you can now hail a ride to other cities.
Kush Singh, a freshman in the McCombs School of Business; and Tanuj Girish, a freshman electrical engineering major in the Cockrell School of Engineering, developed Krew. The goal was to give travelers an affordable option for traveling long distance without disappointing delays and stops.
“I was really dissatisfied with the bus system,” said Singh, co-founder of Krew. “My 3½-hour trip would easily become 6½ hours, and I would have to pay for more than just my bus ticket in order to get to and from the bus stations. A big component of this increase in time and cost of my trips can be attributed to the fact that the stations were so far from my home.”
Just as rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft are replacing taxis, Krew is working to replace buses and trains.
The Krew app launched on March 16 for iOS devices and now allows users and drivers to book and service rides through the app. Currently, the app allows users to travel between Austin and Houston but will be expanding to other routes soon. Trip fares can be as low as $30, the startup’s founders said at a recent South by Southwest presentation.
The company got off the ground thanks to the Genesis program and the Longhorn Startup Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. Through these programs, the students were able to secure funding to get the initial product built and a mentorship to guide them through the first phase of running a startup.
Both programs focus on supporting student entrepreneurs from across campus. The Genesis program is a student and alumni group that provides seed capital to student entrepreneurs at UT Austin.
The Longhorn Startup Lab is an intensive project-based course focused on helping students build scalable technology companies while in school. Students receive weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with successful entrepreneurs and free co-working memberships at Capital Factory, and they get course credit for working on their startups. The course is hosted through the Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering.
There is still more to come from Krew. In the coming months, the team plans to make the app available on Android and expand into other routes.
Come out Thursday, May 3, to Demo Day, an entrepreneurial showcase of top undergraduate startup ventures from the Longhorn Startup Lab if you are interested in learning more about Krew or other Longhorn startup companies.