PHX startup Pivot Freight heads to Techstars in Austin
Pivot Freight, a freight shipping rate comparison tool, has been chosen as the first Arizona startup to be a part of Techstars in Austin, a rigorous and competitive, three-month long accelerator program.
More than 1,500 companies applied for 11 spots for a chance to grow their businesses with the help of heavy mentorship, networking connections and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program on Demo Day Sept. 3.
Each startup receives $118,000 in seed investment once they are accepted into Techstars in exchange for 7-10 percent equity in the company.
The founders of Pivot Freight, COO Carson Krieg and spouses CEO Dan Bebout and Developer Jenny Bebout, moved to Austin from the Valley to take part in the program full-time.
Their technology platform helps change the way freight carriers and customers do business with one another. Instead of visiting site after site to compare competitor prices, users can now see individual rates in one place, with the added bonus of creating an account that will store and colorfully illustrate their activity analytics and manage carriers.
Jenny Bebout explained that the current technology in freight was lacking the UX/UI element and their team aimed to change the norm. “That was really important to our business because freight can be very confusing,” she said of Pivot Freight’s platform.
Krieg and Dan have been in the freight business for many years and wanted to incorporate the struggles they saw customers facing. “We saw that the real pain point in the industry was that customers really like the relationships with the carriers directly, with the companies that actually own the trucks,” he said. “They offer better service, and it’s essentially cutting out the middleman.”
The team was inspired by the Austin tech scene during a trip to South by Southwest. After meeting startups in the community, they began researching how they could be a part of it, and stumbled on Techstars.
The program began June 9. The team is getting used to the in-demand schedule, but said it’s great to have the other companies to lean on.
“There’s sort of a motto around here: It’s give first,” Jenny said. “There’s always someone to raise a hand, and we communicate really well.”
And Jenny and Dan are fortunate enough to have each other throughout the journey too.
“Working together has been great because we don’t step on each other’s toes as far as where we come from, and we respect each other’s respective background and knowledge, “ said Dan of his business focus and Jenny’s design talents.
“We’re able to do this experience together too,” added Jenny. “A lot of people had to leave significant others at home.”
On top of building a widely scalable product, the team hopes to just soak up of every experience that Techstars offers their business.
Jenny said the team wants to “take advantage of every opportunity, to meet every person [and] to be a part of every event.”
Once the program is over, the founders plan to return to Phoenix to grow the company and hire the “best and the brightest” to expand their team.
In case you are wondering how to connect with a Techstars program, ASU’s Entrepreneurship Innovation Group has partnered with Techstar’s Global Accelerator Network in which they share knowledge, services and have access to different Techstars programs.
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Graphics provided by Pivot Freight