Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tech Startup Blue Duck Picks SXSW to Promote a New Spin on Ride Sharing

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 9:52 AM

click to enlarge SXSW attendees try out San Antonio startup company Blue Duck Scooters' rentable rides. - COURTESY OF BLUE DUCK SCOOTERS
  • Courtesy of Blue Duck Scooters
  • SXSW attendees try out San Antonio startup company Blue Duck Scooters' rentable rides.
Basically, this is the sales pitch: It's like Uber, but on a scooter.

San Antonio-based Blue Duck Scooters made its debut last weekend at Austin's South by Southwest Interactive, allowing festival-goers to take rides on 18 of the electric-powered scooters it plans to rent out on college campuses and city downtowns via its ride-sharing app.

The company aims to fill a niche between ride-share operators like Uber and the bike-share programs offered by municipalities such as San Antonio. Its scooters are designed to be an inexpensive, green option for those only needing to jaunt short distances, said Blue Duck co-founder Eric Bell, who also serves on the board of local tech-industry association Tech Bloc.

"In the middle of the summer, you don't always want to take a bicycle to lunch or to your next business meeting," Bell said. "These scooters are clean and green and made to get you around at about 14 to 15 miles per hour."

They're also are equipped with GPS, meaning the company picks them up once a rider's done so customers aren't on the hook for returning them to a docking station.

Blue Duck hopes to have the new rides zipping around San Antonio's inner city within the next month or so, but Bell said the company still needs to hash out details with city officials to be in compliance with local ride-share rules.

"We know that once we get our community leaders on our Ducks, they'll get behind it," he added.

Spoken with a startup founder's optimism.

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