RideScout

Joseph Kopser, CEO and co-founder of Ridescout, an Austin-based startup, speaks at Burdine Hall on Monday afternoon. Ridescout has developed an app that allows users to see all transportation options near them, as well as their cost and times.

Photo Credit: Michelle Toussaint | Daily Texan Staff

The secret to a successful business is to build a good team of employees, according to Joseph Kopser, CEO and co-founder of RideScout, in an on-campus lecture Monday.

At the lecture, which was hosted by Communication Council, Kopser used his experience with RideScout — an app for consolidating and tracking alternative transportation services to help users travel quickly and conveniently — to discuss aspects of business ranging from tech and innovation to communication and teamwork.

Kopser said he believes there is no distinct definition of an entrepreneur, but there are three key things that helped him become successful.  

“You have to love what you do,” Kopser said. “You have to show humility … and your walk has to be as good as your talk.”

Kopser said he believes entrepreneurs should never pass on an opportunity for national attention, even if the media is capitalizing on an unusual aspect of business.

“We went into San Francisco wanting to talk about RideScout and its technology, but the only thing the media cared about was how I am a 40-something-year-old [who] can effectively work with a 20-something-year-old,” Kopser said. “That was the coolest thing to them, and it got us great publicity.”

Radio-television-film freshman Gabriella Grant, who attended the lecture, said many of her peers believe having a good product is all that matters to business.

“People think, if you know what people want, you can succeed,” Grant said. “But it’s so much more than that. It’s about every aspect of the game. Every piece has to fit together.”

Kopser said being able to communicate with his team in order to problem-solve is key.

“Easy problems don’t come to me because my team can fix them [when they occur],” Kosper said. “But, if it’s not easy, we have to put our heads together and discuss whatever it takes until the problem is solved.”

Rene Dailey, interpersonal communications associate professor, said communication skills are vital to the workplace.

“Interpersonal communication skills are always one of the top characteristics employers are looking for in their job candidates,” Dailey said in an email. “Interpersonal skills help us be more effective in accomplishing tasks, as well as in building rapport with co-workers.”

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

An Austin-based app, RideScout, hopes to utilize the numerous transportation services available to Austinites to improve their downtown commute. 

RideScout, which launched at last year’s South By Southwest festival, allows husers to view many new and existing transportation service options around Austin on one platform. Users can plan trips throughout the city, tying shared transportation services such as B-Cycle, Car2Go and CapMetro together for use in their trip.

Previously, trying to plan a trip using public, shared and commercial transportation services available in Austin has been difficult, City Councilman Chris Riley said at a press conference Tuesday.

“Now we actually have a solution from an Austin-based startup,” Riley said. “RideScout will allow you how to see how to make use of everything that’s out there.”

RideScout founder Joseph Kopser said he hopes the app will benefit Austin residents by providing them with an aggregated source for alternative transportation.

“If we can get out from behind our wheel all the time, you get time back,” Kopser said.

Elliot McFadden, founder of bike share service B-Cycle, said he thinks the service will help to relieve Austin of its traffic problems.

“When you interweave all of these services together you get … a whole alternative to driving your personal car,” McFadden said. “It means fewer cars on the road and a more humane and pedestrian friendly environment in our towns.”

Spanish literature graduate student Ignacio Carbajal said he often bikes and uses the bus to get around Austin, and could see the app being useful.

“I was in traffic for 45 minutes, inching,” Carbajal said. “If you could consolidate people, that’s always good.”

Kopser said he challenges skeptics to try the service.

“Like any other tool, it only works if you use it,” Kopser said. “For the readers and the viewers who think, ‘This will never apply to me,’ I actually challenge you. It will make your life easier when you do come to downtown Austin.”