Black & Woman Owned Ride Share Transportation Service For Kids On to Something Big!
“I’m on the brink of something bigger than me,” says Shan Cureton, CEO of Kiddie Commute a full service transportation service for kids.
The busy mom of three and communications instructor at Southwestern college in Chula Vista, has found a niche offering rides exclusively driving for kids. It all started because of her challenges getting her own children back and forth to appointments and activities.
The idea of starting Kiddie Commute just popped into Cureton’s head while teaching and studying for her masters. During that time, she had a kindergartener, a middle and high schooler—all needing to get to different places leaving her faced with trying to find a way to get them from point A to B, all the while she was working. Cureton says that she tried relying on ride-share companies such as Lyft and Uber, who would often cancel or leave the pick-up location once they arrived and saw that they were picking up a minor.
Cureton shares that in her experience, some drivers would take the risk to transport her children and some wouldn’t. When that would happen, she would have to leave school or work immediately to go and pick-up her children.
“Since this was happening with me, I knew that it had to be a dilemma for other families,” she says.
That’s when her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. Cureton admits that she’s always had a knack for business and understands the concept of supply and demand. She quickly realized that there was a need for a kid centered transportation service. That’s when she decided to research transportation companies catering to kids. She found similar companies in New York, San Francisco and in LA, which offered more of a Van/Shuttle service, but none locally or nationally. Adding to that, research alarming showed that only 34 black women in the last 10 years have raised funds for their businesses in any industry.
With that information, Cureton’s entrepreneurial juices and began to flow and that’s when she decided to move forward with Kiddie Commute, a comprehensive solution that allows parents and caregivers options for safe, reliable, transportation for children.
Currently the service operates similar to a limo or taxi service while actively meeting with investors in the tech space to develop the technology for a ride share app that monitors rides for kids. Investor funds will be used to help the company expand locally and nationally.
The service launched which in 2017, sprung up out of an idea that just happened organically says, Cureton. The idea led her to pitch to SDSU’s Zip Launch pad, an innovative resource for start ups. When she made the decision to apply to the program, it was just one week before the deadline.
“When I walked into the room there were about 35 judges and I was told that there would only be three. It was standing room only and mostly white men. They came up with these hard questions. I told them that I didn’t have all of the answers, and that I just came up with this idea and know that I need it now. If you let me into this program, I promise you the next time I come before you, I will have all of the answers to your questions.”
As it turns out, Cureton’s honesty was appreciated and well received by the judges. She got accepted into the program and it took approximately one year and a half to get Kiddie Commute off the ground and running.
Cureton says, “Once I got my first client I felt validated and a push to keep going.”
One of the first clients that Cureton and her partner/co-founder, Shaunie Lopez partnered with was a non profit that had an after-school program, teaching youth, resume buildings and interview skills. This particular program had kids participating from all over San Diego County. Cureton admits that, that partnership had its challenges and that there was valuable business lesson learned from it.
She says that starting the service has been like opening up Pandora’s box. The word is constantly getting out and currently there are over 400 people on the wait list. To date, Kiddie Commute has provided over 10,000 rides and services forty zip codes in San Diego County. Currently there are fifteen drivers on board and over forty applications for drivers.
Kiddie Commute’s service partnerships include non-profits, extracurricular service providers, local government organizations and after school programs. Cureton says that all partnerships have been organic as.
Her advise to other women in business is,
“To be steadfast and to complete tasks. When you set a goal, make sure to complete those goals. All it takes is one foot in front of the other.”
We over here at The Chocolate Voice have to agree you with Shan Cureton. You are on the brink of something big!
For more information click on link here===> Kiddie Commute to check out the website at www.kiddiecommute.com.