Need a lift? MSU student offers free pedicab rides through Skoop
A Coaster Cycles pedicab with a digital screen on the back of it?! You got that right.
College entrepreneur Josh Cooper installed digital billboards on the back of his Coaster pedicabs at Michigan State University to help sell more advertising space.
In February 2018, CEO and founder Cooper put his entrepreneurial skills to the test when he created Skoop Inc., a free pedicab service used as an advertising platform and mobile billboard for local and national brands.
“Yeah, we’re a pedicab company, but we just so happen to give rides,” Cooper said. “We designed a digital billboard that’s also capable of carrying people … all rides are 100 percent free.”
As part of the pedicab services, Skoop Inc. places digital looping billboards on the streets and embeds them into the flow of traffic.
“We’re looking to demonetize transportation in a unique way and also cut those costs and take those dollars out of the traditional driving or ride sharing model,” co-owner of the company Aric Klar said.
“When I first moved to Michigan State my freshman year, I realized the campus was so spread out … so I started getting inspired to research very low-cost forms of transportation,” Cooper said. “I’ve always been somewhat of an entrepreneur … and I love helping other businesses grow their business.”
Our Experiential Marketing Director, Jedd Davis caught up with the college sophomore for a Q&A about his new pedicab business on campus.
How are your new Coaster pedicabs and how are riders engaging?
Cooper: The pedicabs have been nothing but amazing for my new business venture on campus and not to mention great quality. All riders responses have been very positive. Skoop brand is very lifestyle and it helps that we are the college student. We know the wants and needs of our target audience.
Have you seen increased demand/interest now that you are operating on campus?
Cooper: Absolutely. Students need to get to point A to point B on campus and our free rides are very lucrative for the college market. It also helps that we incorporate experiential marketing tactics and usually hand out free stuff with each ride – creates a fun experience for students on campus and adds somewhat of a gaming element of what is the next freebie.
What have been your biggest challenges in the pedicab world / greatest successes to date?
Cooper: One challenge we face is being the only pedicab player in 50-mile radius – surprisingly a lot of people in this market have never seen a pedicab before, so consumer attention has been a strong focus for us over the past months.
Greatest success would be bypassing all our preliminary program goals in such a short amount of time since operations started in May ‘18 – over 10k riders and 3k miles documented! Data and analytics may not be huge in pedicab business, however I find stats to be very important, so my team can figure out how we can operate at our absolute best year over year.
Where do you see your pedicab business in 5 years?
Cooper: I would love to maintain and grow a sustainable fleet – build a brand and business that people love working for. Expand branding and marketing efforts to scale in different cities and college campuses nationwide.
Best piece of advice for other college entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
Cooper: Learn how to turn vision into direction – and have heart. You may have the heart as a business owner, but others will not have the same vision. You need to help create and spread that vision for everyone else.
At SKOOP, we are mastering the art of moving people, while also creating a beautiful advertising platform for local and national brands.
To learn more about Skoop please visit www.rideskoop.com
Coaster Cycles manufactures the best quality three-wheeled, pedal powered vehicles made in America.
To learn more about Coaster Cycles please visit www.coastercycles.com