The idea for #VegasTech startup Cab Dash came from co-founders (and brothers) Joseph and Jeff Talamantez.
Jeff, a former Las Vegas cab driver, realized as a driver that you can waste a lot of time and money if you make the wrong choices. Cab Dash is the only digital tool intended to maximize the efficiency of cab drivers by giving them the data needed to find their next fare.
“Jeff came to me because I am an app and web developer,” explained Joseph Talamantez. “Our initial solution was to develop a resource that could share all of the pertinent information a driver needs to make an informed decision about where they should go next (airports, hotels, conventions, etc). A few months later Cab Dash was born and he left to focus on building up the product further.”
The Cab Dash team is comprised of Joseph, who is co-founder, lead developer, and designer of the product. His brother, Jeff, is co-founder, runs the operations of the app, and uses his industry experience to focus on user experience. The duo also has a non-core team of developers to assist with the product builds, and vendors they use for street team marketing.
Since launching, the team has reached over one-third of the cab drivers in the Las Vegas area.
“We have reached many drivers in every cab company in Vegas,” said Talamantez. “The cabby community is close knit in Las Vegas, so we spread the word organically. Word of mouth moved pretty quickly.”
In addition to using flyers to spread the word about the startup, the team also started talking to the cab companies directly and have set up booths at their facilities. Another source for reaching Las Vegas cab drives has been to place ads in local papers and on bus shelters.
“But for our particular product, we realized that direct driver contact was the most effective way to spread the message,” said Talamantez.
So far,Talamantez thinks word of mouth has been effective while the team has been busy building the latest version of the app. But, now that they have more resources on hand to focus on marketing, they are trying new ways to get new users.
“We’re doing things like reaching out to the digital press,” said Talamantez. “We are also circling back to all of the cab companies and their training staff to inform them of Cab Dash. We try allocate a small amount of money towards multiple channels of marketing (both digital and physical ads) and see what sticks. If something shows a potential for growth, we’ll put more effort into that and less (or none) into what didn’t.”
One example of a marketing channel that worked for the Cab Dash team was flyers and street teams.
“We saw that the more flyers and street teams we implemented the more new users signed up,” shared Talamantez. “That wasn’t the case for billboard ads placed near cab companies, so we stopped doing that.”
Talamantez said the biggest challenge for his small, bootstrapped startup is efficiency.
“We want to develop a great product but at the same time want drivers using it as quickly as possible so we can take the feedback and refine the experience,” he said. “There’s this constant balance of taking the time to refine the the product internally, but also getting the product out there quickly so that we can move on to the next set of features or next phase of marketing. I think we are continually refining our process and letting the users dictate to us what the most important aspect of our focus should be.”
Talamantez says the #VegasTech community was something he was unaware of prior to developing this app.
“Since then, I’ve looked at blogs and magazines like VegasTech.com to realize that there’s an awesome group of designers and developers making really cool stuff for the city and its patrons,” he said. “Becoming more familiar with this community will help Cab Dash in awareness, but also get us in a network where we can share ideas and maybe even work on new projects for the city.”
Want to meet other #VegasTech startups? Follow our series here!