Meet Kyle Freedman The CEO Of Car Flo

Hey Kyle, What is your Company? How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for Car Flo came from the entrepreneur’s classic “find a solution for a problem.” The lightbulb went off when I headed out to Arizona to explore my relationship with my girlfriend. However, I wasn’t going to take my car. I didn’t want to lose money selling it or pay for storage, so I decided to turn it into an income stream and rent it to an Uber driver. It dawned on me that there are a lot of carless rideshare drivers in New York and that rideshare car owners don’t use their cars 24–7. Why not connect those two groups? Car Flo uses cutting-edge technology and a commitment to the men and women who make rideshare work to maximize your earnings. We give our drivers the respect they deserve by paying for gas, tolls, and Car Flo vehicle maintenance. Car Flo makes car ownership an asset while empowering those without cars to earn rideshare income at their convenience.

That is interesting. What is your backstory? Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m fascinated by the potential for success that’s created when you link a great app with peer-to-peer commerce. If you do it right, you’re creating something that’s completely new. You’re providing a solution to a problem that no one had ever before envisioned. I got my first real taste for this when I was doing marketing work for Alternative Business Accommodations, a company that rents furnished apartments to business travelers, providing them with more affordable lodging than hotel stays. My marketing company dramatically increased their business through new strategies and channels.

What do you think makes your company stand out?

Flexibility. Is the TLC car you own only available to rent on Thursdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.? Great, let’s get it rented for those time slots and get it back to you for the rest of the week. Others require week-long rentals, so drivers end up paying for days and hours when they won’t be driving rideshare and owners don’t see their cars for long stretches of time. As Carl and I have been working on Car Flo, its incredible potential is constantly being revealed to me. New York is crowded. Car ownership is expensive. The city isn’t issuing Taxi Limousine Commission license plates. More and more people want to join the gig economy. We’re creating something that deals with all of these situations and I know that New York isn’t the only city in America where these conditions exist. As an entrepreneur, it’s critical to have a plan for what to do next; I can see Car Flo rolling out in cities from coast to coast.

Can you share a story about the funniest or biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It wasn’t funny — especially at the time — but in the beginning we envisioned Car Flo owning a fairly large fleet of rental cars and that caused us to get far too asset heavy and burdened us with all kinds of overhead and maintenance expenses. We quickly realized that the part of our plan that made the most sense, was connecting rideshare car owners with rideshare drivers who are car “needers.”

Luckily, you were able to figure that out! What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received that contributed to your personal or professional success?

Never get discouraged. It’s a fact of life in every startup that there will be difficult days early on, but you can’t let them get you down. You need to keep your focus on the future and know that the good days will far outweigh the bad — but only if you’re persistent and don’t let the bad days stop you.

What have you sacrificed for success?

Easy. A steady paycheck! But let’s go a little further than that. A startup like Car Flo consumes almost all of your time and energy. I know that my partner Carl, who’s an avid surfer, hasn’t hit the waves hardly at all and has lost a girlfriend along the way.

What are the top three things you attribute your success to?

Belief, attitude, and care. First, you need to have an unwavering belief in your ability to achieve your goals. Second, you have to have a strong positive attitude; it keeps you going, and it keeps those around you going. Lastly, you need to care about what you are doing. There has to be a soulful, heart connection to your endeavors, otherwise, why bother?

Finally, What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why.

1. The startup will be the first, second, and third most important things in my life. When you’re working with a new idea, new technology, and a new team, your professional challenges ramp up…significantly.

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Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the Founder of Jersey Champs.