“The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the center of each and every town or city.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
Hot asphalt and high tech
Podcast: Serve the superuser, change the world
Louisville's industrial real estate forecast
Code Louisville finds jobs for 500 students
Bellarmine recruiting for STEM program
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On Our Radar: 68 startups
Around the Region
December 8, 2020
CHAT WITH AN INNOVATOR
BroadLoop helps contractors simplify dispatching and tracking
Nick McRae and Max Kommor at the Vogt Awards
High tech and hot asphalt might seem like an odd combination, but it makes perfect sense to Nick McRae and Max Kommor. Coming out of the University of Louisville’s entrepreneurship MBA program, they created BroadLoop, a virtual fleet logistics and dispatch intelligence platform that brings material producers, contractors, and fleet operators together to drive down costs and increase job profitability. Louisville Future recently talked with McRae to learn more.
How did you come up with this concept?
McRae: Max worked in heavy highway construction, doing bridge rehabilitation work, sales, and project estimating. I had worked at a GPS startup company that was tracking K-12 school buses. When he was noticing dump trucks stacked up on a job site, he brought it to my attention, and I started to think about the obvious solution being fleet management.
When we dug into it, we realized contractors don’t own those trucks. Available GPS options are really not suitable because you typically wouldn’t buy a GPS unit and put it on somebody else’s truck. So we built a sort of upside-down GPS model so that you have a mobile app where the trucks will allow you to see their location, but only temporarily.
Why is it important to keep track of dump trucks?
McRae: The worst thing for road contractors is that they don’t have enough material available to put into the back of the paver. If they know the ETA of the next truck, they can actually slow down the crew and give that truck a little bit of extra time.
You’re also trying to prevent “over-trucking.” What’s that?
McRae: A job site that shuts down costs about $1,000 an hour in equipment and labor costs. A truck costs about $100 an hour. So they do what’s called over-trucking, where they’ll order two or three extra trucks. They’d rather pay $200 or $300 more to avoid losing $1,000 if that job shuts down.
BroadLoop also supports e-ticketing. Talk about that capability.
McRae: Our system actually integrates with the load-out software at the plant. As soon as the truck goes over the scale and the ticket is created, we capture the digital details. Then we can show the location of the truck on the map, as well as the load information, such as type of material and quantity and temperature. Pumping this rich information into the field for the contractor helps them increase their quality and overall efficiency. The DOT is increasingly incorporating e-tickets into their specifications, and we’re one of just a few companies that can even comply with that specification.
"One of our investors even made a note that he appreciated the way we leveraged the startup community to put us in the best position possible to de-risk the investment for him and other investors."
— Nick McRae
So are you focused solely on construction vehicles?
McRae: No. We recently rebranded from Blacktop to BroadLoop. It’s the same construction materials delivery solution, but it also has lots of other angles, so it can work for a fleet operator who wants to handle dispatching and scheduling, and it can work for a company that just wants to track equipment and assets.
How has it been to launch a startup here?
McRae: Louisville’s been great. We’ve gone through Venture Connectors, which is a great networking organization, and Future Louisville. We won a few business plan competitions and were able to pull together $25,000 or $30,000 in nondilutive grants and funding.
Shortly after that, we went through the Vogt Awards and got another $25,000 as well in nondilutive funding. Since then, we have raised $450,000 in angel funding. One of our investors even made a note that he appreciated the way we leveraged the startup community to put us in the best position possible to de-risk the investment for him and other investors.
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Serve the superuser, change the world
Jose Gaztambide thought he would be a baseball insider but instead is leading the charge on a new kind of mapping that is literally changing how people navigate the world. Hear the details on Jose's journey, his company GoodMaps and the concepts, ideas and data they are harnessing to change the way we think about movement.
Louisville is the place for industrial real estate
Louisville has had 21 straight quarters of positive net absorption for industrial real estate. According to CBRE Econometric Advisors research, Louisville is second only to Los Angeles County for five-year projected rent growth, which is anticipated to be 34.6 percent.
Speaking of preparing students for the future, Bellarmine University is in the process of recruiting its first round of students for its NSF scholarship program. The school received a $1 million dollar grant from NSF in September to help low-income, high-achieving students transition into the STEM disciplines of computer engineering, computer science, mathematics and data science.
Is your company leveraging cutting edge technologies? Did your startup raise enough capital to scale up? Are you at the forefront of life saving research? Maybe your organization has a big announcement. Well, we want to hear about it! And, so does our community of innovators and entrepreneurs.
Churchill Downs is, of course, home to The Kentucky Derby, America's longest running sports event that is widely known as the "most exciting two minutes in sports." In this week’s scrapbook, we take a look at the track’s beginnings.
After his mother’s death, Clark was raised by his two uncles John and Henry Churchill, who passed along to him a passion for thoroughbred racing. His uncles gave Clark some land to build a track, which opened to the public on May 17, 1875.
By all accounts, Clark had a bit of a bad attitude, which made him few friends. One prominent horse breeder shot Clark in the chest during a heated argument. And Clark once pulled a gun on a bartender in Chicago. He was disinherited by another uncle, John Churchill, and by 1894 Clark sold the track to a syndicate led by William E. Applegate.
The new owners made many changes such as having the twin spires designed by architect Joseph Dominic Bladez in 1895 and shortening the length of the signature race to its modern 1 1⁄4 miles.
AROUND THE REGION
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