Street Smartsby Jennifer Johnston | Class Acts, Spring 2011 | Comments | Print |
A new mobile application called SmartFuel allows drivers to search for live gas prices along any route in the United States, find the cheapest price and save an average of $5 with every fill-up. SmartFuel provides this information by gathering credit card purchase data that is continuously updated.
That is just one of the features that sets it apart from other mobile apps, says George Sibble, BE’06, MBA’08, President and CEO of Iridium Development, the company responsible for SmartFuel. Sibble estimates users will save $250 a year with the app, which is available for both the iPhone and Android. In case the user has any doubt about the savings, SmartFuel also conveniently keeps track of how many times it has paid for itself.
Sibble started Iridium, a holding company that creates subsidiary business around mobile apps, in 2009 under the auspices of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, whose President and CEO is Michael Burcham, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at Owen. (Learn more about Burcham and the center.)
Sibble says new apps are in high demand but creating them can be expensive. The process involves not just coming up with ideas but thinking through what is called “use case.” For example, the creators of SmartFuel realized it made more sense for a user standing by a gas pump to enter gallons purchased rather than mileage. “I want something used, and I want it to be efficient,” Sibble says.
“I see solutions all around. Whenever I see a problem, I also see that it can be solved through an application,” he adds. “I just want to get it up and out there.”
photo credit: Joe Howell