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October 02, 2016 | Tom Ballard

Dynamo Team #7: WorkHound

Dynamo(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of articles profiling the teams participating in the Lamp Post Group’s inaugural Dynamo logistics accelerator. We asked each team to respond to a series of questions. The 10 teams will pitch their ideas at 10 a.m. tomorrow (October 4) during a “Demo Day” set for the Tivoli Theater, 709 Broad Street, Chattanooga. For more details, click here.)

Today’s profile is about WorkHound, a start-up focused on helping reduce the turnover among truck drivers in what is already a sector that need 50,000 more drivers.

Tell us about your team . . . names(s), background(s), experience, etc. Max Farrell and Andrew Kirpalani are WorkHound. As Chief Executive Officer, Max leads growth and operations, while Andrew focuses on product and software as Chief Technology Officer. They met as Start-up Weekend volunteers and start-up employees four years ago. Max did business development at Dwolla before launching Create Reason, an innovation consulting firm where he co-created employee engagement initiatives for start-ups, nonprofits, and Fortune 1000s. Andrew has 10 years in product development, most recently at Bunchball, a Silicon Valley-based gamification company. They share experience in employee engagement and a passion for underserved industries.

Describe the focus of your start-up and the logistics problem you are trying to address. WorkHound is a software platform built to help trucking companies keep drivers and improve the truck driver experience. Truck drivers use their smartphones to share feedback and ideas with the carrier, which WorkHound aggregates and turns into actionable insights to help manage and retain drivers.

How did the idea to start the company originate? What was the catalyst? Andrew and Max are passionate about helping people love the work they do. At the same time, they thrive on solving unsexy problems. A mentor of Max’s challenged him to look at the challenges in trucking where there’s a 95 percent annual turnover rate, the average age of a driver is 45+, and there’s a 50,000 driver shortage. Trucking is the unseen engine of the American economy, and parts of it are running poorly. That’s where we knew we could jump in and create massive value.

What was the impetus for applying to participate in Dynamo? The Dynamo team has a proven track record of helping emerging companies win. They get trucking, and they get software. That’s a rare combination. We were looking for partners to help us put some rocket fuel behind what we do and Dynamo knew they could help. It has been a great fit.

What has been the greatest value the program has provided thus far? The Dynamo program has helped us think bigger about our business. In addition, they’ve opened-up doors to amazing mentors, partners, and customers. Trucking is an industry where relationships matter, and we’ve built some great ones.

What do you expect to accomplish by Demo Day and what happens after October 4? Growth and showing ROI for our customers has been our priority at Dynamo. We’ve seen significant revenue growth while in the program with some great companies in our sales pipeline. In regards to ROI, some trucking companies are seeing reductions by 10 percent plus in average turnover since using the WorkHound platform. That leads to a savings of $100,000 plus a month for some of these companies. That’s a big win!

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