Checking in with PickUp Patrol
PickUp Patrol was a part of the 2015 Accelerate NH cohort and we checked in with them to find out what they have been up to since the program ended.
What is PickUp Patrol?
PickUp Patrol is a cloud-based web application that automates the after-school dismissal process by combining powerful tools for school offices and a convenient mobile app for parents.
It eliminates the need for parents to write notes or make phone calls to change their children’s after-school plans which increases office productivity, decreases classroom interruptions, and ensures the end-of-day safety of school-aged children.
Founded in 2014, PickUp Patrol began as a community project that went on to win national awards. Now a leader in the dismissal software industry, it is run by a handful of dedicated professionals with a broad reach in backgrounds and skills. In addition to its world-class, passionate programmers, the team also has a great deal of experience in education, which gives us insight into the time and resource constraints that so many of our schools face today.
How We Got Involved with Alpha Loft & the Accelerate NH Program
We got involved with Alpha Loft’s Accelerate NH program to hone our business acumen. It’s one thing to have a great idea that you know how to develop, test, and incubate in a small market; it’s quite another to learn how to build, grow, and scale that idea so that you can compete in today’s fast-paced business arena.
Since Accelerate NH
When we participated in the inaugural Accelerate NH program in 2015, PickUp Patrol was being used in 2 school districts in 1 state. Today, our application serves schools in 72 school districts in 22 states across the country.
Advice for Entrepreneurs in NH:
- Make sure you are passionate about your product. Overnight success is just one rarified version of the American Dream. Most businesses take years to get off the ground. If you are going to spend years building a business, make sure it’s a business you care a lot about.
- Bootstrap everything you can for as long as you can. In this competitive, digital age, the marketplace is rife with free and/or inexpensive resources that can help you get from Point A to Point B. Take advantage of all of them.
- Seek help. As anyone starting a business will tell you, startups are all-consuming, and it’s easy to isolate yourself in your cocoon of never-ending tasks. No matter how little time you have, force yourself to get out and talk to folks who have worn all the hats.
- Hone your message. Since businesses are living, breathing entities, your business’s messaging will always be evolving. But there’s nothing like building a website, preparing a pitch, developing a live online demo, or creating materials for a tradeshow to get your message on track. Use every opportunity you can to fine-tune your message for each audience you encounter, and watch your business grow.
- Do whatever you can to find balance in your personal life. This is often the first thing to go, but the most important one to maintain. No matter what your particular brand of balance is, take great care not to lose sight of it.
- Have fun! We all know that building a business is a ton of work. But if your team laughs together more than it gripes, no matter what happens with your business, it has more potential to be a memorable, worthy experience if you enjoy the the ride.
You can find PickUp Patrol online here.