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Louis Tonon, C'17, co-founder of Campus Drive

Lives of Significance

Louis Tonon, C'17

Campus Drive: Ride-Sharing App

The Catoctin Mountain may soon rival Silicon Valley thanks to Mount St. Mary’s University alumni Louis (Lou) Tonon, C’17, and Mateo Ruiz de Somocurcio, C’17, who launched a ride-share app in the fall of 2017 called Campus Drive. Developed exclusively for college students, the service fills a need for those who want safe, convenient, reliable and affordable transportation off campus but are at colleges not currently served by other ride-sharing services.

A major in business helps you develop a sense of strong ethical and critical thinking skills needed to branch out as an entrepreneur like Tonon.

Learn about the business degree

When the two classmates, now colleagues, began forming their business structure, Lou recalls the valuable takeaways from Mount courses such as Business and Decision Making. “I learned to focus on how to think about shareholders and the potential business decisions for all parties involved,” Lou shares.

In courses like Business and Society and Business Law the pair of entrepreneurs studied real-world examples that highlighted the importance of business ethics. These valuable lessons helped them steer clear of pitfalls experienced by others in their industry, such as Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick.

The idea for Campus Drive came to Lou while he was brainstorming business ideas during a summer internship. Through research he discovered this wasn’t an isolated problem specific only to the Mount. “The difference between Campus Drive and companies like Uber and Lyft is availability,” he says, noting the unique market creates additional opportunities for students to earn money and build relationships.

Mount Community Lends a Hand

“At the Mount, we were constantly striving for excellence, and students, staff and faculty were always available to reach out and lend a hand,” says Mateo, Campus Drive’s chief operating officer. From concept to prototype, each milestone was met with support from professors, alumni and fellow students.

Today, Campus Drive emphasizes its critical role in avoiding potentially deadly situations like drunk or distracted driving. “Campus Drive is ultimately about building a safer, stronger community.” In addition to giving students an opportunity to earn an income by driving other students, riders can enjoy off-campus activities for an average fare of between $4 and $10. The company is working to develop partnerships with local businesses to offer student discounts.

Entrepreneurial Drive to Succeed

Within a year of their launch, demand grew from 100 to 1,100 users. With roughly $200,000 in investments, Campus Drive has kicked it into high gear after a trip to Michigan in January 2018 where they met students and started developing their market.

Campus Drive now operates at four colleges including Ferris State University (Michigan), McDaniel College, Washington College and the Mount. “Our plan is to raise another round of funding, so we can upgrade our technology. Our goal is to launch at 10 more schools this fall,” Lou explains. Software upgrades will be completed after another round of funding which will allow a product students can be happier with—where they can schedule rides in advance and always be able to get a ride.

No matter where the road leads, how expectations shift, or what’s around the corner, Lou and Mateo are committed to bringing a safe, affordable and convenient alternative method of transportation to college campuses across the country.