A LaunchTN Portfolio Company: Hytch Rewards is a cash incentive management platform employers use to recognize and reward employees for some of the cost of their fuel and valued time in a daily commute. Users gain access to cash incentives in sponsored areas and plant trees as they drive. Hytch helps employers expand their available workforce, promote corporate environmental and social responsibility initiatives and green mobility habits.
Who are the key team members at Hytch?
Mark Cleveland, CEO and Co-Founder
Robert Hartline, Co-Founder
David Kent, COO
Leonardo Jacobsen, CTO
Key people who helped make the opportunity happen:
This list is very long, starting with every current and former member of the team over the last six years of collective effort. Highlights are James Kuffner, Toyota Board Member and CEO of Woven Planet, Steven Buhrman, Co-Founder, Dan Teeter, Nissan’s VP of Connected Vehicle Services, Dr. Craig Philip, Director of Vanderbilt’s Transportation Center, Dr. Charlie Apigian, a data scientist and Executive Director of the Belmont Data Collaborative, plus every single investors and those on our amazing board of advisors
Could you describe the company mission and vision of Hytch?
Growing employment and community by motivating, measuring and mapping a safer, greener, smarter commute.
How did you hear about the LaunchTN funding program?
From Charlie Brock – working with Nashville EC and Chamber – and watching his amazing work at the legislature where funding to make Tennessee the most attractive state to start and grow a company is made real.
What inspired you to start Hytch?
I love Nashville. To sustain our growth and enjoy this quality of life, I believe we can defeat traffic and defend clean air across the entire region with cash incentives paid to people who share the commute by carpool, vanpool and better utilize transit. A lack of reliable transportation is one of the primary barriers to employment. With today’s labor shortage, solving this problem has real economic impact, and transit by bus or rail is not an option for most people. We drive cars to work. When 10% of the available workforce has no car, and the average American owns a 14 year old, increasingly unreliable, expensive to maintain, gas guzzling car, and fuel cost more than $.20 cents per mile just to get to work, these factors contribute to employment insecurity.
Employers are discovering how incentives to “Hytch” can reduce the cost burden of high priced gas, help convert lost time in our daily commute into strong mentoring relationships, quickly expand the available workforce and rapidly achieve their social and environmental justice goals — using one really inexpensive platform – they get excited about solving these problems. That’s what inspired us to build Hytch Rewards.
What need is Hytch currently solving or seeking to address?
We need a real, regional transportation strategy in Nashville that can be executed today. The Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) is managing a $2 million dollar, two year program to inspire public private partnerships that provides funding for cash rewards.. including education and outreach and the free use of the Hytch Rewards platform for every city, county, state agency and social services partner… with incentives for private company participation. Today, in the seven counties surrounding and including Nashville, we are looking for employers who want to learn how to expand their workforce, recruit and retain people by leveraging this unique program to make sure their employees get paid for their smart commute. Our Middle Tennessee government leaders and employers are the first to coordinate a cash reward program of this kind at scale, anywhere in the country.
How would you describe Hytch in three words?
To recruit and retain great people today everyone uses three words: employee healthcare benefits. In the 1940s our government indirectly incentivized employers to start offering health insurance to workers, and the IRS made it tax free. This sparked innovation in healthcare, which helped Nashville become a health economy juggernaut. Exactly the same thing is happening now in mobility, and in Nashville, but the pace of innovation is much faster. With the GNRC as a partner, Hytch is delivering Employee Commuter Benefits in a region dominated by roads and cars, and growing fast. It’s already government sponsored, so Employee Commuter Benefits clearly help an employer get people to work to be productive today, and are already offering an advantage in the competition for labor.
Favorite local business or restaurant around Nashville?
Black Dynasty Secret Ramen
Anything else you think we should know?
Hytch will deliver relentless, positive motivational content to users, on a mission to help the commuter mentally prepare for a collaborative day at work, to help us all “find our zen” on the commute home, because we think a happy human is a better employee, father, mother and member of society.
CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Cleveland
Date founded: 2018
Company based in: Nashville, Tennessee
Learn more about the mission of Hytch and how to get rewarded for your commute: hytch.me.