Silicon Harbor Radio TechTalk Podcast with Rich Conte and Keith Engelbert

Posted by Patrick Gallagher on Sep 14, 2016 10:30:00 AM
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Can you share a little about the SafeStop mobile app?

Our app, SafeStop, solves the mystery for the parents whose children we transport every day. “What bus is my child on?” “Where is the stop located?” And most importantly, “What time is the bus going to arrive?” And parents want to know all of this in real-time. The app provides all this info plus timely push notifications to your mobile device for service-related issues that may arise while the bus is en route.

SafeStop is the fastest growing and industry-leading school bus tracking app and the new normal in the school transportation industry, connecting parents and school officials with the vehicles transporting their children. Giving unfiltered information directly to parents has always been perceived as a negative in our industry; there are many layers, it’s complicated, and this app cuts through all the communication bureaucracy involved in our industry. This is the disruptive!

As relative newcomers to the Charleston Tech community, what are some of the ways you’re trying to get involved?

The area has a Silicon Valley vibe in a smaller format. This area had a pulse for sure, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a budding tech community. Most people are familiar with the Boeing plant and the Dreamliner airplanes being built here, but Charleston also has Blackbaud and Benefitfocus. The TEDxCharleston talks, independently organized events stemming from the original TED conferences from the 1980s, covering everything tech-related from science to business to global issues and beyond, and with millennial parents being a major portion of the SafeStop customer base, future TEDxCharleston talks may be something for us to consider.

What is your perspective on the growth we’ve experienced in Charleston’s Digital economy and some of the challenges we’re currently facing or can expect to face?

How fast time flies, as you know, Rich. Tech is like dog years. Since I moved down in 2010, which seems like 35 years ago, the area has developed a tech scene that is very exciting to be a part of. People don’t understand that Boeing is not just a plane manufacturer, but a tech giant as well. That has brought a lot of smart people (and money) to the area on all fronts, most importantly awareness! People recognize SC as a great place to start or relocate a business; the operating environment is pro-business and pro-worker for sure. You have the Google Data Center just north of here, and the Charleston Digital Corridor downtown has done a great job locally, too. What I saw while in Silicon Valley was and still is a major issue for that region, recruiting and retaining quality tech talent. Let’s keep this a secret, but we have a nice selection of tech talent that is native here, and the region has to continue to build the talent force or face importing talent from other regions which gets expensive. That will be the challenge for the area in say 5-7 years, it goes in cycles. 

On a personal level, what are your favorite aspects of living and working in Charleston?

I’m a beach person, so the weather is my favorite. I have lived in five different states throughout my professional career, most all warm weather climates, it’s easier to shovel humidity than it is snow. My wife and two young children forgot about New Jersey two days after we moved into our house here, and I have a waiting list of family members wanting to visit, I should probably charge admission. Life is good here, locals are truly nice people which shows every day, and one thing I have learned living in Charleston is if you lead with a smile, everything takes care of itself.

Where can listeners go to learn more about the SafeStop app?

Head over to and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. We have some great videos showing the good work of our employees and some education messages from our Director of Sales, Patrick Gallagher.

via @TechLifePod on Twitter

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Topics: SafeStop Insider