Alumni Round Out Business Degree With Innovative New Wheels

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Five Miami School of Business graduates set the stage for a new wave in advertising.

An idea that was sparked in Business School has led to an innovative new method of transportation and advertising in Coral Gables. Freebee, a company founded and operated by five University of Miami  alumni; Jason Spiegel, B.B.A.'09, Kris Kimball, B.B.A.'09, Matt Friedmann, B.B.A.'09, Chris Walker, B.B.A.'09, and Bryan Jobe, B.B.A.'09, has changed the way we get around town.

Freebee is the future of transportation, physically moving people through free, on-demand, door-to-door electric transportation. Freebee provides first and last mile connectivity that helps get cars off the road and makes  communities a place where you can live, work, and play without the need of a personal vehicle.  

Freebee  users request their pickup and drop-off with the push of a button, through the use of a convenient, user-friendly mobile app. This cutting-edge technology delivers a comprehensive experience to  seamlessly connect people in need of transportation with professional drivers. 

We spoke with Matt Friedmann, B.B.A.'09 to learn more about Freebee:

How was the concept for  Freebee developed?   

Freebee originally started as an experiential marketing agency, with 100% of our revenue coming solely from the advertisers who branded the outside of our vehicles. Over the last two years, with a need arriving in society to help communities solve first and last mile transportation  challenges, Freebee has become the nationwide leader in the first and last mile on-demand transportation industry.

 Since the company’s inception in 2012, Freebee has consistently evolved and adapted to capitalize on the changing transportation needs of high density urban cores and suburban communities spread throughout Miami-Dade County and beyond. Over the years, Freebee has transformed from a free-roaming advertising-based luxury to a reliable, app-based, municipality-funded transportation solution.

In many regards, Freebee’s ever-changing business model has followed the path that the company has paved for itself, made possible through consistent attention to detail, daily execution of the task at hand, and opportunity-based growth.  Our positive reputation amongst clients and users of the service, as well as our continued proof of concept has supplanted Freebee in the South Florida market, priming the company for immediate rapid expansion opportunities around the world. 

What makes Freebee unique?   

Freebee is one of the most innovative technology platforms providing both mobility and economic  development  solutions to government agencies. Our service is fully customizable, aimed at meeting the goals and objectives that communities are looking to achieve. 

This solution transforms communities into a place where you can live, work, and play without the need of a personal vehicle; taking cars off the road and  minimizing  single-occupancy  vehicles. This helps communities reduce traffic congestion and free up limited parking availability.  

Currently, Freebee operates a fleet of over 50 vehicles and has contracts to provide this service as part of the  public  transportation  network with the local governments of Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, Miami Lakes, and Islamorada with many more South Florida cities coming soon. 

Freebee drivers serve as ambassadors for the communities we represent, acting as a rolling  information  desk on wheels, promoting all things local. Freebee ambassadors are held to the highest standard and help strengthen the bond between the city and it’s community . 

The best part is: Freebee vehicles are 100% battery powered and eco-friendly.

How did your degree from Miami Business School  factor into your plans?   

Our business degrees and the knowledge we gained while at  UM  have been very useful when it comes to negotiating city contracts, putting a great business plan in place, and understanding the power of marketing and connecting with consumers. 

How would you describe your time here at  UM? Were there any moments that made a lasting  impact?

The entrepreneurial atmosphere of Miami and all the other successful and creative alumni that graduated from  UM  have served as important motivation for us to launch our company and to keep on grinding through all the ups and downs. 

Are there any other fun facts  about Freebee that you think we should know?  

Freebee is in its 6th year of operation. We are growing and expanding each year and now have over 50 vehicles in our fleet and over 50 employees in our company. We are in talks to expand our company outside of Florida and outside the U.S. 

In an exciting development, Freebee is exploring autonomous technology to potentially make a portion of our fleet "self-driving" in the next few years. 

Freebee has received many awards in Miami including the "Key to the City" Award and the "Key to the County" Award.