Jessica Scorpio came up with the idea for her car-sharing startup while she was toiling as the youngest (and thus last to start driving) member of the first graduating class at Singularity University, an elite Silicon Valley tech grad school that accepted 40 out of 1,200 applicants that year. She worked with eight classmates on the idea for Getaround there in response to Google's Larry Page's challenge for students to come up with an idea that could affect 1 billion people within ten years. Shortly after, Scorpio launched Getaround full time with co-founders Sam Zaid, 32, and Elliot Kroo, 21.
What makes Getaround impressive? The company allows drivers in San Diego and San Francisco to share their cars in an arrangement that Scorpio describes as Airbnb without the security and safety concerns. Unlike ZipCar, which provides a similar service, Getaround users can make money by sharing their cars (some have made up to $10,000.).
Scorpio and her team have impressed former TechCrunch boss Michael Arrington; his CrunchFund was among the investors that contributed a total of $3.4 million in seed funding announced last month.
To make way for expansion, Getaround has pushed for the passage of laws to okay its car-sharing practices under states' insurance. But Scorpio doesn't see legislative headaches slowing the company down; she plans for Getaround to go international, and scoffs at naysayers. "Don't listen to anyone that tells you that you shouldn't start something."