JMU alumni launch app to assist drivers who have been towed
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Two JMU grads are designing an app to assist drivers if their cars have been towed. Founder Jack Oppenheim came up with the idea for the new app, called “Tow Ninja,” four years ago after his car was towed while on a date.
”It was so embarrassing to let the date to end like that, and I was just like: ‘There’s got to be a better way to do towing,’” Oppenheim said.
James Madison University’s Bluestone Seed Fund granted the startup company $5,000 in 2021.
“We are in contact with the police department, Sergeant Westfall, and we have two tow truck companies. Right now we have J.L. Towing, and First Choice Towing,” Tow Ninja Chief of Communications Callaway Sigler said.
Tow Ninja is currently a website, but the app is expected to launch before the year is over. The site’s existing features help users track their cars if they have been towed.
“We are going to have a feature called ‘drop now’ coming in December. If a tow truck driver has your vehicle, you’d be able to pay half the tow price and the tow truck driver will move on with their day,” said Sigler.
Sigler expressed that the best features are yet to come.
“We are going to send the vehicle owner an SMS message saying that they are about to get towed. They’ll have 30 minutes to remove their vehicle so they are not taken to the tow lot,” Sigler said.
The developers hope Tow Ninja can help both drivers and communities. The service is free, but the app will have premium features available for a small fee.
“We see Tow Ninja going across the country and scaling really quickly to help protect the vehicle owner. It’ll also clean up our roads and protect the small businesses,” Oppenheim said.
The duo hopes to launch other features, including density maps, to show where cars are getting towed the most. They also plan to provide information on where users can and cannot park.
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