BusRight Founder Excels
Entrepreneur Keith Corso (Northeastern University, 2021) was driving behind a school bus when he noticed four consecutive stops where no students got off. His mind raced, thinking not only of the bus wasting time and fuel, as well as increasing maintenance needs, but also of all the cars mimicking the pattern of the bus. He questioned how technology could improve this system and shared his thoughts with his friend, Chris Fischer, at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The day after I realized this was an issue I told my buddy who is a computer science major at the University of Pennsylvania. Within a week we had a minimum viable product available,” said Corso, who is studying entrepreneurship with a minor in law. “A month later I met with the head of bus operations in Chappaqua, New York, where I live.”
Corso learned that data surrounding school bus operations and budgets is available to the public for all public schools in the United States. “Uncovering this information and presenting it in a spreadsheet where it is easily interpreted has helped us get a better understanding of our target market. The data confirmed the severity of the inefficiencies. More specifically, in Boston it costs more than $2,700 in transportation expenditures per student, per year. Total transportation expenditures hover around eight percent of the total budget for public schools in the United States, which a significant cost,” said Corso.
His research showed an average U.S. school bus gets seven miles per gallon. Roughly 500,000 school buses in the U.S. transport 26 million of the 50 million students to and from the classroom daily. “The buses have high levels of fuel emissions and leave a massive eco-footprint on our environment without anyone giving it a second thought,” said Corso.
Corso’s passion to use clean technology to create a more environmentally friendly society drove him to create BusRight1, which combats the inefficiencies in school bus operation while decreasing their carbon footprint. BusRight is an onboard school bus app that creates the most efficient route based on which students board the bus on a given day. The app takes available real-time data on student bus riders and builds the least wasteful routes possible.
“Time, money and resources are all currently being wasted. Drivers have stuck to set routes for far too long, and this is the incremental innovation that will influence the industry,” said Corso. “BusRight operates where tech, logistics and morals meet, moving to save the environment one forgotten cause at a time.”
When he enrolled at Northeastern last fall, he gained access to university resources including IDEA, Northeastern’s venture accelerator, the IP CO-LAB, the intellectual property clinic and the Community Business Clinic entity formation. “All these programs helped BusRight accelerate to what it has become today. The university has provided various resources that have proved vital to the company’s success and I cannot thank them enough for all their support,” said Corso.
He has been pleasantly surprised by the community support surrounding student entrepreneurs at Northeastern and in the Greater Boston area and gives back by helping others through NU|ACES, a community service program where he tutors in Excel, Powerpoint and resume building to unemployed adults in the Greater Boston area. He is also involved in Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club.
Madison Mitteness, president of the Entrepreneurs Club said she is excited to see Keith’s involvement, especially his role in continually encouraging and inspiring student entrepreneurs across Northeastern University and Boston.
“Keith's successes as a first-year student are extraordinary, even if he accomplished all he did in this first year during four or five years at Northeastern or even a lifetime,” Mitteness said. “Keith is all in. He gives every opportunity everything he has. It is very special being a part of some of his successes and witnessing all that he accomplishes. The best part of it all is that he is incredibly humble about his accomplishments.”
In mid-April, BusRight placed second at E-Fest, a startup competition in Minnesota. The second place finish out of 180 teams came with a $40,000 award. Corso also won and received funding through a first-place selection at Northeastern University Husky Start-up Challenge, an on-campus student-run start-up consultor and competition.
Corso has also found tremendous support through family, friends and chapter brothers, especially New Member Educator Mat Jacowleff (Northeastern University, 2020). Initially, Corso wasn’t interested in fraternity life because he thought it wouldn't allow him to pursue things like BusRight. However, when he arrived on campus he noticed board members of some of the prestigious organizations on campus included brothers of Delta Tau Delta.
“I immediately thought that if they could see value in a fraternity, I had to check it out. These were some of the most accomplished students on campus, and I was interested in learning more about Greek life, more specifically Delta Tau Delta. I can’t stress enough how accepting and supportive this group of guys are. Over these past few months, I have not been able to dedicate as much time as I’d like to the fraternity because I have been so busy elsewhere, but these guys were true to their word about genuinely caring for personal growth. They were there supporting me through the new member process. Now that I’m a brother, it has been amazing to see how this group of passionate, dedicated, and thoughtful men can impact a community.”
1The mobile app for BusRight has been created, and its code has been copyrighted and its name trademarked. Corso was able to set up the LLC and file for a trademark and copyright with the help of Northeastern University’s Intellectual Property CO-LAB.