By: Emily Brungard—
Muncie, IN — Ball State University senior marketing major Rhett Barker, from St. John, Indiana, will take his waterless car wash concept to Texas Christian University’s Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition, April 6-7 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Barker will be pitching his start-up, Flipside Mobile Carwash, at the competition. He’ll compete against 49 other undergraduates from around the world for $250,000 in cash and prizes. Each student will pitch plans for businesses, products or services that also benefit the environment, community or a specific population.
“We’re competing against people who are making some great innovations in the medical field through technology and a couple of them have already been listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30,” Barker said. “We really think that we have a great added value proposition.”
The concept was developed by Barker during high school while he was detailing vehicles. He was inspired by the waterless detailing methods used during droughts in California, when car washes were outlawed. A Flipside carwash uses between two and four ounces of water per wash, while a traditional automatic car wash uses between 80 and 120 gallons of water per car.
“We’re pretty much disrupting the carwash industry by saving so much water,” Barker said. “I guess I just saw a problem with the industry and just thought, ‘Why can’t I go and change it?’”
Flipside Mobile Carwash has established partnerships with several Indianapolis businesses and plans to expand his company to other cities within the year, including Houston and Dallas.
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