Lang students create app with a focus on sustainability | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Lang students create app with a focus on sustainability

Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2024

Written by Daniel Neitherman and Jake Wisniewski

Daniel Neitherman and Jake Wisniewski

Lang students create app with a focus on sustainability

Commerce students Daniel Neiterman and Jake Wisniewski have been hard at work for the past few years creating “Split the Tank,” the first app of its kind acting as an all-inclusive cost of gas calculator for all occupants of a vehicle. The app keeps track of your road trips as you drive to determine the amount that each occupant owes for the road trip, factoring in all essential components of your trip, including the vehicle make and model, pickup/drop-off location of each passenger, the market price of gas, and more. The app also keeps track of the balances you owe other drivers, prompting you to settle your balances via an off-app payment solution. The ultimate goal of Split the Tank is to reduce CO2 emissions by increasing carpooling.


A little bit about the co-founders

Daniel is a fifth-year accounting co-op student and is the CEO and CFO of Split the Tank. He has been involved in numerous student organizations both at the Lang School and the University of Guelph. He has also been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards and has successfully completed a co-op placement at KPMG and 3 terms at MNP, where he is currently working as a Tax Accountant on the Specialty Tax Team.

Jake is a fifth-year marketing management student and is the CMO and COO of Split the Tank. He has also been involved in several student organizations at the Lang school and is the recipient of an entrepreneurship scholarship, among others. Currently, he is working as an Intern at Raymond James’ Private Wealth Division.


The Origins of the Split the Tank Idea

The initial idea for Split the Tank can be traced to Jake’s experience as a high school student with his own vehicle when he started driving his friends around who did not have cars to sports, social events, and to school. Noticing he was always having to foot the bill for gas, he started asking his friends to chip in for gas money. But without an accurate way of determining how much each friend owed for the trip, the car would constantly burst into utter chaos. Jake started thinking about how great it would be if there was a better way to determine how much each friend owed for each trip and a less invasive way to get the money he was owed.

Dan had the opposite experience in highschool, as he had no car and would always need a lift from a friend to get to sports, social events, and more. He was always willing to help his friends cover the cost of gas, but whenever he would ask his friends how much they wanted for gas, they had no way of determining an accurate amount for what they were owed!

Fast forward to residence in first year, where Jake and Dan met. This time, however, the roles were reversed! Dan was the one who had the vehicle and Jake found himself as the frequent passenger. After experiencing the same problems, Jake and Dan started collecting research and quickly realized that this was a common problem among the young adult demographic, in desperate need of an effective solution. The duo joined forces to find a solution shorty thereafter and Split the Tank was created.


The Incubator

Dan and Jake’s journey with Split the Tank began at the Lang School of Business and Economics, where their education and experiences laid a solid foundation for their entrepreneurial venture. Initially, they were uncertain about how to transform their idea into a viable business. However, the foundational knowledge of their core courses was crucial in helping them conceptualize their business plan.

As they delved deeper into their project, Dan and Jake discovered that the Lang School offered a wealth of resources specifically designed to support budding entrepreneurs. Recognizing the potential of these resources, they enrolled in the John F. Wood Hub Incubator START program during the Winter 2022 academic semester. This program soon proved to be a game-changer for them. Through START, they received preliminary funding, were able to access valuable resources, and connected with professionals who provided critical insights. The workshops offered by the program were instrumental in preparing them to navigate the myriad of challenges they would face while launching a start-up.

The skills and confidence gained from the START program enabled Dan and Jake to advance their venture. One significant milestone was recruiting Eijah Lopez as their CTO, who brought technical expertise to the team and developed the Split the Tank application. In the Winter 2024 academic semester, they joined the John F. Wood Hub Incubator’s BUILD Program. This program further enriched their entrepreneurial journey by providing advanced lessons, expert guidance, and mentorship. The BUILD Program also offered tangible support that was pivotal for Split the Tank’s growth. The duo received credits that facilitated access to top-notch photographers, legal experts, and marketing professionals. Additionally, the seed funding provided by the program helped the new app tackle financial hurdles early on.


Looking Ahead

Dan and Jake are excited about the future of Split the Tank and the impact it can have on carpooling and transportation costs globally. With the foundational support from the Lang School of Business and Economics and the John F. Wood Centre, they are well-prepared to face upcoming challenges and seize new opportunities. Their immediate focus is on expanding the app's user base, enhancing features to provide even more value to users, and exploring additional markets where carpooling is popular but lacks effective cost-sharing solutions.

Furthermore, Dan and Jake envision Split the Tank as not just a cost-sharing tool, but a catalyst for environmental sustainability by promoting carpooling and reducing individual carbon footprints. They are exploring partnerships with environmental organizations and transportation agencies to amplify their impact and contribute to a greener planet. Their most recent success in this regard was procuring a partnership with the Ernst and Young Ripples Program, which is helping the app navigate some of its early challenges following its recent release on Android and iOS.

Looking ahead, Dan and Jake aim to secure further investment to fuel their growth and bring their vision to a global audience. With a solid foundation, a clear vision, and the continued support of the Lang School of Business and Economics and the John F. Wood Centre, Split the Tank is poised for a bright and impactful future.

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