Start ups

Two guys with Menlo Park roots — Rich Branning and Nate Thomas — have banded together in Southern California to launch a new business that is quickly spreading nationwide

“The focus is the Last Mile Space,” said Rich. “Scooters are more prevalent here than in the Bay Area. The novelty is to ride the scooter somewhere and drop it off. But who maintains, charges and cleans them?”

The answer: Sweep, Inc. Launched in early 2018 by a team of seven, Sweep has rapidly grown to be America’s largest logistics provider for this space.

“Serving communities all across the nation, we focus on the people so that our vendors can focus on the product,” said Nate.

While many of the electric scooter vendors utilize “gig economy” workers to care for, charge, and maintain their scooter fleets, Sweep hires and trains specialized mechanics in order to ensure proper maintenance and rider safety. Nightly fleet collections and inventory checks are conducted by mechanics who have the time and experience to properly ensure that each scooter is running as designed.

Next steps including exploring partnerships with additional scooter companies, as well as looking at delivery systems for scooters. “People message Sweep and we’d drop off a scooter for you,” said Rich.  “It’s cheaper than a rental car, and there’s no wait. Plus people feel it’s more fun!”

Photos courtesy of Sweep

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Soody Tronson works to bring to market a line of smart nursing bras to make mothers’ lives easier

Menlo Park resident Soody Tronson describes herself as an “engineer and problem solver,” although her career path has been broader than that, including practicing law at Hewlett-Packard Inc. along with numerous technical and management positions. Her latest venture is Presque, which is French for “almost, nearly.”  She founded the company in 2016 with the goal of developing […]

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Trish Costello created Portfolia specifically for women investors

Trish Costello describes herself as Kansas farm girl who happened to be in the right place at the right time — and then as many entrepreneurs do — got lucky. “It was serendipitous to be backed,” she says about the first company she founded in the children’s health space some years ago on the East […]

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Spotted: Menlo Park start up Drop Water kiosk at San Jose Airport

Last Wednesday morning, the Drop Water team wheeled a kiosk into the San Jose Airport for installation in Terminal B. The kiosk is the first of its kind — it makes and bottles drinks on demand, in 100% compostable bottles. The company is the brainchild of Scott Edwards, CEO of Drop Water who was profiled […]

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Melody Hu launches Petit Bakery with Asian mochi the “secret sauce”

A new bakery springs from the prolific rental kitchen of Studio Cake in Menlo Park. At the beginning of the year, Melody Hu launched her patisserie business, Petit Bakery Co. A native of Taiwan who moved to the Bay Area in her teens, she admits to falling into — rather than planning — her newest […]

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Sloane Citron is back in the world of magazines with the launch of Punch

Last week, many homeowners in InMenlo’s coverage area received a brand new magazine on their walkway or driveway called Punch. The editorial focus should be familiar: It’s all about the Peninsula, stretching from San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, from Burlingame to Mountain View, the “true Peninsula.” And while the magazine is new, the […]

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Menlo Park startup, Dropwater, introduces new way to distribute and sell bottled drinks

Four Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grads are currently ensconced in a Menlo Park garage working on a solution to up-end the plastic bottled water industry. Scott Edwards, CEO (pictured top in the garage) of the startup Dropwater, cites some sobering statistics about the need to replace plastic water bottles with sustainable, eco-friendly alternative: “In […]

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Talking hearing loss with Bill Facteau, CEO of Menlo Park-based Earlens

A brand new trophy sat on Earlens CEO Bill Facteau’s desk — and it was one to be proud of. The Menlo Park-based medical technology company had received a “Best New Product Award” for it Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid by the 2018 Edison Awards, who wrote: “Earlens brings people with hearing loss closer to normal hearing […]

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Protecting memories though digitization is promise of start up, The Cloud Life

There are some things that are just too precious to go up in smoke. Such was the realization of Anna Morris (right) and Brittany Messmer. Following the tragic natural disasters in 2017, they kept hearing from people they knew who were affected about how most things are replaceable, but photos and other precious memories are not. So, they decided […]

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Menlo College grad quits Bay Area start up and discovers make up can be fun

Editor’s note: The author of this post, Tiare Fuentes, attended Menlo College where she played soccer, as well as worked for the athletic department. After a successful stint at a Bay Area start-up (a position she got due to a Menlo College social mixer) she started her own company. She just started a Kickstarter campaign […]

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Hey Baby Boomers, time to dust off those memories and share on

Talking with the founders of Retrospect Media — Susan Hansen, John and Patricia Zussman — it’s easy to see what drew them together to start their latest venture. They are all Portola Valley residents. John and Patti (as she’s known) are married to each other. Patti and Susan went to Mills College together. Then there’s their […]

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