Chestnut Street Ventures recently sat down with Rapid Flow Technologies CEO, Griffin Schultz, to discuss his unique career path and how he became involved in the AI and smart cities markets. While Rapid Flow Technologies developed Surtrac, an intelligent traffic signal control system that optimizes and reduces traffic in real time, Griffin originally got his start in government – which is helpful since Rapid Flow is often selling to and serving government customers.
Griffin worked as a staffer for a U.S. Congresswoman, on a Senate and Presidential campaign, and as the Assistant Deputy Mayor for the City of Philadelphia before obtaining a Wharton MBA and getting involved with emerging technologies.
Chestnut Street Ventures asked Griffin about this entrepreneurial shift, and he explained that it was about timing. When he finished the Wharton MBA program in 2000, he was amazed by the technology-focused opportunities resulting from the late 1990’s dot-com expansion. He spent the next 17 years at tech companies helping to create whole new processes in procurement, cyber-security, and workplace safety.
These opportunities, Griffin explained, eventually led to Rapid Flow, the company that is re-imagining traffic control. Rapid Flow’s Surtrac smart traffic signals use cutting-edge AI theory to respond to traffic congestion issues in real time. This technology also helps cities cope with increasingly multimodal traffic flows including pedestrians, scooters, and even connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).
The article goes on to discuss Rapid Flow’s results, including a 20 to 40 percent reduction in traffic congestion, pollution, and safety incidents from the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control system.
When Chestnut Street Ventures asked Griffin about the lessons he’s learned along his journey, he identified three of the most important:
- Success comes from collaboration
- Make sure to surround yourself with those who are smarter than you and who can challenge you
- Learning, growing, and the confidence to take chances and make mistakes are all critical to long-term success
The article also notes Griffin’s main sources of inspiration and motivation: his wife, a core group of fellow entrepreneurial CEOs, and the wealth of knowledge he derives from devouring audio books & podcasts.
Access the full interview with Chestnut Street Ventures here: This Former Deputy Mayor Wants to Make Your City Smarter