QLess, Inc., Pasadena, CA

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: QLess, Inc., Pasadena, CA
Company Description: QLess eliminates standing in line by letting people use their cell phones to enter a virtual line, roam freely while they wait, then receive a call or text message when their turn arrives at DMVs, doctors’ offices, retail stores, theme parks and everywhere that people wait. QLess is interactive, allowing users to request more time, leave the line or request a status update at any time.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Computer Services

Nomination Title: Eliminating Waiting in Line from the Face of the Earth

1. Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2013 (up to 525 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

When Alex Bäcker got stuck standing in line in a Southern California theme park, he asked himself if there was no better way to wait than standing in line, a custom that dates to Ancient Egypt. QLess was born. Americans spend 2 years of their life waiting in line. While they do, businesses lose up to 50% of prospective customers, who walk out while waiting.

Founded by a team of entrepreneurs from MIT, Caltech, McKinsey & Yahoo with 4 previous start-ups under their belts, QLess eliminates standing in line by letting people use their cell phones to enter a virtual line, roam freely while they wait, then receive a call or text message when their turn arrives at DMVs, doctors’ offices, retail stores, theme parks and everywhere that people wait. QLess is interactive, allowing users to request more time, leave the line or request a status update at any time.

QLess is a Software as a Service company, requiring no special-purpose hardware nor any software installation, and is available from any device with Internet or cellular access. In 2013, QLess grew from little over 7 million users in 2012 to having saved more than 15 million people on five continents well over four centuries of waiting in line at DMVs, urgent care centers, government offices, Fortune 500 retail stores, colleges, restaurants, theme parks, bowling alleys, salons, car dealerships and elsewhere. Bootstrapped by two founders out of a California garage with no venture funding, 2013 saw QLess land DMVs of Michigan, Nevada and Tennessee, contracts with multiple Fortune 500 customers such as Vodafone, Dow Chemical and T-Mobile, and the intercontinental expansion of an industry first: QLess FlexAppointments. Have you ever hurried to make it in time to an appointment only to find out the service provider is running late? No more, thanks to FlexAppointments, which text you or call you if your service provider is running late, and let you push yourself back if you are stuck in traffic. SMS surveys show QLess boasts 99% user satisfaction. Revenues for last quarter were more than 90% the revenues for the entire 2012!

Since 2013, QLess was featured by Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Huffpost Live, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN/Money, The Boston Globe, PC World, The Detroit News, Government Technology, The Washington Times & LA Weekly, among many other news organizations. A 2013 case study showed that following QLess launch, the Kansas DMV reduced its average transaction length by 31% to 76%, depending on the office. By allowing customers to choose the location with the shortest wait, QLess also reduced peak wait times by equalizing wait times across locations, going from average wait differences of over 100% to 1%. The first Texas DMV office to launch QLess now has average 4.5 star Yelp reviews. The last six reviews are all 5 stars! QLess also launched an iPad app, immediately adopted by Fortune 500 retailers. "What a wonderful idea...This should be WORLDWIDE".--Nicholas Negroponte, Founder, MIT Media Lab "QLess is technology that leapfrogs what exists today. This will revolutionize how our customers view their driver license experience."" -Paul Watkins, Deputy Assistant Director, Texas Department of Public Safety

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:

Founder CEO of ab|inventio, the invention factory honored among North America’s Most Innovative Companies by the International Business Awards, and QLess, Alex was the keynote speaker at Tech Week, an honor previously accorded a Nobel Prize winner, the CEOs of Cisco, Adobe & Deloitte, and an astronaut. Named the IT Executive of the Year by the 2013 International Business Awards and one of "40 under 40", Alex serves in Caltech's Information Sciences and Technology Board. Previously at McKinsey & Sandia National Labs, Alex's discoveries can be read on Nature. National Olympic Champion, Alex holds a degree from MIT and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Alex has spoken at TEDxs & conferences globally, and volunteers as a youth soccer coach at AYSO.