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In 1994, Travis Knepper founded his first business, Earthtone Productions, in Fort Worth, Texas.  During this time, Knepper managed city-wide festivals in Dallas and Fort Worth and contracted regional and national talent for venues throughout the region.  Knepper cut his teeth on project and operations management and negotiated contracts with artists such as Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks and Norah Jones.  After a successful run, the business went into decline when the local musicians union began providing the same services for free.


Knepper shifted his focus to education in 1999, and began teaching 6-12 grade music for the next 12 years, first in Texas then in Ohio.  During this time, Knepper co-authored a music instruction book that was published internationally by Carl Fischer Music, and had endorsement deals with Latin Percussion and Vic Firth.   


Knepper founded Digicam Solutions in 2006 which designs, installs and manages low voltage integrations between networked camera systems and connected infrastructure for the University and Government sectors.


In 2011 Knepper began working at the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan as an Applications Support Analyst, with a primary role of designing and implementing low-voltage integrations for the 15th District Court, Ann Arbor Police and the Ann Arbor Community TV station.  Knepper also created RFPs and provided technical support for users and applications in these departments.


In 2012, Knepper hired on as an IT Business Analyst for Quicken Loans in Detroit, Michigan.  During this time he focused on solution design, project management, process improvement, automation, user experience, mobile development, business intelligence analytics and DevOps. He won numerous internal awards during this time and was selected for leadership training.


Outside of his daily role at Quicken Loans, Knepper recruited and led a team of volunteer business analysts, consultants and developers to study commuter satisfaction for their private transportation system used by thousands of daily riders in downtown Detroit.


Using the insights gained in the study, Knepper led a volunteer software development team that designed and implemented a new breed of Fleet Tracking and Passenger Information technology that resulted in a 90% increase in rider satisfaction and a 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles travelled per passenger.  The effort also resulted in the first patents filed as a result of innovation at Quicken Loans, with Knepper as the lead inventor.


Knepper then turned his focus to commercializing the new technology.  After successful pilots in the Government, Healthcare and Entertainment sectors, Knepper spun RideHop out as a sister company of Quicken Loans in 2015.


As CEO of RideHop, Knepper managed the daily operations and led expansion across the United States into the Education, Healthcare, Corporate Campus, Public Event and Government Sectors.  Constantly learning from user feedback, Knepper continued to develop new insights and product strategies that led to his recognition as a smart city thought leader and speaker across the country focused on mobility, safety and sustainability.


In 2017, Knepper became an Associate Partner at Rustbelt Group, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Knepper provides strategic consulting and technical project management for businesses and public entities in the intelligent transportation and automotive sectors by helping businesses and government agencies define opportunities and execute strategies to create a competitive advantage through product, service and process differentiation.


With an active interest in education and the future, Knepper also chairs the Technology, Curriculum and Instruction Committee for his local school district.  In his free time, Knepper enjoys spending time with family and friends, drumming and sailing.

Travis Knepper
Associate Partner 
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