Black Business Spotlight: TurnSignl 

Mychal Frelix, Jazz Hampton and Andre Creighton
Photo courtesy of TurnSignl

TurnSignl app helps keep drivers safe 

“TurnSignl is a Minnesota-based tech company that provides real-time legal guidance from an attorney to drivers, all while their camera records the interaction,” according to the company’s website. 

The popular enterprise was established by three businessmen: Jazz Hampton (co-founder), Andre Creighton (co-founder and CFO) and Mychal Frelix (co-founder and chief growth officer). “We’re an app to bridge the gap,” Hampton said. 

The business was established during a tumultuous time in Minneapolis. Hampton recalled, “We started in November 2020” after the entrepreneurs departed from their jobs. He added, “We officially launched the app in May 2021.” 

What inspired them to start the business? “It was those stories of tragedy that struck in our community starting with Philando [Castile] and George Floyd,” he said. 

He further explained, “After George Floyd occurred, we started saying, ‘What are we going to do? How are we going to build something to stop this from ever happening again? And that’s what led us to ultimately leave our corporate jobs and start TurnSignl,” Hampton said. 

He added, “If the awareness is there and there’s not a solution yet, who’s going to build it? So, we took it upon ourselves to do that.” The innovative TurnSignl app serves as a response to injustice and tragic events that have transpired in our community. 

Hampton emphasized, “If we can’t legislate, then we have to innovate, and that’s what we did.” Hampton said that he was born and raised here in Richfield, Minnesota. He attended St. Thomas College in St. Paul, earning an undergrad degree in computer science. He graduated in 2012.

Photo courtesy of TurnSignl

After graduating, Hampton decided to further his education and graduated from law school in 2015. He also managed to teach a course as adjunct faculty at Mitchell Hamline University, located in St. Paul, MN. 

Hampton shared a bit about his business partners: “Dre [Andre] and Mych [Mychal] are two other Black men here, born and raised in the Twin Cities.” He added, “They actually grew up in the neighborhood and playing sports with the [Philando] Castile family, so of course, that tragedy struck home for their community directly.” 

The app is built to be accessible. “TurnSignl is an app that anyone can have on their phone, whether you have an Android, a Google or Apple phone,” Hampton said. 

He described the process for using the app. “You download the app and with the push of a button or voice activation you instantly start recording the interaction either when you’re pulled over or when you’re in an accident,” Hampton said. 

He continued, “When you press that button it instantly starts recording with the front-facing camera on the phone and then calls an attorney to be present with you.” This app is aimed towards keeping individuals safe and helping them handle situations. 

Customers should know that an attorney will be present during the call, available 24/7 365 days per year. “If you ever need to use it, you’ll know someone will be here for you,” said Hampton. 

Individuals can expect to pay $6.99 per month or $60 a year for the TurnSignl app. It’s free for customers who are unable to afford the app. “We don’t want anyone’s financial situation preventing them from feeling safe while driving,” he said. 

Fortunately, business is expanding. “We’re partnering with organizations to provide it to communities. For instance, the Vikings wrote a check. Blue Cross Blue Shield is paying for TurnSignl for you if you live in the City of Brooklyn Center,” Hampton explained, adding, “There’s other companies like iHeartRadio who said we’re going to provide this to all of our employees as a benefit.”

“We are actively working to speak to any and all schools that will allow us to come in. If I just walk through that explanation and everyone hears that,” Hampton believes they’ll be interested in the app. 

Important to note: “We form that relationship with law enforcement in a way that the driver doesn’t have to. So, we went and talked to over 20 police officers in the state of Minnesota from several chiefs of police to boots-on-the-ground police officers,” said Hampton. 

Hampton advised budding entrepreneurs, “Get an education that can be the bedrock to whatever you build. It’s really easy to try to put the cart before the horse and just say I want to build it right now.”

He added, “But if you don’t have education around how to build it, it makes it a lot more difficult. Not impossible, but more difficult. And just pursue it relentlessly.” 

For more information visit www.turnsignl.com or call (612) 812-0085. 

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