go2gether: real-time ridesharing

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go2gether: real-time ridesharing

Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, Canada
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

go2gether redefines ridesharing through technology and peer communities, making carpooling convenient, easy and fun!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

All over the world, there are now 1 billion cars and every year, they emit up to 5 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Everyday, we witness the consequence of this global issue of "too many cars" through pollution, traffic congestion, and increasing cost of transportation. go2gether researched the main root cause of this issue and found that in 78% of all rides, the drivers travel alone. When we researched possible solutions for this problem, we found that ridesharing services offer a solution, but failed to gain mass-market adoption due to a few endemic barriers including scheduling issues, concern for safety, security and reliability and hassle of exchanging cash. We tackle these barriers to make carpooling simple, easy and fun so people can save money and the environment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

go2gether will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution for more affordable and faster commutes in a healthier community – one that is full of relationships and services between commuters. While the 20th century was an era of hyper-consumption of automobiles, which led to an overload of single-occupancy vehicles, th21st century is an era of collaborative consumption of high occupancy vehicles. go2gether will mark this era by enabling trust between strangers, providing access instead of ownership, and promoting the primacy of experience over “more stuff”. In order to carry out this mission, we are essentially building a real-time, peer-to-peer technology that allows people to instantly find people to share their various assets, specifically empty seats in their vehicles. The technology will consist of: a matching algorithm; a database of users’ basic profile information, routes and schedules; a review and rating system; authentification sign-ups; and external API integrations.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

go2gether's innovative solution will be delivered via web and mobile application. Users must first create an account using their organization's email address in order to overcome safety concerns. After authenticating their email addresses, users will create a profile with basic personal information and preferences including music, personality, and interests. This will allow users to find not only someone going the same way, but someone they can get along with, network and/or form friendships together. Through our real-time database, users can find most up-to-date information about who is going when and where, and therefore guarantee most feasible matches. Through the mobile application, users will receive instant notifications so they can find and arrange rides on the go, meaning even five minutes before leaving campus, anyone can find a ride home. This allows users to conveniently find rides according to their schedules, rather than trying to fit errands and other events around their regular carpooling arrangements (i.e., Mon-Fri 8AM and 5PM). After a ride has been shared, users can leave reviews and rate each other so the service becomes more reliable and people do not fear other users' driving skills, ability to be on time, etc. Lastly, riders will pay drivers automatically once a ride has been shared and the driver will collect this every Fridays via Paypal. If drivers picked up on passenger twice a day, five times a week and charged $5 on average for 25km commute one-way, the driver will earn $2400/year (about 20-30% of total annual driving cost of Civic LX).
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Needs and potential to make positive impact are found in the commuter market. After segmenting according to organization size, need for parking and traffic demand management, and price sensitivity, we decided to target large companies and universities that have more than one thousand commute trips per day. From January to April, we have partnered with Simon Fraser University to deploy a pilot test across all three of its campuses. Then, during May and June, we will study the commuter market in a large company. Then, we want to scale it across the cities in Greater Vancouver and move to other campuses and metro cities across Canada. Currently, there are a few dominant players in this space, including Jack-Bell Rideshare in Vancouver, but they mostly resemble the Craigslist model.
Team

Founding Story

As the classic story of finding a product market fit goes, I was inspired to start this venture because I wanted a solution for my own problem, hence a founder market fit. I live in North Surrey and the closest bus stop is about 25 mins away, not to mention that there is no sidewalk or street lights. The bus comes every 30 mins on average and is late majority of the time. During peak times, the bus is often full and will pass by without stopping. In fact, Surrey has the highest demand for public transportation that is not being met. As a result, over 85% of adult citizens in Surrey own a car, whereas in Langley, the rate exceeds 100%. I, too, drive to save rent while living with my parents, but experience a whole new set of pain such as expensive driving costs, huge traffic congestion over the Port Mann Bridge and long, often boring commutes. I hope to find a sustainable complimentary solution to shortage of public transportation and financial and environmental cost of driving alone.
About You
Organization:
go2gether
About You
First Name

Alice

About Your Organization
Organization Name

go2gether

Organization Country

, BC, Vancouver

Country where this project is creating social impact

, BC, Vancouver

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Idea
What is your long-term vision for your Venture?

Imagine a world where sharing is the norm, where ridesharing is the norm, and where there are more free-flowing HOV lanes than congested SOV lanes. The world is developing and we are running out of resources. Let the population grow and let societies prosper; this does not translate into more cars and more construction of roads and parking spaces. Imagine Greater Vancouver, Canada's greenest city, leading the movement toward collaborative transit. go2gether will mark this era by enabling trust between strangers, providing access instead of ownership, and promoting the primacy of experience over “more stuff”. Our team will make this happen through passion, innovation, persistence and authenticity.

Goals
What do you want to accomplish in your first year?

Run a pilot at a large university and another pilot at a large company headquartered in Vancouver to test the remaining hypotheses in the business model and features to solve the main barriers to carpooling. (Note: the problem and solution have been validated already through numerous experiments in the last six months). After testing through lean startup methodology, we will develop a high fidelity web and mobile application on iOS and Android, eventually containing all the necessary features by the end of the year. We will also conduct primary and secondary marketing research to formulate a marketing plan to deploy on campuses and large companies. The reason is because key to success for carpooling is capturing a certain percentage of the market for that critical mass, which will create the network effect. The network effect is essential for scale, and positive impact. Lastly, we will research and investigate effective ways to measure impact through numerous matrices, as well as best reporting methods for collaboration with organizations, municipal governments and transportation agencies.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Run a pilot at Simon Fraser University across all of its three campuses with a real-time mobile web application.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Run a pilot project on SFU and a large company, test assumptions about the customer segment and gain critical mass of users.

Task 2

Create a high fidelity web and mobile app (iOS & Android)

Task 3

Formulate an effective marketing strategy to deploy on campuses and large companies.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Form partnerships with at least five universities across Canada and ten large companies.

Task 2

Measure the impact at an organization and regional level.

Task 3

Create a fully-functioning web and mobile app (iOS & Android) that includes all the features that overcomes barriers to carpool.

Impact
How will your Venture define success in the short term (1-12 months)?

Within the first six months through two pilots, one at a university campus and one at a large company's headquarter, go2gether will define success according to whether or not we find the product market fit. This will involve extensive research and rigorous process of market validation and assumption testing. One way to validate that we found product market fit will be by enabling users to find at least one result to their searches through successfully capturing the critical mass.

In addition to finding a product market fit, we will work with transportation consultants, planners and organizations to measure the impact of ridesharing. Our goal is not to compete with other methods of transportation, but to compliment and/or better enhance the experience of existing transportation methods on existing infrastructures. We will investigate accurate measurement methods and transparent reporting methods of carbon emissions reduced, liters of gas saved, kilometers of avoided traffic, dollars saved by riders and drivers, and number of friendships made on the road.

In the long-term (1 year?)

After investigating ways to track changes according to our metrics and best methods to measure impact, we want to gather data over the long-term. According to the results from these metrics, we can validate the level of impact we are making and therefore measure success. We will define success according to any significant changes through the introduction of go2gether.

How will you measure success?

All the measurement of the metrics can be tracked through the data collected from the users in our database. We will also gather external data by coordinating with organizations we are partnered in order to gather data on the bigger picture (i.e., total number of trips made to campus, number of parking passes sold in comparison to growth in number of active students, etc).

Why?

The ultimate goal of this venture is to create positive impact on an organizational and regional level.

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