Unique Value Proposition – eCarpool

For passengers and drivers wanting to carpool to save money, eCarpool acts like match-maker connecting the two parties for a fun and safe ride!

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Video Pitch – eCarpool

Project Timeline – eCarpool

  • Experienced the Pain-point (Jan 2013) – As a student with a limited budget traveling between Toronto and Kingston, I was not satisfied with the solutions available. I had to either buy a bus ticket witch was $80+ for a round-trip or search for a person to carpool / rideshare with which could be under $40.
  • Conduct Primary Market Research (Feb 2013– Studied how people were currently solving the problem. Talked to friends and other students. Noticed the increasing popularity of “Ridesharing / Carpooling” Groups of Facebook.
  • Created a Landing Page (May 2013) – Created a landing page to capture leads and evaluate pre-launch interest. Promoted via word of mouth and social media – particularly in the ridesharing / carpooling facebook groups. The lead capture or interest was much below the number I was aiming for – only 100 students.
  • Collaborated with SlingRide (September 2013) – To solve the issue of low interest, I collaborated with SlingRide to learn from them and leverage their ready-to-use software application. We were not able to overcome the lack of interest or traction issue in a set timeframe.
  • Project Was Concluded (December 2013– The idea did not pass the fundemental business hypothesis and metrics that I set up in the beginning. Therefore, the project was concluded and shut down.

Lessons Learned – eCarpool

  • Primary Research – Learn from other failed startups. There are multiple failed carpooling startups within Canada – these include eCarpool (myself), SlingRide, and WeRoll. Ask questions like what did they try? Why did they fail? How can I avoid that?
  • Understand your Market Type – Knowing that you are in a re-segmented market and convincing people of an alternative is crucial to early stage focus. I would have focused better on solving the inertia that is inherent in such a market.

Watch-list of Startups

Below are some carpool / ridesharing startups that I am keeping an eye on to continue to learn and build upon my experience in this space;

BlancRide – Mobile Carpooling Platform

  • Date Founded: October 2013 (Similar Time as eCarpool)
  • Funding to Date: $1.2M Seed
  • Users to Date (April 2014): Rides Listed = 237

Wunder – Share Rides Across the City

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