When Turo – a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace – was looking to expand from the U.S. into Canada, Cedric Mathieu, who’d be helming the company’s Canadian operations, knew Toronto would make an easy fit with its cultural proximity and access to world-class talent.
This past Wednesday and Thursday, students from across the University of Waterloo participated in the Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers. Of the 30+ students who pitched their innovative ideas, 10 finalists were selected by a panel of judges to move on and compete at the Velocity Fund Finals on March 30th for their chance to win one of three $5,000 prizes.
Historically, an individual could choose to move around an urban area in a variety of ways. New travel alternatives enabled by new technology and business models have provided individuals with even more choices. The convenience of requesting a ride from your phone, sharing a ride with a co-worker or grabbing a bike outside your home has helped to propel ride-sharing to the forefront of the sharing economy.
The arrival of the Uber ride-sharing service is challenging the regulatory abilities of Canadian municipalities like no other innovation since the advent of the private automobile, bringing with it a similarly mixed bag of tremendous convenience and unanticipated hazard.