Business Models Based on Sharing

March 17, 2010

Robin Chase In 2009, Time Magazine named Robin Chase one of its 100 Most Influential People, thanks to her pioneering ideas on transportation, beginning with her successful founding of Zipcar.

Inspired by car-sharing models in Europe, Chase brought to life a “car rental by the hour” platform in the U.S. Through a simple usage proposition, word-of-mouth marketing, and great customer service, Zipcar has expanded enormously over its ten-year existence–eventually spurring similar offerings from the more established car rental companies.

In founding Zipcar, Chase was also driven by a desire to develop transportation business models that were more sustainable and ecologically balanced. So her next venture, GoLoco, is the first company to combine ridesharing, social networks, and easy payment to help reduce carbon emissions. She explains the importance of the concept to BusinessWeek,

I see GoLoco as an immediate solution. It means I don’t have to wait for the government to introduce carbon taxes or congestion charges, or put in smart development or light rail or transit. Today, with the infrastructure we have, we can do something which dramatically reduces costs and emissions.

To read more about this new idea and Chase’s views on transportation, cooperative capitalism, and technology, visit her blog.

To hear Robin Chase speak at BRITE ’10, register now.

BY MATTHEW QUINT

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