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Empowering Innovators and Entrepreneurs- Uride's Good Deeds Program - November

Investing in Tomorrow’s Innovators, Honouring Our Roots

Uride stands at the intersection of community support and technological innovation. This month as part of our Good Deeds Program, we're excited to announce our support for two significant organizations in Canada's startup ecosystem: Next Canada and the Ontario Centre of Innovation. With a donation of $5,000 to each, we're not just contributing financially; we're honouring the role they played in Uride's early development.

Spotlighting Next Canada

Next Canada is a hub for entrepreneurial energy, boasting a network of over 500 seasoned professionals and fresh thinkers. They’re in the business of making entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Uride's own story is intertwined with theirs, thanks to the incredible programs that helped our CEO, Cody, launch us forward.

Our Donation:

We're pitching in with a $5,000 donation to support their amazing work. And, in a nod to our own success story, we're sponsoring the top entrepreneurial venture in Canada – a recognition Uride once received.

Spotlighting the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)

At the core of Ontario's thriving technology and innovation landscape is the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI). They stand as a pivotal force in bringing together industry, academia, and government to invest in collaborative R&D and technology development. Their focus is not just on fostering cutting-edge technologies but also on driving significant returns on innovation for Ontario.

Our Donation:

We are contributing $5,000 to OCI to support their ongoing mission. This donation goes beyond financial assistance; it's a testament to our belief in their impact on economic growth and job creation through advanced technologies.

A Conversation With Cody: Uride’s CEO

Q: How's your day going Cody?

A: My day is going great, I woke up, did the morning routine, now just working on a bunch of stuff for Uride, making progress, getting ready for the holidays, the busiest time of the year, all of our cities are reliant on us for a safe ride home. Really excited and getting ready for it.

Q: What initially inspired you to start Uride?

A: So my background was playing soccer, ended up getting injured and got a couple of surgeries. I went back home to my hometown (Thunder Bay) small town in Canada, and every time I went out there, founding people waiting and with no ride home, sometime in -30° people would be waiting outside for an hour for a taxi in my town, and if it was a holiday, you could wait for3 to 4 hours.

So a lot of people walk home or drink and drive. Another thing that is is more personal, I have friends that been killed by impaired drivers, also have one friend who was driving drunk, actually my best friend's brother, he was driving drunk and killed someone, and i thought this is a problem it shouldn’t exist and I wanted to do something about it, so yeah that’s why we started.

From there I started getting some free rides to people but it didn’t work so I thought we’re gonna start our own Ride company to fix this problem in Thunder Bay and it turned to be a much bigger problem in small communities around the world and now we’re working really hard to go ahead and fix it.

Q: How pivotal were Next Canada and the Ontario Centre of Innovation in Uride's early days?

A: Next Canada, in the center of innovation it will be a huge help. Next Canada it get us thinking a little bit bigger and giving us a lot of exposure to people that will wait for a long on the journey and actually got to build huge companies that had a massive impacts and really opened up our mind the possibilities of think bigger, dream bigger instead of trying to fix a problem in your neighborhood or your city or even your country, think about solving a humanity problem and I really think with Uride we have a shot at Solving this problem.

With Ontario Center Innovation they have been a great partner with us, providing a ton of support we’re really grateful for them. A significant challenge that Uride faces and how we overcame it, There have been tons of challenges, one thing that we believe is there’s always so I tell myself at least 100 times a week, “There’s always there’s always a way” past every single obstacle you face.

Q: Can you share a significant challenge Uride faced and how you overcame it?

A: When Covid hit we were bullet shot ride train,  and we didn’t have a bunch of investors or a ton of money and basically, we hit a point where we were going and overnight our revenue dropped as a company by 95% and so we went from making money, growing and launching cities and different things to losing $18,000 a week. We were three weeks away from going bankrupt it was insane, we had to resolve it and kept telling ourselves “There’s always there’s always a way” and we ended up shifting the whole company from ride-sharing to a delivery platform. We talked to a lot of our customers, and they told us that they needed the deliveries, I was actually in my apartment in isolation and to get groceries delivered at the time was like 3 to 4 weeks. There was a huge waitlist so we thought you know what we think we can solve this problem, shifted. The whole company towards deliveries, launched an app in two weeks and there was a lotta chaos. We also launched Newark so a digital corner store out of my apartment, where there were just boxes of food and snacks to the ceiling. People go to the Uride app, select what they want and we would deliver it, and then get the groceries they can get things delivered from the LCBO and we survived and we got through Covid and then our natural business came back and now we’re heads down, focused on growing rides across Canada to the world.

Q: What's the most valuable lesson you've learned as an entrepreneur?

A: One thing I think being an entrepreneur is, that you’re going to face extreme obstacles, things that will make you wanna quit on numerous occasions it’s a grind, It’s a long hard Learn. There’s always a way to get it done. 

This is something that I believe down to my core, there’s a way to pass every obstacle if you won’t stop and keep moving forward. A lot of entrepreneurs that I’ve seen that actually succeed, there’s been so many steps along the way for us for many others that make you wanna quit where you have no idea what you’re gonna do and I think the most important thing being an entrepreneur is, don’t stop, keep moving forward, keep talking to your customers, keep innovating, keep trying to get better every single day, and get through all the low points and there will be an extreme amount of low points. Don’t give up keep moving forward and find a way past every single obstacle. You may have to completely change your company multiple times, but just keep moving forward, don’t quit that’s a huge portion of the battle.

Q: How do you foster innovation within the Uride team?

A: The best ideas have always come from talking to passengers and talking to drivers or using the service ourselves. One thing that we encourage our team to do is, often talk to our drivers, talk to our customers, use the service, and book your rides if you’re in Uride cities, go out and drive and experience firsthand what our customers and driving are going through and a lot of the best ideas will come through that. that’s a huge focus for our team.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: One thing I just noticed myself is, there are a lot of things in the world that frustrate me and could frustrate other entrepreneurs and when you see a problem, but you’re passionate about it, and you think that the problem shouldn’t exist.
The bigger the problem is on the pain scale from 0 to 10 if it’s a nine out of 10 pain scale for a lot of people, it could be a huge opportunity and if you feel the passion for something and you want to change something, just because things are the way they are today, doesn’t mean it has to be that way in the world and you actually can make a huge difference. It will take a ton of work, time, and effort, not just yourself, but a lot of people and you can really make a difference. It's totally worth it, at least for me.

A Commitment to Continued Growth and Community Support

Through our donations to Next Canada and the Ontario Centre of Innovation, we not only honour our past but also invest in the future of Canadian entrepreneurship. Uride’s journey is a testament to the impact these organizations can have on startups.


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