Let it rain—two Vancouver entrepreneurs have launched an umbrella sharing service, similar to Car2Go and the various bike share programs seen across the city.
UmbraCity, is a simple yet innovative solution to ensure you’re prepared for the unpredictable rain season ahead. The new company, along with the AMS (UBC’s Student Society), have partnered together to bring this unique service to the UBC Vancouver campus.
Launched last month—UmbraCity is offering automated kiosks that allow users to borrow an umbrella, free of charge, and drop it off within 48 hours at any one of the kiosks (a small fee will be charged to credit card if late). They generate revenue for the company through advertisements at the kiosks and on the umbrellas.
“The idea came to us on a rainy day when we were outside and we wished for an easy access to an umbrella. This is a common issue for Vancouverites,” said Amir Entezari, co-founder of UmbraCity and an occasionally-rain-soaked UBC alumnus. “We thought some more about the idea, brainstormed with the experts, and validated the solution with real users at UBC campus. It just made sense!”
The initiative is not only about convenience, but also sustainability, and encouraging more sharing programs. The umbrellas are durable, yet lightweight and resistant to strong winds.
“The bright yellow colour of our umbrellas increase pedestrian visibility on dark gloomy days and simply cheer up a grey rainy day,” said Babak Asad, the other UmbraCity co-founder and also a UBC alumnus.
The kiosks are located across the UBC campus at the AMS Student Nest, the Buchanan Building A, the Fred Kaiser Building and the Forest Sciences Centre. UmbraCity is hoping to expand across the Lower Mainland in the coming year.
To find out more, visit their website.
Written by: Meagan Gill
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