February 12, 2019
Fast lane: Purdue app aims to make ride-sharing easier
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – College students looking to share a ride for a weekend getaway, a trip home or a spring break vacation now have a new option from a Purdue University-affiliated startup.
“We like to call this the ultimate ride-sharing app for students,” said Zurum Okereke, one of the founders of UniRide. “We give students a new option to share long-distance trips with other students. It not only saves time, money and environmental impact, but helps students form connections with others who may be from their hometown or have similar interests.”
Students looking to be drivers or riders would visit the UniRide website or the app store to download the app. They can then see who might be heading on a trip in the same direction and connect via the app. The free UniRide app also lets users review drivers and find shared interests, such as music or sports, with other students.
“We are excited to launch here at Purdue and connect students in this shared economy with others who understand what it’s like to be in college,” said Okereke, who also is working toward a degree in economics in Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.
Their work aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration, celebrating the university’s global advancements in sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.
The team behind UniRide also has two other apps. UniWash is for college students to share laundry services, and UniBook is for college users to share textbooks. Both platforms have seen significant increases in users since launching in the fall of 2018.
The other members of the team, students from engineering, are Alex Ramos, Matt Saunders and Prit Chovatiya.
“We could not have gotten to where we are without the mentoring and support, including how to pivot our business on certain points, of the Purdue Foundry,” Okereke said.
About Purdue Foundry
The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org.