Meet Spare App, Our Digital Marketing Community Partner
At RED Academy, providing our students with real-world experience is the foundation of our curriculum. That’s why we partner with non-profit organizations, start-ups, and small businesses to not only build our students’ portfolio and prep them for “the real world”, but to also help entrepreneurs in our community with limited resources.
One of these was Spare App, a young company founded by Kristoffer, Alexey, and Josh. Named one of the 12 start-ups to watch out for, the guys needed to develop their marketing strategy, and turned to our Digital Marketing students for help through our Community Partner program. Recently we sat down with Kristoffer to find out how they did…
Tell us about Spare App. How did you come up with the idea?
It all started while waiting for the bus. We were standing at the bus stop, and in typical Vancouver fashion, it was raining. As we stood freezing cold, buses kept passing us, completely full. Meanwhile, we noticed there were a lot of cars also going by, many of which only had one person driving in the vehicle. That’s when we thought: “There should be a system where we could connect with those rides”. Hence, Spare App was born.
Our mission is to make transportation social, sustainable, and accessible. It’s really simple; you just download the app, tell the system where you’re going, and it finds you safe and reliable drivers heading in that direction. For a small fee, you can catch a ride. It’s sort of like hitch hiking — only much safer!
How old is the company?
We started it in May, so just 8 months!
What challenges have you experienced?
Spare App requires a two-sided market place; you need both the drivers and the passengers to make it work. Just like Air B&B, we need two types of people to book and a certain level of usage to make it sustainable. Plus, we need to overcome safety concerns that people may have. That’s why we’ve made the registration process for drivers extremely thorough and transparent.
How did you hear about RED?
Our company received support from The Next Big Thing, which then connected us with RED Academy.
What were you looking for them to help you with?
Marketing, we needed some advice on how to build brand awareness and garner traction.
What kind of work did the students provide you with?
The students provided us with an extensive report that outlined digital marketing tools we could use that would help us build brand awareness. They also shared examples of campaigns and even made us a video. In addition, they offered social media guidelines and content ideas.
Have you found their work helpful?
Very. In fact, we have implemented many of their recommendations, including a customized hashtag. It’s really helped us with our business plan. We highly recommend these students!
What can we expect from Spare App in the future?
We want to provide transportation technology that’s geared towards the future, as well as making it more social and accessible. We’re hoping to expand more on some of those aspects and develop them even further.
Colin is the CEO / Managing Director of RED Academy. He originally started his career as a classically trained musician and sound engineer, before switching to the tech industry where he has been working for the past 15 years. While he sounds British, don’t let that accent fool you; his roots are Dutch, and he calls Amsterdam his hometown.
Also the founder of Drive Digital, one of Western Canada’s biggest digital agencies, Colin is inspired by watching people create and seeing them find fulfillment in doing something they believe in. Colin is excited by the idea that the Internet connects us all, increasing transparency and accountability. He strongly believes that purpose is a bigger driver in people than profit, which will lead us to a better, fairer, more conscious world – values that dictate the foundation of RED.