FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2015
UBC Vancouver, BC
As the unpredictable rain season returns, two Vancouver entrepreneurs have provided a simple yet innovative solution. UmbraCity and the AMS – UBC Vancouver’s Student Society have partnered to bring an umbrella-sharing service to UBC Vancouver Campus. Launched this September, UmbraCity offers automated kiosks that allow users to borrow an umbrella free of charge and drop it off later at any one of the kiosks.
The initiative is not just designed to be a convenience; at the core, this project is about sustainability and encouraging sharing economy. UmbraCity reduces the amount of broken low-quality umbrellas headed for landfill and encourages community-minded actions.
‘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 UmbraCity umbrellas are lightweight, high quality and very resistant to strong winds. At the end of their lifecycle, the umbrellas are fully recyclable. ‘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.
Four confirmed locations will be at the AMS Student Nest, the Buchanan Building A, the Fred Kaiser Building and the Forest Sciences Centre and a fifth location is pending finalization. Students, staff, faculty, residents, and visitors will be able to register at any kiosk and gain free access to an umbrella for 48 hours. After the initial 48 hours, if the user wishes to continue using the same umbrella, the registered card will be charged a small daily fee, up to the value of the umbrella. UmbraCity aims to analyse the results of this pilot program and expand its service across the Lower Mainland in the coming year.
For more information about our project, please visit www.umbracity.com
UmbraCity started in the summer of 2013 when a group of friends decided to solve the basic problem of staying dry in rainy Vancouver, Canada. Inspired by many sharing economy systems such as car-share or bike-share programs, the team invented and developed a fully automated rental kiosk that integrates current technologies in ties with the internet-of-things methodology. After many months of hard work and carrying out multiple field tests and focus group studies, the team is excited to launch this product and service for the first time at the University of British Columbia, in partnership with the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS).
For more information, interviews, or inquiries please contact Amir Entezari, UmbraCity
+1 888 778 5446