Startup Stories: Wheels, Playing the Leading Role in the Mobility Change of Cities
PanamericanWorld continues its approach to Latin American startups. We now propose you to take a closer look at Wheels, a Colombia-based startup that aims at solving out the mobility problems in different societies by efficiently using the means of transport.
What made you found Wheels?
—Knowing that the problems of mobility and pollution can be significantly eased if we efficiently use our means of transport. It’s just a matter of organization.
Which were the main difficulties faced by you when it came to founding your startup?
—Conceiving a feasible business plan in the short term, without compromising the growth at medium and long term.
What are the main matters tackled by Wheels?
—Wheels, by fostering the shared use of cars, taxi services and bicycle plans, significantly contributes to solve out the inefficient use of means of transport. We can move more people even with less cars and taxis, just by sharing their empty seats with the people they know. Less cars, carrying more people, faster, less time. Not to mention the reduction of pollution levels by collectively using cars and taxis, as well as bicycles.
You express in your twits that you want to lead the change in terms of mobility, how would you do it?
—The only way to do it is by solving out the mobility problems of people and companies. But such solution can’t be achieved by Wheels on its own, but in tune with the public mobility policy, and that requires a coordination with public administrations. We’re outlining a quite interesting proposal for public administrations to improve their mobility by means of Wheels. We’ll be playing the leading role in the betterment of mobility, but this movie is comprises different actors.
What’s your growth outlook in 2016?
—We’re looking forward to finishing the year with the collaboration of 50 big companies and universities in Colombia, Mexico and Chile.
Do you think that carpooling is going to gain momentum in Latin America?
—Absolutely. This process takes time for companies, universities and people to familiarize with the fact of reaching agreements to intelligently use the means of transport. We won’t have a long wait if public administrations promote our concept of sustainable mobility.
What barriers must be surpassed by Wheels in order to make itself more known?
—We’re still a young project and, if we keep this pace (working out the mobility issues of our allied organizations and their members), we’ll be more popular. This is just the beginning.
Are you assessing new markets abroad?
—We teed off in Colombia and, since late 2015, we’ve been in Mexico, boosted by Start Up Mexico (SUM), and we are very thankful for their support. With the contribution of PROCOLOMBIA and iNNpulsa, we are presently opening operations in Chile, and we are assessing other market, with our eyes focused on Asia in 2017. After all, Wheels is a project that has been structured to become a global solution.
What would be your piece of advice for an entrepreneur that is planning to create a startup?
—All entrepreneurs should answer three questions: 1) Am I inspired by the problem I want to solve out?; 2) Is what my startup will offer actually relevant?; 3) Is it going to be different from what we can find in the market? They shouldn’t be afraid of putting good things aside in order to look for great things.