With Zipcar, Robin Chase turned the concept of car-sharing – and carbon-saving while you're at it – into a reality and even a full-blown trend. Nowadays, the MIT-trained entrepreneur is still transforming the ways we drive.
Why you should listen to her:
If she weren't a proven start-up entrepreneur, you might imagine Robin Chase as a transportation geek, some dedicated civil servant, endlessly refining computer models of freeway traffic. Or if she weren't such a green-conscious problem-solver, you might take her for a businesswoman only. Ultimately, the best way to understand Chase is simply as a remarkable innovator.
Case in point: In 2000, Chase focused her MIT business training on founding Zipcar, now the largest car-sharing business in the world. Using a wireless key system and Internet billing, members pick up Zipcars at myriad locations anytime they want one. The idea is at once ordinary and highly sophisticated, with powerful technologies applied to tasks as prosaic as grocery shopping. But the result couldn't be more straightforward: fewer cars, less carbon.
Since its founding, Zipcar has doubled in size every year, making Chase's biggest ideas and her latest company, GoLoco, look mighty promising.
"Robin Chase has already changed the way we drive, but she's not satisfied. Now she wants to change the way we live as well."