Robin Chase is a true social entrepreneur. The daughter of a US diplomat, Robin was raised to understand her privilege, approach the world with fairness and treat everyone as equals. Today, she continues to translate those values into her life + work ~ harnessing the power of tech to create transportation solutions that appeal to customers + environmentalists alike. Best known as the founder of the world's largest car-sharing company Zipcar, Robin continues to launch new platforms for participation that allow us to share resources + tap excess capacity.
Three successful startups later, she has emerged as a powerful voice in a movement that's pioneering collaborative capitalism while changing how the world gets from point A to point B.
ridesharing writ large | Zipcar, Buzzcar + GoLoco
entrepreneurship with an environmental payoff | businesses that enable people to use resources more efficiently, minimizing their carbon footprint while getting the most bang for their buck
"Peers, Inc" | companies working in partnership with peers to tap the best of both worlds
service | including the Board of the World Resources Institute, US Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee + World Economic Forum Future of Transportation Council
2000 | founded Zipcar, now the largest car-sharing business in the world
2009 | named 1 of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World
2012 | founded Buzzcar, a peer-to-peer car rental company
from | to
an MBA looking for startup success | founder + CEO of major transportation companies that make huge social impacts + minimize environmental ones
an American diplomat who worked in Arab countries
The United States of America
educated at | studied with
~ Wellesley, Massachusetts | BA ~
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
~ Cambridge, Massachusetts | MBA ~
Harvard Graduate School of Design
~ Loeb Fellow ~
including Cameron Russell
~ Columbia grad + supermodel ~
cooperative capitalism + the sharing economy
efficiency + innovation
universal wireless + mesh networks
addressing climate change + reducing our carbon footprints
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"Why do we travel too much? Car travel is under-priced and therefore we over-consume."The idea behind Zipcar (and what comes next) | march 2007
"Information should be free, and access to information should be free, and we should be charging people for carbon."The idea behind Zipcar (and what comes next) | march 2007
"Unfortunately, our individual pocketbooks don't feel the true costs of what it takes for Americans to enjoy the energy derived from a ton of coal, or a barrel of oil. And that's why we make so little effort to use it efficiently, conservatively, or wisely."Fossil Fuel is the New Slavery | march 2010
"I see a real movement afoot to change the status quo in ways that move us towards a more sustainable, equitable, open, cooperative, and friendly world."Robin Chase, Founder & Former CEO of ZipCar, On Leadership And Innovation | march 2012
"'Green' choices need to work better and cost less than the status quo way of doing things. People don't buy 'green.' They buy convenience, or service, or status, or cost-savings, or an experience."Robin Chase, Founder & Former CEO of ZipCar, On Leadership And Innovation | march 2012
"We are all walking around with real-time access to the world’s knowledge. We have a new toolkit with which to approach transportation and other major difficult societal issues. Thankfully, because the issues are pressing and enormous."Robin Chase, Founder & Former CEO of ZipCar, On Leadership And Innovation | march 2012
"Instead of investing in a car, we invest in a community."Excuse me, may I rent your car? | july 2012
"We've got the power of a free and open Internet, and on top of that we're putting a platform for participation. And the peers are now in partnership with the company—creating shared value on shared values and each strengthening the other and doing what the other can't do. I call this Peers, Inc."Excuse me, may I rent your car? | july 2012
"I continue to think that transportation is the center of the hard universe."Excuse me, may I rent your car? | july 2012
"Over the last decade, we've been reveling in the power of the Internet and how it's empowered individuals, and for me, what Peers, Inc. does is take it up a notch. We're now bringing the power of the company and the corporation and supercharging individuals."Excuse me, may I rent your car? | july 2012
"What’s it like to have a supermodel who is also a Columbia graduate who is brilliant, is—there is a lot of discounting going on in my family for all of the things that are beyond her control. But I am truly proud of her work ethic and her values; I really admire both enormously."Zipcar Founder Robin Chase on Starting Buzzcar and a Portugal Venture | august 2013
"We can’t take credit for genetic luck."Zipcar Founder Robin Chase on Starting Buzzcar and a Portugal Venture | august 2013
"Marketing stories need to get rewritten for each stakeholder because their self interest is different; each 'self' deserves a different story."Home page | 2014
"We all want to get more out of what we own or have already invested in, or, conversely, to pay only for what we use."Home page | 2014
"Sometimes your past experience is right and perfect, and sometimes it causes you to not see differences or opportunities because you think you've seen it before."Zipcar co-founder: 'Entrepreneurs should build the world they want to see' | july 2014
"I attribute a lot of what I have to dumb luck. I've made sure that my family and my children have understood that reality strongly."A Revolutionary Entrepreneur on Happiness, Money and Raising a Supermodel | january 2015
Robin speaks at a 2011 Lift Conference, a global meeting of the minds to move forward business and technology.
Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar and Buzzcar, discusses innovation & entrepreneurship
Robin reps her 1st ridesharing company, now the largest in the world.
US Dept of Commerce
Excuse me, may I rent your car?
Robin discusses the model for and impact of her next big p2p transportation project, Buzzcar.