Canadian startup RideShark swam away with $25,000 in prize money at the recent Communitech-led Fast Track Cities Showcase.

The event featured five Canadian technology companies presenting solutions to a set of transportation and supply chain challenges that have far-reaching implications for cities, communities and the economy.

The Fast Track Cities initiative is based on an integrated-markets approach that brings sector professionals together to identify common challenges and then invite Canadian tech companies to submit solution proposals. 

The winning solution, RideShark’s Unified Mobility platform, is a SaaS platform designed to address the sustainable transportation crisis faced by cities and an alternative to using personal motor vehicles as the major mode of transportation.

“The platform encompasses multimodal trip planning, dynamic carpool matching, in-app bookings, payments, communications and tracking,” CEO Sharon Lewinson said. “It benefits cities, employers and universities by easing congestion, reducing emissions and enhancing transportation equity.”

RideShark's modular platform is customizable for clients' specific needs with features like rewards and incentives, parking management and emergency ride solutions. 

“Each new customer receives a fully functional unbranded site within 48 hours, needing only custom branding for launch,” Lewinson said. “RideShark manages all user and administrator support, requiring clients to only market the platform to stakeholders for positive results.”

The Fast Track Cities collaborative issued a nationwide call in September for digital solutions focused on:

  • Tools and technology to extend Vision Zero measures beyond the three Es – Engineering, Education and Enforcement.
  • Develop alternatives to using personal motor vehicles as the major mode of transportation.
  • Introduce solutions that make our urban centres more productive, safe and accessible at the curbside.

After careful deliberation with transportation and innovation experts from Ontario municipalities, industry partners and Communitech staff, the Fast Track Cities collaborative selected five companies to pitch their tech-enabled solutions to a panel of judges and a live audience. These companies included: 

RideShark: RideShark’s Unified Mobility platform promotes sustainable transportation by offering multimodal trip planning, carpool matching, incentives and more, to reduce solo car use. 

Vite Biz: Vite HR aims to improve driver training with gamified rewards, utilizing AI for personalized modules on safety and pre-training modules for drivers. These modules encompass a wide range of topics, including safety protocols. 

Monerus: The Monerus IRIS – a rooftop lightbar for law-enforcement vehicles – includes a 180-degree AI camera that detects distant objects and faces, boosting situational awareness. The camera connects to networks and the cloud for real-time decisions, ensuring proactive policing and increased safety.

AWOS (Automatic Window Opening Systems) Technologies: The AWOS vehicle-escape system helps ensure passenger safety through automatic window lowering, exit instructions and emergency service connectivity, addressing the issue of entrapment when a vehicle is submerged in water.

Loop Parking: Loop ParkSense+ is a real-time, AI-based curbside vehicle detection system that optimizes parking management, minimizes congestion, addresses parking violations and reduces search time, contributing to urban safety.

Each company received support from a growth coach in preparation for their pitch and exposure to the transportation industry and municipalities. They were also awarded a free Communitech membership. 

“Communitech’s superpower is the ability to make connections that fuel innovation, support founders and generate prosperity for the benefit of all Canadians,” said Joel Semeniuk, Chief Strategy Officer for Communitech. “We’re thrilled by the quality of solutions presented today and the level of engagement between participants and stakeholders.”

Thanks to the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) for funding this Regional Technology Development Site, delivered on behalf of the Government of Ontario through OCI.

OVIN and Province of Ontario logo   OCI logo