In counting down to our 2012 Graduate Studies Program (GSP) Closing Ceremony, we remember past team projects with a certain fondness, especially when they’ve been immortalized on our youtube channel. Check out the video below as GSP Alum Sam Zaid explains his team’s idea for the peer to peer car sharing platform we now recognize as Getaround. Big congratulations to Getaround for their recent success in securing $13.9 million in first round funding from an all-star cast of investors: Menlo Ventures’ Shervin Pishevar, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, actor Ashton Kutcher, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer! We remember when they were merely a budding idea.
Getaround, a car sharing marketplace where individuals can offer their own cars for rent, started as a Energy Team Project in the inaugural Graduate Studies Program of 2009 – anticipating the advent of robotic cars. As TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2011 Winners, Getaround aims at matching urban dwellers without cars and car owners looking to make some extra cash. In addition to changing legislation in two states to make it easier for car-owners to share their cars, Getaround is now the largest peer-to-peer car sharing service in the space. They provide insurance, 24 hour roadside assistance, a car-kit, an iPhone and Web app (which lets you conveniently locate, access, and unlock the car you’re renting without ever having to see its owner).