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SlingRide focuses on the trust factor

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With a wealth of social media communities before them, SlingRide founders Mike Holmes and Bryan Hurren decided the time was right to build a ride-sharing network.

“We started working on the idea of allowing people with cars to ‘rent out’ an empty seat,” Mr. Hurren, head of products, explains. While lots of sites offer some sort of basic driver-to-passenger matching service, SlingRide decided it could go much further by creating the world’s safest and most civilized ride sharing.

“We think of the ride-sharing experience as being much broader,” Mr. Hurren says. “With people pulling information from Facebook and other sites, we realized it would be possible to create a community in which people could find common friends of the driver or friends who have driven with a person before.”

For added reassurance, pick-up and drop-off points are at Tim Hortons, providing a public meeting point in case anyone decides to opt out at the last minute. “There are more than 3,000 locations where you can wait for your driver to come and enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait,” Mr. Hurren says.

While getting the technology right wasn’t an issue, the founders discovered that the real work was in crafting the user interface and messaging.

“If you think about the process of searching for a person you can trust, and coordinating the time and place you need to meet, it’s a very complicated matching exercise,” Mr. Hurren says.