On Wednesday, March 8, transportation entrepreneur Robin Chase spoke to a crowd of over 200 in Corvallis as part of the OSU Provost’s Lecture Series.
The co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar shared the “constantly improbable” story of Zipcar’s creation – from her elevator pitch, which she delivered on an elevator to the CEO of car rental colossus Enterprise, to purchase of the first actual Zipcar: a lime green Volkswagen named “Beetle Betsy.” (More on Zipcar at OSU.)
Chase offered great advice for budding entrepreneurs, as well as signs of hope for everyone on a planet facing the challenges of climate change. She described a future where instead of streets filled with personal vehicles taking people to stores, "mini-warehouse" vehicles will take items to people. “For sure, for sure this will be happening,” she said. And she urged her listeners: “We have to speed the pace of evolution, we have to move much, much faster.”
Chase met with President's Circle members and other OSU supporters at a reception before the event; view photos from the event.
The next OSU Provost's Lecture takes place April 18, featuring artist and designer Maya Lin.
At the President's Circle reception before the lecture, Moriah Shay, a junior in the College of Business, spoke about her own entrepreneurial journey at OSU and how both donor-funded scholarships and a $9,000 grant from the OSU Women's Giving Circle gave her the support she needed to move forward and thrive.
Over the summer of 2016, OSU engineering students led by Shay and fellowship business student Steven Miller built the Thinker Tinker Trailer to provide hands-on learning activities to students in Monroe, Oregon. Plans are now underway to build a second mobile classroom for students of John Day and Ontario.
“Our success is fueled by people like you who believe in us,” Shay told the gathering of OSU supporters.