Guiides.com aims to connect tourists to experienced outdoor guides in B.C.
A fourth-year Capilano University Business student and BCBusiness Top 30 Under 30 recipient is once again making headlines for his forward-thinking startups in the field of outdoor recreation. On Apr. 19, Daniel Dubois launched Guiides.com, a company that links local tour guides in B.C. to tourists through an online platform. Guiides.com is Dubois’ second major enterprise, released just a year after ShareShed, his outdoor equipment-sharing company.
“It originally started with taking a year off before going to university and into backpacking Australia, so we connected with a family early on in our trip,” shared Dubois. “It was incredible how we were on the other side of the world but we were all of a sudden part of this tight-knit community so far from home, but had a true sense of belonging and really experience the area like a local.”
When he arrived back in Vancouver and attended CapU he came across a TedTalk, called Rise of Collaborative Consumption, in an entrepreneurship business class. In contextualizing the TedTalk in class, it made him realize the rise of the sharing economy as well as redefining wealth of what he owned and he had access to. This idea forged a path for the creation of ShareShed.
“I realized that ShareShed only addresses one of the challenges of creating access to the outdoors, and that’s gear. Now there are a lot of other barriers holding people back and from going outside and living vibrantly,” said Dubois. “Guiides is connecting with the locals to get you outside living vibrantly. It’s like Airbnb for outdoor enthusiasts and certified guides. Guiides.com is a website for people to discover and book unique adventures set by locals.”
Dubois aims to give an authentic local experience to tourists similar to what he went through during his trip in Australia.
Guiides.com is a two-sided marketplace that has the guides on one side and the other side are the people who would like to connect with the guides during their trip. A guide or an outdoor enthusiast can sign up on Guiides.com where they can create an adventure listing which shows their service rate. The people who want to discover unique adventures go on Guiides.com and view different adventures available on the site. They can then book a private tour or join a group that’s already booked.
The company partnered with Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Red Paddle Co. and ShareShed because all of them help Guiides.com with facilitating rents for outdoor gears as well as supplying the equipment itself.
In 2014, Dubois was named Top 10 Under 25 in Hootsuite’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ and last year, he was a guest speaker in TEDxSFU. He claims that his successes would not have been possible without CapU.
“My biggest supporter has probably been Capilano University — being able to connect with my first mentors, where my teachers are. I want to give gratitude to the school for all the support I’m receiving and for having an incredible community,” he noted. “I feel that Capilano is becoming known for a change-making school, and I think we need to be mindful and understand that the students at Cap play such a massive role in its entire direction.”
He advises future student entrepreneurs to use projects in school to move society forward and to solve real word problems. “It’s an extremely challenging journey being an entrepreneur, and that the only way you are able to keep going is if you truly have your values aligned, and a strong sense of purpose of what you do, and if you truly know your ‘why.’”
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