Highlights from Innovation Day and Global Energy Summit at Stanford
Our founder and CEO Ritu Narayan recently attended Innovation Day at Stanford University, a one-of-a-kind, invitation-only event bringing together venture capital, angel investors, corporate venture, start-ups, and Stanford research faculty to discuss how to deploy sustainable energy solutions at speed and scale.
Given our commitment to carbon neutrality and clean energy, Zum was honored to be part of an important and evolving conversation, including leaders from Stanford, Google, Kleiner Perkins, Breakthrough Energy, Redwood Materials, QuantumScape, CalPERS, and several growing startups in the sustainable energy space.
Here are some highlights Ritu shared with attendees on Zum’s progress and vision:
“Student transportation is the largest mass transit system in the US with 27 million kids traveling twice daily. There are ½ million school buses on the road and 99% of those buses run diesel and almost all of them are going to be electrified in the next few years. This industry is actually shifting because of two trends happening: One is digitization, where school districts and schools are demanding more flexibility, and the other is climate change and sustainability.
“Zum is leading the effort to modernize this old, antiquated industry by doing three things: First, we have an end-to-end cloud-based system, which connects all the stakeholders [parents, schools, students, drivers, and dispatch] and brings complete transparency to the system. We used to hear from the parents that we could track our pizza, but we have no idea where our children are, and now they know, thanks to Zum. The second thing we are doing is using a unique business model and technology—we reduce the number of assets needed to transport children and optimize the routes—to save students’ commute time and improve school buses’ utilization throughout the day. And third, we are building a playbook to transition the school buses to electric and provide energy back to the grid on a huge scale. We are passionate about our work because when student transportation works better, communities work better, and when communities work better, the whole nation works better.”
We are looking forward to our unfolding journey to not only transform school student transportation, but also transform how our ecosystem thinks about the way energy is created, stored and distributed sustainably — for the wellbeing of our communities.