Vancouver resident, 31-year-old Pan Khantidhara and Maple Ridge resident 28-year-old Mae Woods collaborated to create Howbsy.com. (Khantidhara’s photo contributed, Woods’ photo credited to Jose Palma)

Vancouver resident, 31-year-old Pan Khantidhara and Maple Ridge resident 28-year-old Mae Woods collaborated to create Howbsy.com. (Khantidhara’s photo contributed, Woods’ photo credited to Jose Palma)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge start-up shows wait times at businesses across Lower Mainland

Female entrepreneurs from Maple Ridge and Vancouver collaborate on new venture

A free website is helping people across the Fraser Valley avoid wait times at businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Maple Ridge resident Mae Woods, 28, and Vancouver resident Pan Khantidhara, 31, collaborated to create Howbsy.com.

“I’m very happy that a start-up is coming out of Maple Ridge,” Woods, the Maple Ridge Secondary grad beamed.

“We wish we did do it sooner from all the feedback. We get dozens of emails everyday and it’s absolutely amazing – a lot of them are requesting a store and a lot of them are saying thank you,” said Woods. “Me and Pan just built the platform but it’s really the community helping each other because its 100 per cent crowd sourced.”

READ MORE: Grocery store employees face COVID-19 risk to serve their communities

The idea for the website came after Khantidhara’s mom returned home frustrated from having to wait in long lines to enter businesses.

“She came home and she was really annoyed with how long the lines were and Pan, who is my co-founder is a software engineer, and she had the idea that maybe we can build a website to show the wait times,” Woods explained.

It took all of five days for Khantidhara to build the website and the pair officially launched it on April 24.

In its first week the website had 20,000 users, as of Monday it was up to 45,000.

READ MORE: Normally taken for granted, B.C. truckers now in the spotlight

“I live in Maple Ridge and it was very important to me to have all of the Fraser Valley,” Woods noted. “We have all of the cities in the Fraser Valley already added – all the way from Vancouver to Chilliwack and everything in between.”

So how does it work?

[story continues below post]

“Anyone in the community can update the time, it only takes 10 seconds. While you’re waiting in line the hope is that you update the time, so other people who are thinking of shopping will get an accurate depiction of how long it will be,” Woods explained. “As we continue to grow we’re getting more and more updates… meaning it is more and more accurate, which is amazing to see.”

The female entrepreneurs continue to add more cities and businesses to the website.

“This project also can help people stay outside of their house as little time as possible to avoid people in the quarantine period,” Woods added.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMaple Ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Maple Ridge start-up shows wait times at businesses across Lower Mainland

Just Posted

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)
Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice signs with MacEwan University Griffins

Local women’s hockey prospect set to join women’s hockey team later this year

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Abbotsford’s Canwest Aero Inc. is offering two pilot training scholarships to celebrate the company’s opening at the Abbotsford International Airport
Abbotsford aviation company offering two free pilot scholarships

Canwest Aero Inc. giving away pair of scholarships valued at $2,500 each

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Most Read