Eugene Veeden wants to take the lug out of luggage.
With his business BagsAway.ca, the 2006 software engineering graduate is making it easy for tourists to stash their bags at convenient locations throughout cities around the world as they wander for a few hours.
An online booking service (https://bagsaway.com/) helps people find and book a place to securely store luggage while giving local stores the opportunity to turn unused space into revenue.
“Imagine arriving somewhere with your family at 9 am, when your Airbnb check-in isn’t until 4 pm,” says Veeden. “Now you’re stuck dealing with luggage, strollers and backpacks, instead of seeing the city.”
The idea for the business came about while he was working as a site project manager at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Over the last two years, Veeden has been responsible for overseeing the delivery, configuration and installation of self-serve bag drop machines in both of the airport’s busy terminals.
The machines allow passengers to check-in through their mobile devices and drop their own bags, without waiting in line – a project aimed at reducing passenger traffic and increasing airport capacity.
All that luggage inspired BagsAway.ca, which now operates in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, with more destinations coming soon.
“The startup has been accepted into the Digital Media Zone (dmz.ryerson.ca) downtown Toronto and we have partnered with many businesses including Smart Centers to utilize their Penguin Pick Up locations as our drop-off points,” says Veeden.
Being an “Entreprenewb” is tough, with no guaranteed monthly income and lots of risk,” he adds. “But running my own business gives me a sense of realism, a sense of thrill and the ability to innovate without hindrance.”