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

A cargo container was knocked off a truck trying to pass under the Glover Road overpass in 2018. Crews will be working on the overpass Monday, April 12 in the evening and one eastbound lane will be temporarily closed. (Langley Advance Times files)
Highway slowdown expected Monday night in Langley for overpass work

The Glover Road overpass is getting some work done

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
Langley schools exposure list grows with latest COVID cases

As of Monday there were 14 schools on Fraser Health’s list

LETTER: Langley resident urges patience for all awaiting vaccination

Letter writer also encourages people to show their gratitude to hardworking front-line health staff

Well Seasoned gourmet food store owner Angie Quaale bought and distributed $500 worth of gift cards to a local restaurant last week, after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the “circuit breaker” shut down of indoor seating at the end of last month. She’s hoping it will spark more people to help local restaurant and pub operators. She’s doing another giveaway starting Monday night. (Jeff Vinnick/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Gift card purchases aim to boost sales for struggling Langley restaurants

A Langley business owner tries to support fellow food entrepeneurs hit hard by pandemic restrictions

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

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

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read