SPONSORED Brendan Gill: car-sharing & bike-sharing fan

5 Aug

SPONSORED: Everyone has a story. Start-up CEO Brendan Gill, 31, lives and works in Islington. Here he talks about DriveNow, a new car-sharing scheme running in Islington, Hackney and north east London. If you’re interested in trialling car-sharing see the info about the app (and special offer) below the interview. Interview by Nicola Baird.

Brendan Gill: fan of simple ways to rent cars and bikes to get around Islington.

Brendan Gill: fan of simple ways to rent cars and bikes to get around Islington.

Q: Do you live in Islington?
Yes, I live on Hornsey Street. I’ve been in the area for years and grew up in Finchley so have known Islington all my life.

Q: What’s your job?
I work in Clerkenwell. I’m the CEO and co-founder of a start-up company called OpenSignal, which uses an app to help consumers figure out which mobile network offers the best coverage and performance in any area.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

Screen on the Green cinema recommended for its comfy seats.

Screen on the Green cinema recommended by Brendan Gill as “the right way to watch movies”.

Places Brendan Gill loves in Islington

  • Emirates Stadium – Home of my favourite football team.
  • Upper Street shopping. (c) DriveNow

    Upper Street shopping using a DriveNow vehicle. (c) DriveNow

    Regent’s Canalperfect for Summer walks

  • Angel/Upper Street – I love every inch of this street. I’ve walked up and down it since I was a kid and I just love the energy.
  • 69 Colebrooke Row – The best cocktail bar in all of London, right on our doorstep.
  • Screen on the Green – The right way to watch movies!
Young cyclist takes a look at a DriveNow vehicle parked outside Arsenal's old Highbury stadium.

Young cyclist takes a look at a DriveNow vehicle  parked and ready to hire outside Arsenal’s old Highbury stadium.  In Islington (2011), 60,500 households did not own a vehicle, while 33,100 owned a car or van. See http://www.vai.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-Census-Islington-Summary.pdf

DriveNow launched in Germany in 2011 and has more than 500,000 customers in eight cities across the world. It came to the UK in October 2014, choosing offices in North Road, Islington. DriveNow has 270 cars - 30 are fully electric BMW i3s, and the other 240 are split between BMW 1 series and MINI countryman models.

DriveNow launched in Germany in 2011 and has more than 500,000 customers in eight cities across the world. It came to the UK in October 2014, choosing offices in North Road, Islington – the Managing Director, Joseph Seal Driver also lives in Islington. DriveNow has 270 cars – 30 are fully electric BMW i3s, and the other 240 are split between BMW 1 series and MINI countryman models – a mix of low emission diesel and petrol engines. DriveNow is committed to add more electric vehicles and also reduce the proportion of diesel vehicles, and works with the Car Club Coalition and Islington council to achieve this. By 2020 it hopes to have a 50% electric fleet.

Q: Do you have any link with DriveNow?
Nope, though I have met one of the founders. I was getting into a DriveNow rental once and he bounded over to me and said I was the first person he had seen renting one of their cars! I’ve been using car-sharing schemes for a long time (eg, ZipCar) so it was an easy sell when I read about it on Techcrunch. I was literally waiting for this.

A Santander cycle release code - don't let it blow away until you've keyed in the numbers.

A Santander cycle release code – don’t let it blow away until you’ve punched in the numbers, or sign up for a key to save time.

Q: You can drive, but you don’t have a car?
I’ve simply never owned one and ever since I started using car-sharing schemes I’ve never needed to own one. I rent cars all the time from everything from commuting to work to whenever I’m travelling.

For my daily commute I jump into a DriveNow car for half the route and then I hop on a Boris Bike (now Santander) for the second half. It might sound peculiar but driving the whole way would mean paying the congestion charge and the Boris Bikes don’t yet extend out to where I live in Islington. However, the edge of the congestion zone perfectly lines up with where the Boris Bikes start! DriveNow cars are only in a couple of boroughs. I knew that signing up as it’s a trial, but if they are able to extend coverage across London it will be phenomenal.

  • Would you like to have a free test drive in the sort of cars Brendan uses (BMW i3, BMW 1 Series and Mini Countryman)?
  • Start the process by downloading the car-sharing app DriveNow 
  • Plus if you use this code SCO-SHARE2 you can sign-up to DriveNow for free (normally £29).

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “SPONSORED Brendan Gill: car-sharing & bike-sharing fan”

  1. Caroline Levy August 5, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    moved away! x

    • nicola baird blogs August 5, 2015 at 9:37 am #

      HI – yes cafe levy I do interview people who’ve moved away too, but tend to ask a lot of questions about Islington! Thanks for reading. Nicola

So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: