Innovator of the Week: Temi Okesanya’s Roadside Assistance App Focuses on Safety and Savings

Road Aider, which recently expanded to the U.S., helps users book contracted service providers for tows, battery boosts and other roadside services.

Temi Okesanya, founder and CEO, Road Aider. Photo courtesy of Temi Okesanya.

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When Temi Okesanya had a minor vehicle accident on Deerfoot Trail in 2021, he never expected that the driver who towed him to safety would be the first contractor he’d hire for his startup, Road Aider.

Originally from Nigeria, Okesanya was working as a product manager in Calgary at the time of the accident. While that career was already a far cry from his Masters degree in petroleum engineering, being an entrepreneur was not on Okesanya’s bingo card either.

But as he waited on the side of the road, Okesanya was overwhelmed with how many separate steps were required just to get safely off the road: searching online for individual tow truck companies and auto shops, contacting each company to compare prices and then getting on multiple waitlists to get picked up. Above all, Okesanya was most worried about not knowing when a driver would arrive or who they actually were.

He conceptualized the idea for a digital platform to address all of those worries and more, and pitched the idea to that same tow truck driver for feedback.

A year later, Okesanya launched the Road Aider app in 2022. Since then, Road Aider has grown to 16 employees and contracted service providers, assisting thousands of users with tows, battery boosts, tire changes, gas delivery and key lockouts, which can all be requested inside the app. The app also tracks and shares a service provider’s information and location with the user.

This year, with a focus on growing internationally, Okesanya recently attended the annual SXSW festival with Alberta Innovates, securing Road Aider’s first U.S. partnership. Later this summer, he’ll also be part of the 2024 Canadian delegation heading to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Brazil with Futurpreneur.

“The solution we are providing is not constrained geographically,” says Okesanya. “We’re providing that peace-of-mind, that assurance, that wherever our customers are on the road, they’re protected.”

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