Vilhelm Hedberg, Co-Founder & CEO ekar
Forbes Middle East 2016 - Most Promising UAE-based Start-up
Forbes Middle East 2017 - #35 Top 100 Startups in the Arab World
GITEX 2017 - Business Innovation Award
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival - Winner Logistics & Transportation Award
Arabian Business Awards 2018 - Shortlist for SME Leader of the Year - Vilhelm Hedberg
Forbes Middle East 2018 - #5 Top 100 Startups in The Middle East
Tahawul Tech 2018 - UAE’s Top 5 Tech Innovators
Vilhelm Hedberg was born in Caracas, Venezuela to Norwegian parents. After spending his adolescence in England, his family later moved to Florida in 1993 where he attended high school and later graduated with a BBA from the University of Florida. Vilhelm later went on to earn an MBA in International Business from EAE Barcelona.
In 2009 Vilhelm saw the opportunity to move to Dubai – an innovative and forward thinking city where he could pursue and implement his creative business and logistics concepts.
Vilhelm holds over 10 years of experience in the fields of Quality Management and Logistics, his first role in the UAE being at Wilhelmsen Lines, where he was responsible for the shipment of over one million automobiles throughout the Middle East. His career quickly progressed and he soon became Partner at QMS Global, one of the largest ISO Certification companies in the world where he was responsible for the development of QMS Global FZ LLC, representing Asia and Africa.
Three years in concept development, 2016 saw the launch of Ekar, the Middle East’s first pay-as-you-go hourly car rental service. The idea was to create an easy-to-use carsharing platform allowing residents and tourists alike to book cars conveniently parked throughout the city from the comfort of their laptop or smartphone. In 2016, Ekar was selected by the RTA as the provider for 100 vehicle carshare project and with other key clients including Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways the success of the company can only develop.
“We envision UAE as having carshare members outnumber car owners by 2025. Vehicles will be conveniently located throughout the Emirates to connect people to each other and to public transportation nodes. We deliver on-demand mobility while leaving a small environmental footprint.”
An adventure buff, Vilhelm is passenger number 165 for the World View Experience ‘Statolite’ which launches from Arizona, USA making Vilhelm the first Norwegian to travel to space. In his spare time, Vilhelm likes to spend hours on the water surfing and is currently learning the art of kite surfing.