International students Julio Yaber and Isabella Acosta found themselves fascinated by Kamloops’ snow-covered hills and the excitement of winter experiences. But one reality struck them hard: without a car or enough money for transportation, those experiences remained largely out of reach.
That’s when the spark of an idea ignited for the duo leading to the birth of Truppy Bus. Both studying international business, Yaber and Acosta, from Mexico and Colombia respectively, transformed their passion for winter sports into a business making ski hill adventures accessible and affordable for students.
“Canada is all about winter and unique experiences, but we quickly realized that without a car or money, going anywhere seemed impossible,” says Yaber.
Undeterred, they recognized an opportunity and began transforming their dream into a reality by participating in — and winning — the Scotiabank Entrepreneurship Challenge. Open to all students from the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics, the challenge provides a dynamic opportunity for students to transform innovative ideas into viable business ventures. The challenge has played a pivotal role in merging academic learning with real-world entrepreneurial experiences, empowering students to activate their potential as problem-solvers and business leaders. The event, held last March, culminated in a prize of $5,000 for Acosta and Yaber to develop their solid business plan.
“Many competitors suggested ideas, but we decided to act on ours. We wanted to solve a problem and make winter fun for everyone,” Yaber says.
Truppy Bus will provide round-trip transportation to Sun Peaks Resort on weekends, along with discounts from around the resort and snacks for the journey, so students can embark on their snowy adventures with peace of mind. The Truppy Bus team aims to be a reliable, safe and community-driven solution for students looking to make the most of their winter experiences.
Collaborating with Sun Peaks Resort has been integral to the initial success of Truppy Bus. The partnership not only enhances their business but also adds value for students by providing a practical solution to the barriers of transportation and financial constraints that often limit access to winter sports activities.
“Now, students can truly experience the Canadian winter with our offerings and discounts. It makes trying something new much more accessible for them,” says Acosta.
In addition to the collaboration with Sun Peaks Resort, working alongside TRU Generator and Kamloops Innovation provided crucial support and accountability for the Truppy Bus team.
The duo credit John Zubak at TRU Generator and the Kamloops Innovation team for holding them accountable for everything, while guiding them through the growth and development stages., and they say the clarity and support they received were instrumental.
After a week of snow, if ever there was a time for students to venture up to Sun Peaks Resort, it is now. Truppy Bus makes this possible and affordable by offering bi-weekly trips with 15 per cent off on the first booking. Learn more and book a ride by visiting https://truppybus.com/ or https://www.instagram.com/thetruppybus/ on Instagram.