NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate alum and construction professional Constantinos "Gus" Podias has been gainfully employed ever since he was a child. The son of a Greek immigrant house painter and income property owner, he grew up in the industry, serving as his father’s helper at age seven. “I always liked to hustle,” he recalls. “I had a paper route at 11, I received my working papers at 14, I worked at a pizzeria, was a bellhop, worked at a gas station, shoveled snow, cut grass, and was a stone mason’s laborer. I just liked to work.”
That drive to work has served him well in his 32 years in the construction industry. Podias is the principal of Vincon Enterprises, a construction management firm that provides general contracting and development services for clients in the New York metropolitan area. His projects have included several high rises, major hotels, apartments, lofts, retail stores, and office buildings, as well as a massive renovation of the Egyptian Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to founding Vincon, he worked for several top companies, including Marson Contracting, Pavarini McGovern, Torcon, and RC Dolner Construction.
While working fulltime, Podias attended school at night, earning an associate degree in Applied Science Business Administration from Rockland Community College and a bachelor's in Organizational Management from Mercy College. When Podias was 25, his father passed away. At a time when he felt lost, he took the advice of his friend and mentor, James Titolo, to earn a graduate degree from his alma mater, Schack. Podias received an MS in Construction Management and Real Estate Development in 2007.
The Schack experience turned out to be invaluable. “I learned a lot from my classes, plus I built a professional network from that program, many of whom I am friends with today,” says Podias. Among his favorite professors were Richard Lambeck and John Eschemuller. When one of their classes came for a walk-through to one of his job sites, Podias explained the process of two-day cement pour cycles for high rises to the students. The professors gave him an honorary mention in their book, Urban Construction Project Management.
In 2016, Podias turned his attention to his next challenge. Recalling a day when he had to move some tools from one job to the next, he says, “I had to bring my van into the city, I had to pay the driver, the gas, the tolls, pay for the day even though what I needed done was not a day’s work or full load of the van. I was frustrated and I thought there’s got to be an easier way to do this.”
His solution was to create cRIDE (commercial RIDE), the first on-demand delivery platform for contractors, vendors, suppliers, designers—and everyday people—to transport tools, equipment, materials, and anything that can fit into a van at an affordable price. cRIDE also gives an opportunity to commercial vehicle owners to utilize their vans or trucks to generate extra revenue.
cRIDE, which is available for iOS and for Android at www.getcride.com, is Podias’s main focus for now. He and his team are working on the second round of fundraising while the product is being improved and marketed. The app launched in the NYC region in September 2022.
Podias plans to expand the app to include other regions and cities—including Stamford, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Newark, South Jersey, Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, and Miami, as well as France. “We don’t just want to expand it here, we want to expand it globally,” he says. “Each week it’s building momentum, and we are very excited.”
Podias describes his professional journey simply. “A lot of people have good ideas, but if you don’t do something with your idea, it is just an idea. Persistence, vigilance, and determination along with my experience in the industry and my education, it’s all relevant, it all had to happen for me to be where I am at, and I am very grateful to all people who helped me along the way."