To celebrate the global HYPE SPIN Accelerator program, Ministry of Sport has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to deliver the 2019 Tech In Sport event at Victoria Park in Brisbane on July 10th.
The HYPE UQ SPIN Accelerator is a global program that was developed to champion entrepreneurship and sports tech innovation, whilst providing access to mentors and investors from around the world to fast-track promising local startups onto the world stage.
In the lead-up to the event, Ministry of Sport is interviewing the final 10 graduates about their cutting edge sports tech products, as they prepare their final pitches for the chance to win $25,000 and entry to one of AusTrade’s Landing Pad programs.
Founded in 2017, Quipmo is a peer to peer gear rental marketplace connecting surf, bike and snow gear owners with like-minded travellers and locals who share a passion for adventure!
Ministry of Sport had a chat with Chris Evans, Quipmo Co-Founder & CEO, about the company and their involvement in the HYPE SPIN Accelerator program.
Q1: Why did you start this business?
I had moved across from Perth to study my MBA at UQ and whilst the week was manic with study, it was the thrill of weekend adventures and holiday travel that I cherished the most!
Life was full on juggling study so many nights were spent reminiscing about adventures had all over the globe. Dreaming about old adventures a common thought emerged – finding quality gear for an adventure whilst travelling was always a challenge and the cost of transporting gear made having an adventure away from home especially difficult. This had been a source of great frustration over the years and was the key problem to solve – how to make access to quality gear for adventures more efficient, affordable and readily available.
Q2: Is there another product like this in the market place? How is yours different?
There are a number of great startups from across the globe who are each trying to solve the problem in their own way – but no one has as yet hit true scale! This is obviously incredibly exciting as clearly there’s an appetite for this vertical across cultures, across geographies, and across varying product categories.
Quipmo is, however, the largest peer to peer player in Australasia with listings in 18 countries, over 70,000 followers, and a dozen major strategic partnerships. Furthermore, our listing numbers have grown by 60% this year alone! This growth is underpinned by: us offering the best class protections to our users; ensuring that we are devoted to a user experience that is simply – easy; and that we’re creating a brand that reflects our mission to make adventure easy for everyone!
Q3: What are some key lessons you have learned on the journey so far?
Patience and tenacity are at the heart of any young businesses. I think on the back of this is the importance of celebrating small wins, where they are often as simple as small incremental steps forward. Celebrating progress rather than only big milestones helps ensure that the journey is part of the reward
Q4: What are your plans for the future?
Like all startups, we have big aspirations and high hopes. We’re currently raising seed capital, which will enable us significantly enhance our capabilities and growth trajectory by building out our team, driving greater take up and traction, and fundamentally increasing the pace of our expansion. If our last two years are anything to go by, we’re only at the very beginning of our journey!
Q5: What has your experience been like in the UQ HYPE SPIN accelerator program?
To have both the University of Queensland and HYPE believe in our efforts and vision is a fantastic vote of confidence and is something that we’re incredibly proud of. More tangibly, this support and guidance is highly beneficial in our efforts to raise seed capital from both potential domestic and international investors.
If you would like more information or to attend the Tech in Sport event, you can secure your complimentary ticket by clicking here, but be quick because tickets are limited.
About HYPE Sports Innovation
HYPE Sports Innovation is the largest global ecosystem in sports innovation. With over 30,000 members, including retail brands, sports clubs, federations, and academia. Together with over 10,000 startups, HYPE Sports Innovation has an unrivalled capacity for outreach to global partners across all sectors in this highly diverse field. The company’s business model is to leverage this platform to grow from the surging needs of the sports industry to innovate. Since its inception, the company has created and expanded unique offerings and services, all with unprecedented success and value added for investors, partners, and consumers. Among its clients are UEFA, Adidas, Spalding, Silicon Valley Bank, Asics, Google, and many more. The company’s mission is to impact people’s lives through the power of sports and innovation. Visit HYPE Sports Innovation at: www.hypesportsinnovation.com
About UQ and ilab
The University of Queensland’s ilab operates one of Australia’s most experienced accelerator programs having delivered 13 startup accelerator programs and whose startups have raised $62M of early-stage capital in the past 5 years. The 3-months HYPE UQ SPIN ACCELERATOR® Program will leverage UQ’s ilab expertise and UQ’s top 3 global ranking in sports science research. While the majority of the program operates virtually allowing startups to participate from their home base, several residential modules will be delivered from its prime startup space in the heart of the picturesque University of Queensland. Beyond this, over $1B has been invested in UQ related companies through UniQuest, Australia’s leading commercialization entity specializing in the intellectual property of UQ.
The HYPE UQ SPIN Accelerator is proudly supported by Advance Queensland.