Local app for caravanners draws big investments
ONE Hervey Bay entrepreneur is looking to tap into the thriving caravan industry with a mobile phone application that has already caught the attention of major investors.
Born out of personal frustration in finding quality campsites while on holidays, Greg Hollier created the app, Campedia, to make it easier for caravanners to find places to stay that suit their needs.
Described as 'Trivago for caravanners', Mr Hollier's mobile phone app has had a commitment of $250,000 of investment money from business leaders across Queensland earlier this year.
Mr Hollier said he believes the interest in his idea is sparked by Australia's continuously growing camping and caravanning industries.
In the last two years, 7.1 million Australians have stayed in caravan parks - a lot of people who Mr Hollier believes could benefit from the app.
Mr Hollier sat down with the Chronicle to talk about how he identified a gap that his app could fill.
"At the moment to search for a powered site, or non-powered site, the only way to do it is to go into each individual websites, dive in, get the prices, dive out and repeat," he said.
"Or you could sit along the Esplanade and watch caravans drive up and down looking for the parks and then having to go inside and check it all out and get the price."
Instead, Campedia will allow caravan park and holiday park owners to upload their content and users will be able to search with results matching their criteria.
"People will be able to open the app, and search based on price, pet friendly, powered or non-powered and a whole bunch of new options." Mr Hollier said.
"There is a huge and growing demand for something like this - RVs have been the fastest growing category of motor vehicle in Australia for six years running."
Local non-for-profit business accelerator group BerWin has taken Mr Hollier and his app idea under their wing by connecting him with investment group Brisbane Angels and providing business expertise.
Focused on bringing entrepreneurs and new business ideas out of the woodwork on the Fraser Coast, BerWin is run by successful Hervey Bay developer Glen Winney and entrepreneur Andrew Berriman.
The group has organised for Mr Hollier to meet with Queensland's Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter, better known as a successful entrepreneur and Shark Tank co-host , who will visit Hervey Bay on Thursday to open the Neighbourhood Centre's Community Cubed retail incubator project at Stockland.
"There are so many opportunities these days if you have the right idea," Mr Hollier said.
"With the online world today it doesn't matter where you are - you don't have to be in the big smoke in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to either come up with a new business or new idea.
"The opportunities are endless and we have such a valuable source of knowledge with a local group like BerWin supporting entrepreneurs."