July 14, 2013
Think of it as the 21st century version of a grocery store bulletin board. Remember those boards that had the little cards where you could write (like with an actual pen) an ad, along with contact information, for something you were interested in selling or buying? We’re talking long before Craigslist became the primary marketplace for such things. Now, with the hyper-local movement in full swing, a couple of entrepreneurs have come up with a smarter platform where friends and neighbors can lend/borrow/rent/sell with minimal risk involved.
Spare to Share is the brainchild of three entrepreneurs who, combined, bring a variety of skills and experience to the table. Greg Jaros has over 25 years of diversified experience in business operations, product development, application development, and information analytics. Prior to Spare to Share, he co-founded two other companies. Gint Rudis has had the entrepreneurial bug since childhood, and worked as a yield curve trader and a data/financial services management consultant. Last, but certainly not least, Samir Patel has over five years of experience in program management in the software and electronics space, primarily focused on internal and external client satisfaction.
The Spare to Share team wanted to create an online platform where people could exchange items, within a hyper-local setting. The platform aids people in connecting with others in their neighborhood, school, place of business, etc., who may have items they need. It also allows users to keep an inventory of items they are willing to share or sell.
The Spare to Share Mission (from their website):
Spare to Share will help people to make smarter ‘buy vs. access’ decisions when looking for items, space or services, allowing them to save money, make money (or goodwill), reduce waste & strengthen ties to the community.
We will accomplish this by creating a mobile database of items that people own but rarely use, and would be willing to share, rent or sell to family, friends, neighbors & people with which they have some real or implied level of trust within their local, social networks.
The platform offers a couple of unique features that are overlooked by their competition. First of all, it allows the user to keep and manage an inventory of items that they are offering. Unlike posting a one-time ad, it makes it easy for the lender/seller to see what items they have available, and for the potential borrower/buyer to look at everything in a particular person’s inventory. A seller might have an item that the buyer didn’t even know he needed!
Security was another concern in creating Spare to Share. Users can only share items with people who they invite into their personal network using a unique invite code. No need to meet a stranger at Starbucks to make an exchange happen.
Spare to Share will be showcasing at Tech Cocktail’s Startup Mixer in Chicago on July 25th at 1871. You can also vote for them for Who is Chicago’s Hottest Showcasing Startup? The winning startup will go on to the next round and get the chance to qualify for Tech Cocktail Celebrate, our new national startup competition held in Downtown Vegas on October 23 – 25.
Guest author Kristin Pryor @kristinpryor is an archeologist by day and budding entrepreneur by night who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. Her current obsessions include wine, hiking, and Downton Abbey.
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