In a four-part series, Dynamic Business talks to The Sharing Hub’s startup community about their businesses and their story with using an accelerator programme.
In part 2 of the 4 part series, we speak to Michael Rosenbaum, Founder and CEO of Spacer and Co-Founder of The Sharing Hub itself.
The Sharing Hub is a community which aims to accelerate the life cycle of startups that are sharing economy platforms – allowing access to education, mentorship and investment opportunities, as well as provide a space for entrepreneurs to collaborate and share their advice and experiences.
The community aims to bring sharing economy businesses and consumers together to help accelerate collaborate growth, performance, community contribution, technology and innovation.
Michael’s startup is Spacer, which is an online marketplace for space, connecting people with extra space – namely garages, car spaces and storage units – (Hosts) with those looking for storage space (Renters). Spacer aims to utilise and share local resources to meet a need in the community.
We asked Michael more about his startup, his motivation for founding it and how important networking has been for growing the business.
Tell us about your startup – why and when you decided to found it?
Spacer was founded in late 2015 as a way to provide Australians with a solution to a very common problem; locating much-needed extra space including parking spots and general storage.
Powered by the sharing economy, we were eager to launch a platform that would connect those with extra space to the Aussies that need them.
How has The Sharing Hub helped your startup to grow?
The main benefit that The Sharing Hub has provided is the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded sharing economy business founders during the most important years of a startup’s journey – scaling and growth.
The sense of community is invaluable as fellow entrepreneurs are given the chance to provide peer-mentorship and share what is and isn’t working for their business. As founders, we’re constantly seeking out advice and tips from those that may have faced similar challenges on their journey and The Sharing Hub provides that.
What’s been the biggest thing you’ve learned or realised since joining the accelerator?
The power of a network and how to become ‘rich’ with knowledge.
My favourite saying at the moment is ‘your network is your net worth’. I believe this holds so much truth in life in general and especially throughout the entrepreneur journey. There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained through the people you surround yourself with when creating and building a business.
How has your startup changed since you joined The Sharing Hub?
Being a part of The Sharing Hub has allowed us to build on each other and really fast-track our businesses in a way that may otherwise not have been possible.
We’ve created this safe space where we can swap stories about business highs and lows while leaning on each other for support and really being able to accelerate each other’s businesses through one another’s learnings.
What does the future look like for your business?
Now recognised as the number one parking app in Australia, we have been growing rapidly in the past couple of years, with more than 40,000 available spaces for hire across the country.
We’re excited to continue this momentum, as we work to make the platform even more convenient for our Hosts and Renters. This year our sights have been set on strengthening our presence as a long-term space and parking solution.
We’ve also been making strides to providing these solutions across the world as we work on expanding into the U.S. market.
Would you recommend an accelerator to other startups, and why?
Absolutely. I find it is most valuable for those that already have some type of traction with their startup and have passed the initial ‘building’ stage. The sweet spot for these type of accelerators seem to be for those that are scaling up. That’s where you can really benefit from the knowledge of those in a similar stage as yourself.