Startup: Open Shed

- October 9, 2011 2 MIN READ

Lisa Fox has a big plan: to help everyday Aussies join the collaborative consumption movement – where the old ideas of swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting are given a new lease of life – by renting out their idle stuff to others in their community.

Collaborative consumption is a trend that has grown increasingly popular in recent years as consumers have grown more environmentally conscious and, let’s face it , more thrifty.

“Clothing swaps, car and bike share schemes are just a few of the options available to consumers, and while demand is high for collaborative consumption products and services, the Australian market has been slow to catch up”, Lisa said.

“We all tend to have stuff lying idle in backyard sheds and spare bedrooms – power drills, lawn mowers, tents, sporting equipment – the list is endless and I thought, why not help people harness that idling capacity by renting out those items.? With that, the idea for Open Shed materialised and my partner Duncan and I have been working on it ever since!

Giving up their respective careers in Law and Software Development to focus on the project, Lisa and Duncan are now well on their way to making their dream a reality.

“Of course it can be seen as a risky move to quit our jobs. But for us it was riskier not to give our big idea a go. The last six months we have learnt so much and we have found it really helpful to leverage the collaborative nature of the internet. I joined community website, PlanBig, which has been a huge source of support for my plan. Having the ability to connect virtually with like-minded people who share my passion on this initiative has helped me tremendously,” said Lisa.

“Through PlanBig, I was able to harness the collective knowledge and opinions of the community to shape everything from the direction of our business, to our name and logo.”

An initiative of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, www.planbig.com.au is the contemporary iteration of the bank’s core approach, drawing on the strengths of social networking to facilitate community outcomes.

Open Shed will be available to Australians nationwide, and with private messaging facilities, reputation and feedback tools and secure funds handling through PayPal, it is a safe and secure way for re sourceful and community minded individuals to participate in the sharing economy and do more with less.

“The concept of shared-consumption has been flourishing overseas, and we’re excited to see it take off in Australia too,” Lisa said.

“Our site will offer Australians the opportunity to save and make money while building and strengthening community ties. It’s also a great way for Australians to make better use of their stuff and potentially experience things they might not have had the chance to otherwise.”

Open Shed is set to launch this month.


To find out more and to register your interest visit PlanBig at: www.planbig.com.au