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‘Roomeaze’ takes out the top prize at Hahn Jumpstart competition, but can they take on giant RealEstate.com.au?

- December 10, 2014 2 MIN READ

Much like the founders of alcohol company Hahn themselves, the winners of the recently held ‘Hahn Jumpstart‘ competition are four friends that have come together with the goal of building their dream. Scott Saxton, Alex Paterson, Dave Ganely and Adam Jowett have taken out the top prize at the Hahn Jumpstart competition, netting themselves $20,000 in prize money as well as tailored mentoring packages from some of Australia’s top entrepreneurs for their startup called ‘Roomeaze”.

Saxton and Paterson were the two representing the group throughout the competition, and ultimately beat out over 100 other entries to take the main prize, taking part in a two day judging experience with the 10 other finalists, which included pitching their idea to a panel of judges.

The new Roomeaze app, which is yet to launch will provide an easy, safe and fun way of connecting people with compatible roommates. The problem the team are solving is very real, but the new company is most definitely not the first to launch a solution that aims to solve it. Easyroommate.com is a giant in the exact same space, with the exact same proposition and currently has over 5 million users, CompatibiliityLLC.com also plays in the same space but is focused specifically on students. Grabhouse.com is also in that student space and is penetrating the Asian market rapidly. Another major player that has piggybacked off Facebook is Roomster, which uses unique algorithms to match you with the perfect housemates based on each of your social profiles.

But perhaps the biggest whale to make its way into this ‘find a roommate’ vertical is RealEstate.com.au via it’s purchase of Australia’s Roomz.com launched by Daniel Oertli and Jason Furnell in early 2013. In October of this year Roomz.com’s technology and layout was integrated into the RealEstate.com.au /share sub-site.

Whilst at the moment there is an emphasis on the room rather than the company you will be keeping on the site, there are very clear indications on both the desktop and mobile versions of the service that the ‘people’ aspect of the equation is about to become an important feature.

This doesn’t mean that Roomeaze won’t be able to successfully compete though. The company is launching with a mobile-first solution, and in the same way that Roomz.com was able to acquire a lot of users very fast, with the right strategies, Roomeaze should be able to do the same – the only difference is that unlike Roomz.com which was able to do this almost competition-free on mobile, they have some tough, well-funded companies in the space now to navigate – so user experience and ‘one touch’ functionality is going to be critical for its growth.

On the win, Paterson said, “We’re incredibly pumped to have won, especially having been up against so many other great ideas from finalists. We’ve always really believed in Roomeaze and are so passionate about making it happen, so I think that’s what made us stand out!”

“The $20,000 will obviously be a massive help in getting Roomeaze off the ground however we’re most excited about is to meet with Jack Delosa and the other mentors to talk about how we can do that. It’s just such a great opportunity and we’re really thankful for it.”

Lion BSW National Marketing Director, Matt Tapper, said: “It was great to see so many passionate people getting behind the Hahn JumpStart program demonstrating fresh thinking, collaborative and innovative ideas. We are proud to be supporting these three winning groups in their journey to bring their ideas to life”.