Michelle HammondFollow on twitter www.startupsmart.com.au
How I created and sold a start-up in 48 hours: MatesRates’ Vinko Grgic
Serial entrepreneur Vinko Grgic has sold the intellectual property of his latest start-up to GimmeQuotes, just hours after creating the venture at a Startup Weekend.
Grgic and his wife Colette are the founders of Arribaa, a community marketplace that helps travellers fund their next trip by hosting local experiences for other travellers visiting their town.
Arribaa works out of Sydney co-working space Fishburners. Grgic recently attended a Startup Weekend, where he pitched his idea for a new start-up dubbed MatesRates.
MatesRates allows people to save money on professional services by getting a discounted introduction referral from a friend.
After forming a team and building the basic concept, Startup Weekend mentor Kim Heras suggested MatesRates speak to Luke Howes, chief executive of GimmeQuotes, for advice.
“They were working on a problem that I knew was part of the solution that GimmeQuotes was trying to create… so it just made sense to put them in touch,” Heras says.
GimmeQuotes offers consumers free quotes on services including building and renovation, electrical services, furniture removal and storage, and gardening and lawn mowing.
Within hours of contacting GimmeQuotes, negotiations began for the purchase of the MatesRates IP. A deal was signed on Sunday – less than 48 hours after Grgic pitched the idea.
“Two or three weeks before the event, I had this idea. Once you get into start-ups, you think about things all the time,” he says.
“I said to Colette, something really quite painful for people is when they need to find a new service… How do you help people with that?”
“There’s no real kind of mechanism for it, so I just kind of thought, wouldn’t it be cool? I whacked up a Facebook page and didn’t even publish it.”
But when Grgic pitched his idea at Startup Weekend, it proved popular. He was able to assemble a team consisting of himself and five others, who quickly set to work.
It wasn’t until the following day Vinko contacted GimmeQuotes and spoke to Howes, who says he was interested in the MatesRates concept from the start.
“I know Vinko… He called me on the Saturday afternoon and [explained what he was doing],” Howes says.
“We’d been talking a lot about how businesses are referred and recommended. It’s not a core part of what we do [at GimmeQuotes] but it’s what we’re interested in.”
“We had quite a lengthy chat and he shared some of the ideas that he and we are looking at. We tossed around a lot of ideas.”
“Later that night, I got an email from him with this suggestion – if you’re interested in doing some sort of agreement, let’s talk about it.”
“I thought, it’s a good idea, it’s something we’re interested in and the whole point of Startup Weekend is really dedicated, focused work.”
Negotiations commenced and a deal was completed before 5pm on Sunday. The MatesRates IP was acquired for an undisclosed sum. At this stage, it’s unknown how it will be integrated into the GimmeQuotes service.
“We need to work that out. There is a number of ways for us to integrate it,” Howes says.