STARTUP WEEKEND: Tess Hall (front, black cap) and her idea were voted best new business idea at a recent event in Byron Bay by StartInno.
STARTUP WEEKEND: Tess Hall (front, black cap) and her idea were voted best new business idea at a recent event in Byron Bay by StartInno. Contributed.

Accommodation up and ready for Bluesfest

A NEW web-based accommodation portal targeting touring professionals is set to rival Airbnb has been developed locally and should be running for the Bluesfest next year.

The new sharing economy accommodation portal called Indie Homes will reduce the guess work and risks involved with choosing short-to medium term accommodation over the internet, innovator Tess Hall said.

No suprises

The film maker and communications specialist has recently settled in Byron Bay but spends hundreds of nights a year on the road, and has had plenty of surprises along the way, she said.

On a recent trip to Los Angeles she booked a room in a house for 12 nights but arrived in a heat wave to find a pile of rubbish littering the kitchen, and a flatmate who was quite unstable, she said.

She couldn't stay and had to spend a small fortune finding alternate accommodation at short notice she said.

"Hotels and homeowners have a tendency to overstate exactly what they offer," she said.

"I have first hand experience of this, and I saw a gap in the market about 18 months ago," she said.

Gap in the market

On her new site the descriptions of what is on offer and the advantages of the location will be assessed independently, she said.

It is also based on a business to business model, which will help develop a more professional relationship between the parties she said.

Ms Hall already has a pilot website up and running and hopes to have 10 accommodation sites available by Easter next year for the Blues Festival, and 20 sites ready to go for the Falls Festival in July.

Marketed to professionals

The website is being marketed to musician, artists and other touring professionals who spend a lot of time on the road, she said.

Indie Homes was voted as one of the best new business ideas at a Startup Weekend put on by StartInno.

The 54-hour event held in Byron Bay last weekend aimed to "educate, support, and empower people to become entrepreneurs".



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