MOWR APP AIMS TO CUT MORE THAN GRASS
Written on the 22 April 2015 by Karen Rickert
THE rise of the share economy has led to more people outsourcing daily tasks, with one Gold Coast man staking claim to some turf in the sector.
Tom Matthew (pictured) plans to develop an app to transform the landscaping industry and make it easier for people to hire a lawn mowing service.
MOWR uses GPS technology to provide an overview of a user's yard, allowing them to outline the area that requires mowing with the trace of a finger.
Lawn mowing businesses can provide a quote for the job without having to visit the site, as well as boost productivity by coordinating multiple jobs in the same area.
The concept is similar to community-based outsourcing apps, such as Uber, Airbnb or Airtasker, which foster collaboration between a service provider and user.
Matthew came up with the idea after his daughter was born about year ago, and he began looking for ways to streamline chores to spend quality time with his family.
"It's really founded on the idea of giving people more time with their families," Matthew says.
"It's quite unique in the sense that there's two campaigns, one to the end user and one to the mowers because it's going to make their lives easier.
"It really does put the power in the end user, whether that's the mower or the customer.
"Even though Uber is heavily regulated now, it does take the power away from any one large managing body.
"I think that we're all kind of moving to that model where there's individual accountability and a rating system."
The app aims to tap into the estimated $3 billion gardening services industry in Australia, which Matthew says is growing at a rate of 1.8 per cent annually.
Matthew's venture gained traction after he entered MOWR into the Optus Your Shark Tank program, run in conjunction with Channel Ten's Shark Tank.
After being selected as a finalist, he invested $7000 in applying for a patent, researched relevant growth statistics, revised his business pitch and participated in a mentoring session with Shoes of Prey founder Jodie Fox - all in the space of two weeks.
"It was quite mind-blowing," Matthew says.
"I had a great mentor session with Jodie and she really made me realise how unprepared I was.
"I went and did research, organised patents, connected with all the right people and changed my pitch so that it was coming from a much more personal place."
The app hasn't reached the development stage yet, however Matthew is in talks with investors and a large mowing franchise.
"The idea would be to bring it to market quite soon, but these things can take time," he says. "I'm in a rush but I'm prepared to get it right."
MOWR is in the running to win $10,000 prize money as People's Choice and the public can vote on social media by posting #yestom.
Voting closes on April 24.