Today we’re talking to Wayne Lopez, the founder of Ayoopa; a site that allows you to rent travel gear locally from other individuals. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies. I ran into Wayne in the comments of Tnooz a few weeks ago, and reached out to him to have him answer a few questions.
Without further adieu…
1) What do you do?
At Ayoopa we INVIGORATE LIFE! It’s an online rental marketplace for travel stuff on-demand, with stuff being a scientific term meaning gear, equipment, things. We curate our supply of travel stuff from local people who want to remove the clutter in their life while at the same time making money on their unused goods. Think of it as rental consignment. Then we make it easy for people traveling (adventurers, active lifestyle, traveling Moms) to get quality travel goods for rent through our website.
2) Why do you do what you do?
We’re true believers in collaborative consumption. Why keep buying when there are goods already around you. What we’ve seen is that in the travel space, goods can be quite costly. Sometimes it precludes you from enjoying your travel. You have to worry about storage, the environment and even getting true value from something used infrequently. We think in many cases, renting is a better option. Our goal with Ayoopa is to make it convenient to get access to goods only needed for temporary use.
3) What are you most excited about right now?
We’re excited that collaborative consumption is really taking the U.S. by storm. Parts of Europe, Australia and South America are further along in this concept. With companies like Airbnb, RelayRides and TaskRabbit, it’s making it more acceptable to use similar services like Ayoopa.
4) What’s next for you?
Right now we are focused on the Houston area. We find there are a ton of casual adventurers who live here. But we’ve also found that there are a lot of business travelers who come to Houston for conferences, trade shows and general business travel, so we’ve spun up our first mobile app. It allows them to reserve items they need that they either forgot or didn’t want to carry with them on their travels. Pretty soon we expect to expand to Austin and San Antonio then other strategically targeted cities throughout the U.S.
5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’ve been involved with Junior Achievement and other programs to teach under privileged kids about business, economics and entrepreneurship. I think it’s also important to stress the role technology has in our everyday lives. So I continue to participate in these types of programs so kids can increase their awareness and get opportunities that don’t always exist in their communities.
If you’re keen to connect with Wayne further, you can find his current location on his OHW profile. A big thanks to Wayne for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Wayne:
We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).