The aim of Mapinit is to put those spots that are not on the map, on the map. Be it mountain bike trails, surf breaks or the best place to kite surf Mapinit is there to collate data for our users and present it in an easy intuitive way.
Who is your startup aimed at?
Just about anyone, although there are two key groups!
Adventure sport enthusiasts – Mapinit provides a place to find and share the best spots for a range of activities. As well as the local businesses who that provide the services to go with them. For example on Mapinit.com you can find a whole bunch of dive spots and also the local dive hire shops/boat charters that you need to go with them.
Mapinit is also great for tourists, or users visiting a new area. By collating data on a map users can decide where to go/visit by the activities available. We are in the process of collaborating with holiday letting websites – so users can choose where they stay according to the activities available nearby.
How does your startup stand out against it’s competitors?
Mapinit stands out from its competition by bringing data together. Although there are lots of specialist sites that cater to individual activities – like surfing or diving – Mapinit is different in that we put it all in one place.
Also we allow users to add and share their own places – mobile integration and an app in the pipeline mean that users can geotag their location and add their spot on the move. Plus our social media integration means they can easily share it through Facebook and Twitter.
Mapinit also lets users choose whether or not they want to share their spot on the main map or keep it secret. A lot of surf enthusiasts (for example) are reluctant to share their ‘secret’ spots – and as such we let them add places to their own private map.
Mapinit is also different from competitors by really trying to harness local businesses. We see Mapinit.com as a great platform for companies to build their online footprint. When businesses add themselves to the map they have the opportunity to add their contact details – phone numbers, website links, Facebook pages – can all be uploaded to their profile. On top of this if the business account then goes on to add new places – eg a dive shop adding local dive spots – they essentially ‘own’ that spot and can put their links onto that page. The idea is that local businesses, who are well equipped with local knowledge, are encouraged to add spots to the map to increase their exposure!
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
The idea came from Mapinit’s founder Steve, who is a keen fisherman and mad triathlete! He holidays a lot in Florida where he loves to fish and has discovered loads of great little spots – but had no easy way to log them. Mapinit was born when Steve realised that there was nowhere that a user could easily tag, store and share outdoor spots!
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I’m very new to all this! I recently finished a Masters in Business Management from Imperial College and running Mapinit is my first step into the business world! A lot of my friends have jumped straight into very corporate jobs in banking, finance and consultancy and I preferred the idea of having a little more freedom and control over my working life.
Steve is a little more sensible and is the managing director/owner of Cobia Uk who specialise in outsourced payroll and tax. Believe it or not he prefers working on Mapinit!
How long has the your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
Mapinit has been going for about 18months, although its only in the past 6weeks or so that we’ve really started to ramp up our operations to try and get it out there.
The team are:
Ben Grant- I joined Mapinit in September to essentially run the company.
Steve Wiles – Mapinits founder, the driving force (and wallet!) behind the site!
Rolands Snikeris – The tech-wizard! Everything on Mapinit.com is down to his genius and sleepless nights!
Andris Snikeris – Rolands younger brother who gets drafted in to help – he helps a lot with Mapinit’s database.
Samatha Roberts – Sam helps out with the social media side of things, getting Mapinit out there on Facebook and Twitter.
Nick Jones – Owner of Columbus Consultants, Nick acts as a mentor to Mapinit and if we can persuade him an investor too!
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
Time. Somehow balancing everyday commitments and day jobs with the needs of site to get it going and growing!
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
The ultimate aim has to be to break a profit and prove that the concept is a valid business!
Our priority is to build the site’s user and visitor numbers, the sooner we can get over 10,000 unique views a month the better!
We’d also like to have an app built and making its way towards the App Stores Top 100.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Do it or someone else will!