Justin Hales is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of innovative peer-to-peer caravan hire and caravan sharing community, Camplify.
A locally-grown start-up, the idea was born based on his experience on family holidays as a child and was able to be launched due to the support of the Slingshot Accelerator Program, in conjunction with the NRMA.
Justin is a natural born entrepreneur, always looking for the next big idea.
- Tell us about the journey that led you to start your own business.
I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial. I started my first business when I was in school, and I have had businesses all my life. I just look for opportunities all the time for new types of businesses and this came up and it was a great opportunity to start a business.
- What was your original mission for your business? And has it changed?
Our original goal was to be able to provide an Airbnb style service but for the caravan and RV industry. So we set out with that in mind.
We went through the NRMA Slingshot Program and along the way we found some different challenges and needs that the market had. So we’ve adjusted our product slightly to be able to suit that market and be able to deliver them the service that they are looking for.
- Did you always know you want to be an entrepreneur?
Absolutely. From a young age I looked at different business opportunities. Various people in my family have had small businesses and started businesses from the ground up so it is really in my blood and I love it.
- What do you attribute your success to?
There are a couple of factors. I think one is just backing yourself and having a go, being confident enough to be able to do that.
Another one is hard work, putting in the hours that are required right at the start to build a brand and build the customer service and the processes around that.
A lot of it is also just being in the right place at the right time.
It is really a combination of all those factors to create a really high volume growth business.
- What local entrepreneur do you find inspiring?
Two, Jennifer Holland is one, who invented the Throat Scope. I think it is a great product and she has done amazingly well so far.
Also, Trent Bagnall who started QMASTOR in Newcastle and listed on the stock exchange by the time he was 30 and sold it out to a multinational company for $30 million.
Camplify connects RV owners with holidaymakers, sharing the joy of camping.
Camplify emerged from the 2014 NRMA Slingshot Jumpstart Accelerator Program - a tech accelerator that helps innovative companies launch into the great beyond of high growth tech businesses.
Our peer-to-peer caravan hire service was developed by an Aussie team of camping and caravanning lovers who saw a need for something new.
The idea came from CEO Justin Hales' childhood love of caravanning.