AFTER friends Mark Cantoni and Ryan Hanly (pictured left and right) chatted with international backpackers at South Burleigh Surf Club, the two men shared their idea for an app allowing travellers to connect with other travellers in locations around the globe.
That led to the creation of Outbound, an app that helps travellers connect with one another and to coordinate travel plans.
Hanly and Cantoni played football together during their studies at Queensland University of Technology. The two friends have extensive travel experience, and they understand the difficulties of conversing with strangers in new places.
"Both of us had travelled solo, so we knew what it was like to turn up in a new place and really put yourself out there to go and chat with someone," Hanly says.
Recalling how there are many apps for meeting people, Hanly says: "It would be really good if there was an app that could show you what travellers were around, and then you could contact them and see if they wanted to do anything."
Launched in January 2015, Outbound has already notched more than 16,000 downloads.
With no background in technology or travel, the two men have experienced their share of challenges.
"We had to get through all the tech barriers; that was a really steep learning curve," Hanly says.
Hanly and Cantoni began a Google search, which led them to finding a group of Melbourne-based developers to help build the app.
"I would love to say it was more romantic than that, but one thing lead to another."
After working from a distance, Outbound now has a team of six developers based in Brisbane.
After almost nine months in development, Hanly and Cantoni found inspiration from Instagram and Twitter for the design.
"We're bootstrapping the project, so we are relying on word of mouth and people telling each other, and that seems to be helping at the moment," Hanly says.
Currently based at River City Labs, Outbound is one of five tech start-up finalists in Brisbane's first ever muru-D, a global start-up accelerator program sponsored by Telstra.
Outbound's founders hope to gain some rapid growth over the next few months, including sourcing investors to help establish it as a fully-functioning business.
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