Borrows & Lends
What's the big idea?
Grand Rapids is the natural urban connection to several of Michigan’s most premier outdoor adventuring opportunities. Borrows & Lends seeks to serve an urban population that is tight on space and cash-conscious by pairing adventurous people up with quality gear at low rental rates that are a more affordable option than owning or renting elsewhere.
We see our role as going beyond just being an outfitter. We want to create a community that builds off of the sharing economy and creates a culture of collective adventure.
Gear + Trip Planning + People who love the outdoors. That’s the dream.
Describe the nearest player in your field.
Borrows & Lends is modeled after the Grand Valley State University Outdoor Adventure Center, which provides quality affordable rental gear to students, faculty, and staff. Private outdoor rental gear is available in the greater Grand Rapids area, as is access to several sporting goods stores.
How are you different from that player?
The GVSU Outdoor Adventure Center is an important component of the college campus, yet this type of service is not available to the greater Grand Rapids community. Private outfitters and sporting goods stores offer equipment that tends to be out of the price range of budget adventurers.
How does this idea scale into a big business?
The Greater Grand Rapids Area is seeing rapid growth in its parks, recreation, and trails development. Urban areas are quickly becoming incorporated into recreation culture, as well as linked to it. Borrows & Lends sees a need and desire to expand access to outdoor equipment, trips, and expertise.
Why are you the one to run with this idea?
I am an urban planner, outdoor enthusiast, and adventure savvy millennial. I have a strong aptitude for connections: connecting people to people, and matching people with opportunities. I have always seen the value in social capital as a means towards improving people’s quality of life and ability.
What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?
$5,000 would allow us to:
- Launch an extensive user survey to determine needs and desires, consumer behaviors, and general interest in this service
-Robust marketing including developing a strong web presence/app to attract inventory contributors and future service users.
- Build inventory