Sponsored Content with: BDC

​Airbnb is one of the business world’s great success stories, with the company’s founders earning billions.

Two Ottawa entrepreneurs are gunning for success with a similar model, only instead of renting out vacation properties, RVezy specializes in recreational vehicles—motorhomes, tent trailers, camper vans, and the like.

Although the business is still young, with a little tune-up founders Mike McNaught and Will Thompson could well be on the ride of their lives.

The two have a compelling story. McNaught works as a police officer while Thompson is a military vet, having served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. They’re also proud Canadians who happen to love road trips.

One day it just struck McNaught: most people only use their RV for a few weeks a year. Why not rent it out to others who’d love a chance to experience a road trip without investing in a rig themselves?

Here’s how they put it on their website:

“We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience Canada the way it is supposed to be experienced at a reasonable price,” they explain. “At RVezy we are building a community of RV enthusiasts with a passion for the outdoors who are looking for an affordable RV rental experience. We feel that shared experiences and vacation travel provides the best opportunity to create family memories to last a lifetime.”

The website allows people to either rent or list an RV in a few clicks.

The wheels are well in motion: within a year, RVezy was already earning $40,000 per month via its website. The venture holds such promise that McNaught and Thompson had a successful run on Dragons’ Den.

“This is one smart, driven team, and the proof is in the numbers, says Ravi Dindayal, Director, Marketing—Consulting at the Business Development Bank of Canada. “Beyond the money, these two had a compelling pitch, using personal stories to engage with the Dragons and set the tone for their presentation.

“Fellow entrepreneurs could learn something from the pitch style presented here,” he adds. “Mike and Will came into the Den with confidence.”

Dindayal says that now that the tough part is done—starting up a business, pitching on national television, winning a Dragon investment—the company leaders now need to turn their attention to streamlining and simplifying the user experience.

Getting tailored, qualified guidance is crucial to small-business owners, those who have already taken steps such as acquiring start-up financing and turning to experts for sales and marketing advice. BDC offers support in those areas and others, its professionals recognizing that different sectors call for different strategies. Consulting and financing specifically geared to tech entrepreneurs could make all the difference in how far RVezy goes.

“Investing in a means of helping owners take professional pictures of their RV will greatly help to boost listings,” Dindayal says.

McNaught and Thompson had more than one offer in the Den and ended up partnering with Michele Romanow, cofounder of Buytopia.ca, one of the country’s leading daily deal sites. Building tech companies is her focus.

“Having a partner with Michele’s level of expertise in the tech world was of upmost importance to these guys…and it’s important to know where you need help the most.” Dindayal notes. “I think they’re a great match for each other.”

This is paid content provided by or produced on behalf of BDC.

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