Meet Sam. Sam's a cool guy. He has this amazing idea you should read about...
ABAP - Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hobblit - I’m currently a PhD student at the UofC (Organizational Psychology). During my graduate studies, I started working at a local tech startup. It was my first time being introduced into the wonderful world of startups. The major difference I found working at a startup was the people that surround you. Everybody is motivated and driven to execute on a variety of different ideas. Work takes on a different meaning if you feel like it’ll affect people in a positive manner.
As a result, I developed a passion for startups and startup culture. So I decided to work on something that I’ve always wanted to see happen— a global community centre.
I always enjoyed heading to the community centre to socialize and learn something new from local experts. The community I was part of always found local experts to come and host a workshop to teach the surrounding communities. The vibe that’s created when people come together for one goal is incredible. That’s what I wanted to recreate with Hobblit.
Whether it be a photowalk, icefishing, a cooking class or woodworking, anything is possible!
ABAP - Why did you start this company? What do you you?
Last year, I realized I really sucked at photography. A hobby of mine that I take semi-seriously. I’ve been the guy who brings his camera around parties for the better of 5 years— and always ends up with blurry shots. Being fed up with my photography skills, I decided that I was going to take a class that summer. However, everywhere I looked charged upwards of $500 and required a 3 week commitment— out of my budget. So I decided to check out Meetup.com photography groups. I found that these groups were great for meeting and talking with other photographers - but not for actually learning by doing. So I decided to check out Kijiji to find a photographer who would bring me out for a photowalk. After a bit of digging, I found one. We decided on a price and I went right back to meetup.com to see if people would be interested in the photowalk. To my surprise, everyone I had asked was interested and was more than happy to split the cost. At the end of the day, we all got what we came for: a) we made great friends, b) we learned what we wanted to learn and c) saved a ton of money.
I started the company to re-create just that experience but with every other activity— think of the possibilities!
I currently work as the Founder, CEO, Secretary and janitor. We have a team of 6 people at the moment.
ABAP - What are some of the challenges you're facing right now as a start up/ industry related?
At the moment, we're finding it hard to expand our development team as we’ve chosen to work with Ruby on Rails. It seems like all the RoR peeps reside on the west coast \M/ .
ABAP - Big plans for 2016?
We plan to have hosts all over Canada by the end of 2016. We’re beginning to see traction in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. Possibly entering the US market in 2017? Fingers crossed!
ABAP - Advise for entrepreneurs out there?
Don’t give up. I think the most challenging aspect to being an entrepreneur is the internal battle you fight with yourself. You’re only confined by the walls you build.
ABAP - Where can people find you on the World Wide Web?
www.hobblit.com Check it out and don’t forget to sign up!
ABAP - Lastly! What makes Calgary/Alberta so special for you?
The people here are by far the most friendly I’ve ever met. The entrepreneur community is collaborative and very welcoming! Almost everybody I’ve pinged for a coffee has been more than happy to sit down.
Also.. It helps that the mountains are so close, great place to change up the scenery!
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