Hiring app pitched at Toronto workshop

Magdeline Huang pitches her idea for a ‘‘Temp’’ where people can hire out items for money. Photo: Supplied
Magdeline Huang pitches her idea for a ‘‘Temp’’ where people can hire out items for money. Photo: Supplied
Ever wanted an expensive gadget or piece of clothing but just for a one-off event?

Dunedin woman Magdeline Huang’s hopes to make that possible with her idea to create an app that allows people to hire out items.

She won the Red Bull Basement University New Zealand competition earlier in 2019 with the ‘‘Temp’’ app idea.

Ms Huang was in Toronto, Canada, representing New Zealand in the Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop over three days in the middle of December.

‘‘I would describe Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop as a meeting of creative and inspirational minds,’’ she said.

‘‘The Global Workshop is a three-day programme which consists of workshops and talks, and culminates in the pitch day, where each team presents their pitch and the global winner is selected.’’

Ms Huang was the only solo team at the event, which was won by a team from Austria.

Her idea Temp would allow users to list and hire items online in exchange for a sum of money.

In the video pitch for her idea she used the example of someone with a camera they’re not using, which they would be able to let people hire for money on her app.

Another example she put forward was someone wanting to wear a nice piece of clothing, but only for a weekend. Her app would allow that person to hire the piece of clothing for much less than what they would pay to buy it.

‘‘I came up with this idea because I would always find myself in situations where I needed something for a one-off occasion, and I didn’t want to waste money buying it only to use it once.

‘‘Additionally, I have a few valuable items lying around that I feel are not being utilised often enough by me. At the same time, I know there are people out there who would benefit from using them.’’

Ms Huang said she and the other competitors were treated to a glamorous lifestyle while in Toronto.

‘‘When I first got to Toronto, I felt like I was in an old American soap opera for some reason. I guess it was just the whole ambience and scenery.

‘‘I'm honestly extremely impressed with the workshop.

‘‘When I got to the hotel room, I had a goodie bag waiting for me on my bed and a welcome letter. The venues and restaurants we visited were also extremely fancy.’’

Ms Huang said she was keen on closing the gender gap in tech and she’s a leading member of the Women in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] club.

As part of her trip she was also interviewed in a podcast she regularly listened to.

‘‘[We] also have had a lot of scheduled interviews, and my favourite was with Espree Devora, who interviewed me for her podcast Women in Tech.

‘‘What's crazy for me is the fact that I already listen to her podcast and it's mind-blowing that I will now have my own episode on it.’’

Her app is still in its early stages and she hoped to gain experience and exposure from the competition.

‘‘I am also excited to make a lot of lifelong friends and connections.’’

Ms Huang was also selected with 15 other students to attend the Tertiary Market Immersion Programme travelling through Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore later this month.


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