This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
After the devastating 2016 flood in and around Baton Rouge, a group of local procurement experts found themselves involved in a major recovery effort spearheaded by the industrial supply firm where they work. They soon discovered that securing the necessary tools and equipment in such a high-demand environment was all but impossible.
“There were a lot of times when we needed tools and Home Depot was simply sold out,” says Corey Dinkel. “There just wasn’t enough to go around.”
Those challenges proved to be the spark for those procurement professionals to take the plunge on a technology startup idea they had been casually kicking around for some time. A few months later Dinkel, Brandon Wilson, Lance Glaser and Richard Xie founded Idle, a mobile app for Android and iOS that launched in May.
The app lets users rent needed items from verified and reviewed people who are nearby, and also offers the opportunity to list underused items and earn some extra money. The type of items available range from musical instruments and gardening tools to kitchen equipment and bicycles. All items listed are automatically protected for up to $500.
The “Airbnb for your stuff,” as the founders have called it, has gained a foothold in Baton Rouge over the past few months, setting up the company for an expansion into other markets and positioning it for outside investment to fuel more growth.