Baton Rouge entrepreneurs find need for new app after 2016 floods
BATON ROUGE - Four Baton Rouge entrepreneurs are changing the way people rent household items through an app called ‘Idle - happy renting.’
Since it was launched three weeks ago, 500 people have downloaded it on their phone. The idea came after the 2016 floods.
“We had trouble getting things we need for our friends and family,” said co-founder Brandon Wilson. “Items like air compressors, pressure washers and skilled saws that were used for the construction process.”
Forced to buy expensive tools his friends either didn't have or were ruined in the water, Wilson and three others thought of another way.
“There’s some communities that weren't impacted by this, and we could use their equipment and their tools to help out other people,” Wilson explained.
The result is the Idle app. It’s a platform where people can borrow everyday items like a leaf blower, cooking tools or a camera.
“If I own a pressure washer that I paid $900 for... Why do you need to own, maintain and store a pressure washer when you live three blocks away from me?” questioned Wilson.
For those looking to cash in on some of their belongings, they can choose what area they want to rent out to, and for what price: daily or weekly.
“Your items that you list as an owner are insured up to $500,” Wilson said. “So if something were to happen to your item it would go to a dispute resolution between you and the renter. Idle would get involved if there is an agreement that can't be made among the owner and renter."
It's technology that came out of hardship, launched only in the Greater Baton Rouge area so far, that is designed for neighbors to help each other out.
“It brings our community together to utilize equipment and tools in a more sufficient manner,” Wilson said.
There are a few hundred items for rent on the app right now. The founders hope to expand the app offering a delivery setting. Until then, those renting can either have their item picked up, meet at a mutual location or deliver it themselves.
The app is free and available on Apple and Android devices. When searching for the app, type 'Idle happy renting.'