Melbourne-made app Hubspot connects like-minded people on social media

Sam Ethell and Alfonso Ordonez, co-founders of Hubspot

It’s the great Australian tale of mateship: two blokes meet in a bar, get to talking about basketball and footy, go to gym together and forge a friendship for the ages. The difference with this story is that we have used their union to create an app set to take over the world.

My mate and I, Alfonso Ordonez have many mutual interests, which is why we became such great friends. Now, along with Gustavo Campos, we have created Hobspot—an app to help others do the same.

Alfonso and I met at a mutual friend’s bar through various common interests. I was wearing a basketball jersey and he noticed me walking up to a group of mutual friends and then pointed me out and said ‘Ohio State!’, which was the basketball jersey I was wearing at the time.

Ohio State is a team that not a lot of people know, so straight away from there we got on like a house on fire.

We started talking about basketball, got to know each other, exchanged details to catch up in the future. Three months went past and then we caught up again at another mutual friend’s bar, just as a coincidence.

We started talking again and we realised the Super Bowl was on the next day. We both went down to watch it because we are both very interested in it and that was pretty much where the friendship went to 100.

We started playing gridiron together, we started going to the gym together, we started talking about entrepreneurship and mobile applications together.

From there, Hobspot came about. And it’s is a complete reflection of our friendship and how it started.

How it works

The app is designed to connect you with new, like-minded people nearby.

You download the app, you sign into it, select your hobbies and then start connecting with people through mutual interests.

It’s especially ideal for those looking to find new people to do things with, like those who have just moved to a new city, started a new course or are new parents. We pretty much really wanted to share our experience with everyone out there.

Another benefit is the power of like-minded interests—you never know where they are going to take you. This opened up an opportunity for us that we never thought was possible: starting up a new business in something that we both really wanted to do, which is design mobile applications.

We were very lucky to come across each other. That’s why our particular story reflects what we are trying to implement through the app.

Why Victoria is the perfect place to launch the app

For a startup like ours that’s focused on hobbies and interests, Victoria is the ideal location to kick it off—there’s so much to do.

I love sport, I love events and I love the culture that the state has. Everyone who comes here pretty much soaks it up straight away. There’s a feeling of community and that real excitement that everyone has when the weekend comes.

There is always something going on. If you can’t find something to do in Melbourne, then you probably haven’t walked outside.

There is also plenty to do throughout Australia, not just in Victoria. There is a very big culture of mateship, socialising and making new friends through various different activities. In Victoria, especially, we have found that people are very, very friendly.

We think it’s great place for us to start testing the platform and then taking it to different states, the whole country and then after that, around the world.


Sam Ethell
Co-founder of Hobspot