Michael Roloff is the Chief Executive Officer of Rental Pal. As a former amateur skateboarder and young entrepreneur, Roloff is an expert when it comes to sports rental equipment. Roloff spent over 16 years as a skateboarder but his career was cut short due to a knee injury. He is an avid sportsman and has rock climbed, played baseball, football and Jiu Jitsu. Roloff graduated from the College of San Mateo with a Business Administration and a Computer Science degree. He has dedicated time to the sports community by teaching skateboarding lessons. Prior to founding Rental Pal, Roloff was a product manager for an app called Media Monster. He also made rented out snowboards, surfboards and various of my sports equipment on sites such as Craigslist and Facebook. Roloff also had a previous start up called Easy Target Design in which clothing was designed for high school sports teams and clubs and eventually led to being purchased by an art group in Los Angeles, California.
Tell us a bit about your business and why you started it.
Rental Pal is a mobile marketplace for users to rent sports gear and find lessons in the sport they are interested in area of choice. Users are also able to lend or host sports gear and lessons. If the individual owns a sports business, they have the option to have a verified profile that allows them to appear higher in search results allowing them to convert more sales. Rental Pal also helps with web development, social media and media services for business in the sports industry. Rental Pal was started due to a decline in participants in action sports in smaller cities. We noticed a lot of the sport businesses were not active on social media and it is hard to reach your audience without the power of apps and social media. We wanted to create a way for users to connect to the sports they love and want two try and to connect shops to the audiences they want to reach.
What do you sell?
Rental Pal is an app that offers the ability for all sports enthusiasts to host gear and make extra money, including sports shops, and also allows consumers to rent extreme sports gear in the area they live through geotargeting. The mobile app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices. Hailed as “Craigslist meets Uber”, Rental Pal allows one to rent a variety of skateboards, snowboards, surfboards, golf clubs and more. Rental Pal also has a B2B service that helps sports gear shops have an online appearance and a way to market their gear to travelers, adventurers and first-time sports enthusiasts. In addition, Rental Pal promotes sporting events, as well as helps to set up mobile store fronts for sports gear shops in the local neighborhood to give sports enthusiasts a digital store front connecting to a different market of customers. It is one of the only companies that rent sports gear all through geotargeting with a mobile app.
Briefly describe your target audience (niche).
Rental Pal’s target audience are travelers, sports enthusiasts, families and athletes.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of our partnership with Indian motorcycles , SDI-racing and various other sport equipment shops. I am also proud of expanding our business to the island of Oahu, Hawaii which is my hometown.
What makes your business story unique?
I was an amateur athlete in skateboarding in which my career cut short due to a knee injury. After not knowing what I would do next, I knew I wanted to stay involved sports somehow. I picked up iOS development and eventually went to school in order to gain the necessary education to bring Rental Pal to fruition. We now have multiple partners in the surf, SUP, skate and motorcycle industry and plan to expand to every sport by the end of the year becoming the one stop spot to get into any sport of your choice.
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