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1000 Tools brings sharing economy to pricey tools

The inspiration for 1000 Tools, a startup based on the idea of a sharing economy, came from an unlikely source: a Ford Probe.

Alan Mond used to own a Ford Probe. Like most other student-owned automobiles it eventually needed repairs. And like most college students, it made more financial sense for Mond to fix it himself than go to an auto repair shop. The only problem is he didn't have the tools he needed to do it.

"I could have bought the tools outright or I could have borrowed them from my friends but they didn't have all the tools I needed," Mond says. He adds that borrowing tools isn't a practice that strengthens friendships as much as it wears them thin.

So he came up with the idea of creating a website where people could put their expensive and niche tools up for rent. That became 1000 Tools about six months ago, when Mond teamed up with Julien Vanier (a software developer) to bring the idea to fruition.

1000 Tools is based on the idea of the sharing economy. Think Airbnb (where people can put homes or rooms up for rent online) but with tools. 1000 Tools and its team of three people have so far attracted 270 users who have put everything from a bread maker to an excavator up for rent online.

"We're going to grow it first in Ann Arbor and spread it to other cities," Mond says. "We'd like to have 1,000 tools by the end of the year."

Source: Alan Mond, co-founder & CEO of 1000 Tools
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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