Oxford MBA alumnus launches 'Airbnb' for the mobility sector

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A new service to help people with mobility difficulties or a disability find fully accessible holiday properties worldwide has been co-founded by Srin Madipalli, an alumnus of Saïd Business School.

Accomable

There is an entire demographic of people who are older and are likely to have mobility issues.

An online service to help people with mobility difficulties or a disability find accessible holiday properties has been co-founded by Oxford MBA alumnus Srin Madipalli. With ambitions to be the next Expedia or Airbnb for the mobility sector, Accomable provides a platform to connect travellers with suitable properties worldwide.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy has not prevented Srin Madipalli from travelling the world. Together with his friend and cofounder Martyn Sibley, who has the same condition, he has had many adventures including scuba diving, flying a plane, wheelchair trekking through mountains and a camping safari in Africa. In 2011 Srin travelled the world for 6 months but found it really hard to organise suitable accessible accommodation, medical equipment, transportation and other things that he required.

Srin and Martyn already ran an online magazine called Disability Horizons with 40,000 readers per month, but their travel experiences led them to think that they could do better than just providing advice in a magazine. Their idea was to build something that would make travel easy for anyone with a mobility problem or disability.

They began to work on the proposition and business model. Srin learnt to code and built the online platform and in April 2015 Accomable launched a prototype site with 40 properties listed across the UK, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, USA and the Czech Republic – with many more due to come online soon.

While Srin has faced issues inherent to all new start-ups he credits his time at Oxford Saïd and the resources available to him in getting Accomable to the launch stage. In 2013 he won a Skoll Venture Award worth £20,000 which has gone towards development of the site; he was an Entrepreneurial Fellow at the Entrepreneurship Centre; and he learnt about management of early stage investing as a member of the School’s student-run Seed Fund committee. When Srin was on the MBA programme, the GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford) theme that year was on demographic shifts and the business and policy implications created by the long term trend towards global ageing. ‘That did influence us to change our thinking and appeal to a broader audience than just those with disabilities, realising that there is an entire demographic of people who are older and are likely to have mobility issues,’ said Srin.

The future vision for Accomable is to provide an efficient, one-stop shop for travellers with mobility difficulties or a disability. ‘We would like to overcome some of the common issues encountered by being able to offer not only accommodation, but to include transportation, hire of specialist equipment, details of medical suppliers or anything that is specialist or particularly niche,’ said Srin. They also plan to move from a being a broker to monetising the site by introducing an integrated payment system from which they will take a commission. Their first funding round will start in September.

To view the site click here: http://www.accomable.com

For more information or to speak with Srin please contact the press office:
Josie Powell, Senior Press Officer,
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215, Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Kate Richards, Press Officer,
Mobile: +44 (0) 7711000521; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288879
Email: kate(dot)richards(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to editors

About Srin Madipalli
Srin Madipalli lives in London and worked as a lawyer at a leading international commercial law firm in the City of London. He graduated from King’s College, University of London with a first class degree in Biochemistry and received the university’s nomination for best undergraduate in the UK’s Science, Engineering and Technology student awards. Following that, Srin re-qualified as a lawyer and advised some of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions. After four years in practice, Srin left the law to commence an MBA at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School with a focus on entrepreneurship.

About Martyn Sibley
Martyn Sibley lives in Cambridgeshire and runs his social media consultancy called Sunnier Days. He previously worked as a product development executive at Scope, the UK’s leading disability charity. Martyn graduated from Coventry University with a Masters degree in Marketing and a bachelors Degree in Economics. After university, Martyn briefly lived in his hometown of St.Ives (Cambridgeshire) before moving down to London to take up the role at Scope HQ. Since university Martyn has become an influential voice in the disability sphere through his pioneering use of social media and e-campaigning via his blog, http://www.martynsibley.com. He aims to inspire, inform and change the world for disabled people.

About Saïd Business School
Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2014) Saïd is ranked 10th. It is ranked 10th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2015) and 22nd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2015). The MBA is ranked 7th in BusinessWeek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2014) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 21st worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2014). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 14th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2015). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (May 2015) and has ranked first in nine of the last eleven years in The Times (Sept 2014). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/

ENDS

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