Andrew was a former computer engineer and high school technology teacher. He moved to Christchurch from Canberra about two and a half years ago with his family.
The reasoning behind the move to Christchurch was to become part of the city’s thriving entrepreneurial and innovative post-quake community. He and his family were attracted to the can-do attitude and passion-filled perseverance that Cantabrians displayed throughout the post-Earthquake rebuild process.
Q: What inspired you to start Flipout Christchurch?
A: Before I moved to Christchurch, my son spent at least 3 days a week jumping-about at Flipout and we were a fixture there for about 3 years. When we decided to move to Christchurch, I jokingly told the owner of our local Flipout in Canberra that - sorry, he was about to lose one of their greatest customers because we’re moving to Christchurch! That’s when he mentioned Flipout was looking to open a branch in Christchurch.
The Flipout parent company was set-up about 5 years ago in Australia by Brent Grundy who rapidly built the franchise numbers up to about 35 of them across Australia. There are now 5 in Australia and they’ve recently opened up 17 stores in England now. They are rapidly growing internationally.
Q: How did that franchise model work for you? Did you feel that there was enough support in getting started in Christchurch?
The only reason you go into a franchise is because the systems are already in place to actually get the business up and running. I felt it was really good to have that backup and assistance behind me. It meant that I felt I had extra confidence in actually being able to do it properly
A: It has worked out quite well we’ve got a whole network of Flipout’s around the world that we can bounce ideas off (pun intended!). Additionally, the equipment actually gets built in a Flipout factory in Poland so again you’re not dealing with a whole pile of unknown suppliers.
Q: Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey so far.
A: It’s been really good in that I’ve learnt a great deal. My background has been very technical in a lot of respects. The teaching experience was very helpful because it helped me understand how kids learn. Flipout is completely different in that it is understanding how to turn something I enjoy into profit. That’s an interesting challenge for me.
I also found that, as a business owner, you have to be so talented at so many different parts of the business. You have to multitask a lot of the time and that’s made me realise what I’m really good at and the areas I’m not so good at.
In the areas for which I was lacking in skill, I was able to bring in others to help. Having a great team behind you is is definitely the key to running a successful business.
It’s not always about staff. I mean take Ministry of Awesome for example, it’s about bouncing ideas off of people who have heard these issues before and share in their experiences. It’s about finding people that have more experience in areas that perhaps you don’t know much about.
Flipout is a huge project, a multi-million dollar project. And - at that scale - there are a lot of pressures on you to get that to work properly. It’s still that way. Every day I am thinking of how we can increase revenue.
Constant re-evaluation is required when you run your own business. You’ve got to look at the expenses incurred and what improvements can be made. That’s what we’re dealing with now, looking at areas we can optimise so that we can scale the business, make it more sustainable, all while increasing profitability.
Q: How has Ministry of Awesome helped you on this journey?
Ministry of Awesome to me is the centre point of a strong and collaborative community of entrepreneurs and that is useful for me. Ministry of Awesome has built a strong community over the years with connections, contacts and networks that are well curated and that provide opportunity and connection to entrepreneurs in Christchurch and Canterbury.
An example of this is how I was introduced to the Foreign Students Association who have more than 10,000 members all of whom - when in Christchurch - are my target customers and a useful network to work within.
I value Ministry of Awesome because they are a great cornerstone to the entrepreneurial community in Christchurch.
Q: Was there a particular person who suggested Ministry of Awesome to you?
A: I found out about Ministry of Awesome by visiting the EPIC Innovation Centre and picking up a flyer! I went to one of the early Coffee and Jam’s and the amount of enthusiasm and passion that the audience and the members of Ministry of Awesome had about entrepreneurial projects and helping others attain their dreams was fantastic to see.
One of the reasons we wanted to move to Christchurch was because of the rebuild and the effect that the earthquake recovery had on the city. Because I wasn’t here during the earthquake I didn’t have that negative memory attached to the event.
Post Earthquake Christchurch is really exciting. We are designing what Christchurch is going to be like in the next 50 years and each of us is part of it! This is really cool when you think of it from a futuristic perspective, the scale of things to come.
And yes, I have lived in some really nice places round the world but not many places have the passion that they have in Christchurch or the resilience.
They’ve had to sustain that idea of positivity for such a long time and will continue to do it as the rebuild will take a decade at least. That’s a long time to maintain vision and positivity!
Thanks Andrew for chatting to Ministry of Awesome! Come on over to Flipout Christchurch and have a jump around at 230 Maces Road, Bromley Christchurch open 7 days a week from 9am. Visit the website here to book and for more information.
Social media links for Flipout Christchurch:
Andrew Moss, Owner and Operator
MOBILE: +64 21202 5022
Interviewed by: Imogen Loakman, Awesome Intern at Ministry of Awesome