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What is 5over50?
5over50 is an Anthill initiative launched in mid-2010 as an offshoot of its popular 30under30 awards. It recognises Australian entrepreneurs over age 50 who have started a new business in the past five years. More.
Gary Berman, NSW (b. 1958)
Name: Gary Berman
Age: 51 (Born: December 1958)
After more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Gary Berman felt he had hit the ceiling. It was time to do something new — something in which he could be the boss. And he wanted to put all of that hotel-management knowledge to good use.
The result: ubid4rooms.com. The website allows people to bid for deeply discounted rooms at hotels across Australia and in New Zealand. Berman reasons that hotels would rather sell a room at an unusually low price than let it remain unused.
“The guest essentially names the price they want to pay for the room and the hotel has three hours to either accept or decline it,” says Berman, who launched the site in 2007 with the help of angel investors.
More than 1,000 properties are listed with ubid4rooms.com — “from B&Bs to resorts and everything in between,” Berman says. The site’s distinctive purple and green scheme is reflected in the reflected in the company’s Kincumber office, coloring everything from bookcases to laptops to, of course, their displays at travel shows.
The company has been featured on “Today Tonight” and “Brisbane Extra.” The state tourism minister launched the site at a Parliament House ceremony.
“While I always knew I had an entrepeneurial streak, it took the right time and a few things falling into place for me to make the giant leap,” says Berman, who adds that tenacity and determination are indispensable traits when you strike out on your own.
“One day you feel you are on your way to glory, others feel like you are taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back,” he says. “These are overcome by moving forward one step at a time, being determined and tenacious, and most of all having a very strong and realistic belief in your product.”
Who says that dotcoms are a Gen Y game?
Promotional video for Ubid4rooms.comM
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 5over50 winners, click here.