It’s safe to say you’ll find a lot of things when you move to another country– a new found independence, home and array of life lessons. But for Alfonso Ordonez, it was a friendship with Sam Ethell that has left the biggest impression.


Making the move from Colombia in 2009 to study a Bachelor of Business (Executive Admin) at Holmgeslen Institute in Chadstone, Alfonso expected to find many things on his travels. It was an unlikely friendship that introduced him to something even more unexpected – an idea now known as ‘Hobspot’.

Despite the polarising catalysts for their arrival, the shared attraction to Victoria’s capital created an exciting backdrop for this newfound friendship. Since being recommend by his immigration agent to study in Melburne, Alfonso was ‘sold right away’ while for Sam, the journey to the education state proved a little more spontaneous. ‘I drove across from Perth in Western Australia with my girlfriend to experience a new city. I’m a huge sports lover so Victoria was the obvious choice.’

Melbourne proved to be a lynchpin in Alfonso and Sam’s friendship, almost as if the Google Map gods had dropped a pin for the two to meet. Sam and I met through a mutual friend during Oktoberfest. He walked into our group and he happened to be wearing a basketball jersey. As I was a basketball fan, I was instantly attracted towards him and I started speaking to Sam straight away. It was basketball that gave me the push to go and speak to him, knowing that perhaps we could start a cool basketball conversation. I wanted to know his history with the sport and we ended up connecting really well, establishing the fact that we had more in common than we first figured.’

It was this mutual interest in sports that fostered a friendship between the two, who together went on to join a local Victorian American football league. The rest, as they say, is history. ‘With sports also came our mutual love called for entrepreneurship, mobile applications and simply a desire to do and achieve great things in life. We were both so driven and our mutual drive literally made us feel like we could achieve anything together.’

Over the course of their friendship, the duo realised that it was their shared interests which enabled them to develop a strong bond so organically. Before long, they realised they were onto something. That something just so happened to be Hobspot – a social media platform that connects users with like-minded interests. ‘The story of how and Sam I met is a complete reflection of what Hobspot is… 14 months later here we are!’

Since the birth of their brainchild, the couple have become a thropple, recruiting their third and technical co-founder Gustavo who moved to Melbourne from Brazil to work on Hobspot. ‘(Gustov) has been an integral part of the team, not only with his programming skills but also his mindset and the ideas he has brought to Hobspot. We are a great team and we all get along really well. I personally couldn’t ask for any better co-founders than Sam and Gustavo.  We really do look out for each other.’

While connecting users to new friends, Hobspot also encapsulates Victoria’s welcoming nature and Australia’s preserving values of mateship, honesty and support: traits Alfonso has come to treasure in his time here, ‘I have met the most genuine people in this country. ‘It is very hard to be very far away from your family, it can get very tough sometimes and having genuine and caring friends helps you go through those harder moments much easier. People in Australia and particularly in Victoria have been great to me. I love this country and I feel really proud to have an Australian made and owned business.’

Yes, you’ll find a lot of things on your travels, but what’s Hobspot’s advice for newcomers? For Alfonso, ‘I would say number one would be to Download Hobspot, number two is be yourself and number three is don’t be afraid of the language barriers.’ And for Sam, ‘There is always something on (in Melbourne), which creates a great atmosphere for the people visiting and living in Victoria. So, my advice would be to immerse yourself in everything this great city offers because you will meet some great people in the process. Every connection with someone is a chance to expand your network and could open doors you never thought were possible’. Considering all three points brought Alfonso and Sam together, it’s advice anyone can take on board.

To celebrate the launch of this new social media app, the team at Hobspot are giving away one Polaroid Snap Touch. For your chance to win, download Hobspot on the App Store or Google Play, create a profile and enter ‘Bamstudymelb’ in the ‘Promotions > Settings’ dropdown.

Want more? Polaroid are also offering students 5% off their products in their website using the code ‘Hobspot.’

Details below: