Founder/s: Libby Evans & Toby Evans
HQ: Mangawhai

What problems do you solve and what products or services do you sell?

We’re a tech company that has designed a smart level monitor and cloud software solution for people on tank water, giving them the security of never running out of their most precious resource.

With climate change and population growth, water stress is becoming a hot topic globally and for good reason. If you live on tank water as we do, you’re pretty much on your own. Which can be especially concerning when water companies have delivery waiting times that can sometimes be several weeks long in drier periods.

With more insight into water levels combined with better predictions and alerts, people can manage their water supply with more confidence and ease.

Who and where are your target customers?

People who have a rainwater tank at their home or bach and are tired of manually checking their water levels and guessing how long it will last.

How and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?

We moved from Auckland to Mangawhai in 2016 and it was our first experience living on tank water. We quickly became frustrated with not knowing how much water we had in our tank and how long it would last. So we searched for a smart, affordable product – but found nothing suitable. So we decided to build our own.

Libby Evans and Toby Evans
Libby and Toby Evans were inspired to start Tankful after moving from Auckland to Mangawhai.

What are your three biggest unique selling points?

1) We’re the first to specifically focus on the residential market with an easy-to-install & setup product and simple modern software solution.

2) The product is cloud-connected so you can see level readings, receive alerts and monitor usage conveniently from any device.

3) We have a strong focus on the user experience with more intelligent predictions and other features allowing users to better manage how long their water will last, especially during drier periods.

What are three things about your business that you are proud of?

1) The feedback we get from advisors, mentors and the general public has been amazing.

2) Following our passion even though it sometimes feels overwhelming or outside our comfort zone at times.

3) Creating a purposeful and meaningful business that is shaped by our values.

How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing? 

We’ve been focusing on crafting a strong marketing strategy this year and will be adding specific marketing tactics in 2019. We believe marketing starts with shaping your product or service for a specific group of people and making sure you are filling a real need in a way that is truly valued and unique. Spending the time carefully shaping your Value Proposition and what makes you unique is critical for long-term success.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?

Time. Probably no surprises here. As well as having two young kids, we have to juggle a lot of commitments; as a programmer, Toby still freelances full-time and Libby still has her other business, Thrive Marketing.

Have you been through a startup incubator or accelerator, or taken part in any startup programmes, events or competitions?

We were lucky recipients of a Supreme Award in Northland Inc’s Business Ideas Award (The Pick) last year. We’ve also had awesome support from Northland Inc. through the incubation programme and most recently The Pick 2018 Grow: Investment Ready series.

What is the biggest entrepreneur lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?

Confidence is nine tenths of the equation. Having the courage, confidence and belief in yourself will make all the difference!


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