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Jackie Babbage

An adventurous gift that’s a world first

Study Gold Coast | April 2019

Jackie Babbage studied a double Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Bachelor of Digital Media (Graphic Design) at Griffith University.

Jackie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gifting Owl, the world’s first international experience gifting platform, offering adventurous experiences across the globe.

“My initial thought was that I would go into the corporate world, but I was lucky in that I was mentored by a couple of entrepreneurs early on. While at Griffith I had work experience at Rippals Media. The founder of the company, Mark Barrett, was on the Gold Coast Adventure Travel Group committee and that lead to my introduction into the tourism industry.

“Because Mark was involved with a number of different businesses it really gave me a taste of the variety of work you could do without being pigeon-holed into a narrow role. It became clear that I loved the challenge and diversity in my work and the corporate sector just wasn’t going to cut it.”

Post Graduation

After graduating from Griffith Jackie met her future business partner John Sharpe, one of Queensland’s most innovative adventure tourism operators, or as Jackie refers to him ‘a serial entrepreneur’. Dr Sarah Gardiner, a senior lecturer at Griffith University’s Business School introduced Jackie to John.

“Griffith and in particular Sarah Gardiner, have been so supportive since I graduated. They provided market research, conducted focus groups and even helped me with funding grants from Advance Queensland. This assistance was invaluable when we were establishing Gifting Owl.”

World First Startup

Gifting Owl now offers adventure experiences in almost 100 countries, although Jackie admits she hasn’t tried them all.

“I wish I could say yes, but that would take me quite some time! Hopefully, one day when I’m not fixed to the back end work on the computer, I’ll get around to it. It would be great to experience them all.

We’re very proud of the diversity of our product. And the site is simple. With the click of a button you’re taken straight to the supplier and you’re on your way.”

And if she had to choose just one of those adventures? “Camping in an ice cave in Iceland. There’s no experience like it anywhere else in the world.”

Find out more about the 2019 Careers Festival here.

This article was originally published on Study Gold Coast as An Adventurous Gift that’s a World First.

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