Maxwell Webster, 27
CO-OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Life Story: Maxwell Webster got the idea for Hastings Overland when he took a break from work in 2016 to spend six months touring Russia, Asia and the Middle East. “I kept finding myself gravitating toward overland travel—renting vans or rickshaws or motorcycles,” says the Nanaimo native, who started his first business, a dog-walking service, when he was six and co-founded a clothing company at 18. “I realized this was an underserved market in B.C.”
Before launching what he calls an adventure business first and a rental company second in early 2017 with two vehicles, Webster earned a BComm with a major in entrepreneurship from UVic’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Realizing through his time in the co-op program that he knew little about running a company, he decided to learn by working for other entrepreneurs, including two years as project coordinator and development analyst with Victoria’s Jawl Properties.
Vancouver-based Hastings Overland provides off-road-capable Jeep Wranglers with rooftop tents, tailgate kitchens and camping gear. Webster and co-owner Cory Koesdibyo also organize custom experiences for clients, starting with a survey to gauge their adventure profile. “With our bookings, we usually will create them an outdoor trip plan,” says Webster, who stresses environmental responsibility in those plans and in manuals supplied with the vehicles.
Bottom Line: For its third season, Hastings Overland has 10 Jeeps and is adding at least one staff member to its team of three, which includes the two owners. The company, many of whose customers are from Australia, South Africa, the U.S. and Western Europe, was recently accepted into Destination Canada’s Canadian Signature Experiences program.