Matt Ireland, Aussie Entrepreneur - Owner of 3 Successful Ventures

Vishal Sunday, September 28, 2008 , , , , , , 3 comments

Today we showcase story of an entrepreneur with 3 successful ventures under his belt, Matthew Ireland, founder of eTradesman.com.au, MineOnline.com.au & LawyerLink.com.au from Sydney, Australia.

In a candid interview with us, he explained how as an entrepreneur he is managing and juggling. This is what he has to say in his interview with us :

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?
I’m Matt Ireland, founder and manager of eTradesman.com.au, MineOnline.com.au & LawyerLink.com.au. Based between Sydney & Newcastle i have a huge passion and interest in the possibilities and developments of the internet and am always keen to read up on entrepreneurs and people who have been there and done it. Huge sports fan outside of ‘work’ and enjoy a beer with friends and family.

• What is the name of your venture/company?
Our current portfolio of online businesses include: eTradesman.com.au, MineOnline.com.au & LawyerLink.com.au – stay focused for new developments!

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
eTradesman.com.au – aimed at the tradesmen of Australia who are looking for the best way to get their business online and reach the younger generation of consumers who prefer internet search as opposed to offline hard copy methods to find trades & services. It’s about giving our tradesmen value for money and a quality service – the offline directories ask huge advertising fees which most tradesmen cannot afford, so we looked to create something that all tradesmen could manage and really give the whole market a bit of a shake-up.

MineOnline.com.au – bringing the Australian mining industry and it’s many stakeholders together to one central, easy to navigate place. The industry has more mining magazines than is necessary and these are seen by equipment and service suppliers as the best way to get their businesses in front of the right people. Again, we’re about providing a value for money, up to date medium for businesses to advertise their products and services and further expand their online reach.

LawyerLink.com.au – providing people with an easy to use and convenient tool to research various law firms in their city. Allowing law firms to expand their online exposure and further promote their services and specialties. Law firms have long considered advertising as something of a grey area but this has changed in the last few years and many are now looking for new ways to market their firm and services and many of the larger firms have dedicated Marketing Managers who are pushing the direction of the firm.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
All websites were taken to market reasonably quickly – website development and testing phases took only a few weeks to a month to successfully launch. Constant development is always underway so the work never stops yet it keeps things fresh and up to date with the latest online trends.

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
A combination of methods combined with natural & organic growth. Internet-based advertising and promotion, magazines, trade shows, telemarketing etc. Satisfied customers have proven to be our best asset to get the word out and bring more people on board.

• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
Website visitor statistics are always a good sign of our growth. Repeat business from current clients is also helpful as listing renewals are very import to us and show a great sense of faith in the service we are providing to them and are viewed as a big thumbs up to what we’re doing.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
Listing fees paid either monthly or yearly – there are also other options like targeted advertisements across the websites.

• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
Too many to mention. Since we began our businesses we were mainly competing with one or two major players but now it’s extremely competitive with different companies trying to compete on price or various services. Of course our main competitor is the Yellow directories (Sensis) but we’re still eating away at them and trying to get more business owners to realise the value of having their business online as opposed to purely offline – we’re not about telling people to not advertise with offline methods, as long as they look at a mixture of options then that’s the smartest decision they can make, cover their bases.

• What's your thought on being an entrepreneur? How tough it is to start a venture in Australia?
Risky & Rewarding. For me the internet was the only real option to start a business as I began straight out of high school so you’re looking for options with small start up costs and as little or no barriers to entry as possible, so the internet was a no brainer. In terms of managing a business I think more could be done to help entrepreneurs get things done on their own, as majority of the financial and legal side of things seem incredibly hidden to the business owner and the only people with the knowledge are the professionals so you have to get a good accountant and solicitor to help keep things in compliance and this all comes at a cost. Also as an entrepreneur you need to know your own skills base – know when you need to bring in someone else who is better at certain things, so for me outsourcing is a great way to get things done in a high quality / fast turnaround way.

• What's your thought on the start-ups culture and innovation coming out of Australia?
On the rise. It will be interesting to see how it goes in the next 10 – 15 years as the mining boom could really tempt people away from trying their business ideas as many see it too easy to go earn big money in the mines without the risk of being an entrepreneur, the boom also brings business opportunities but so monitor that space.

• How do you see the battle between Sensis, Google & rest of the players?
I think Google is in the best position to really take control of things but it will be interesting to see if they can stay focussed as more and more is coming out about their different plans to diversify – i.e. mobile phones, internet browsers... – tough to even compare as they are in a different league to the others.
• What do you think the government (federal and state) should do to improve the culture of innovation and the IT industry?
Tough to say. At the end of the day it all comes down to the person and the business idea. Maybe some efforts could be made at the school level. How many careers advisers out there are tossing up the option of business ownership or entrepreneurship to the students? Instead of pushing mainly for university or trades, why not spend some time researching some successful entrepreneurs and letting the students know that all of this is an option for them if they have the drive and skills.

• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up? Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
I’m on the email to a few people every now and then just to check in and see how things are going.

• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
Research! Really look into and it, try and see if the market is there for your idea or venture. Get the best advice, consult with others who have been there and done it or are specialists in their field. I’ve got a network of people who are hugely successful in their own right and i’ve found them to be incredibly helpful with tips and advice so look at getting yourself a mentor or help network. Of course the obvious tips to just give it a go, work hard, treat your customers/clients as best you can and try to have fun along the way.

Thanks Matthew for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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Interview With Emily Freeman - Status of Mobile Advertising in Australia

Vishal Sunday, September 21, 2008 , , , , , , 0 comments

I recently did an email based interview with Emily Freeman, founder of Mobilist, one of the emerging mobile consultants on the Status of Mobile Advertising in Australia. Lets explore what she has to say about this emerging platform and the opportunity:

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?
My background is a mix of marketing and online. After my Marketing degree I worked in marketing & product management for companies like Ernst & Young, Fairfax & Microsoft in the UK.
I've always been interested in technology - even in 1997 at Fairfax I managed CD-ROM products! In the dot com boom I worked as community manager for a startup and luckily ended up in a stable role at Sensis when the crash came.

At Sensis I managed websites like Whereis Online and in 2004 I was offered the opportunity to develop Sensis' first WAP products. Back then there was no mobile industry, so it's exciting to have been part of something from the very beginning. After developing Sensis' Mobile Advertising strategy in 2007 I decided it was time to put all that experience to the test and go out on my own.

Mobilist was formed 12 months ago and it's been a great ride. I love being my own boss, and working on my own terms. This is such an exciting industry and there are so many fabulous & passionate people to work with. It's the perfect time to be in this space. Everyone wants to know about mobile and mobile advertising and with my background I'm lucky enough to be in demand!

More about my career background here

• Please tell us about your venture/company?

Mobilist provides consultancy on mobile strategy, and services including mobile SEM and search, mobile advertising & marketing, product development and customer acquisition for mobile sites & campaigns.

What do you see as the main issues and opportunities with regard to mobile advertising in Australia?

The main issues

  • awareness by advertisers of what is possible using the mobile channel
  • inconsistent approaches to targeting & pricing of mobile advertising by carriers/publishers makes implementation complex & time consuming
  • confusion around data charging still limits mobile usage, although data costs are reducing
  • consumer take up of 3G data services, but less of an issue in 2008 and beyond

The main opportunities

  • advertisers that take the time to learn about the channel now will reap the rewards later
  • extending existing direct marketing campaigns to mobile
  • better use of exceptional targeting capabilities in mobile, including mobile search
  • integration of media planning to include mobile channel

To what extent are mobile operators in Australia taking advantage of mobile advertising as a revenue stream? Can you give some figures?

The Frost & Sullivan 2008 report on the Australia Next-generation Mobile Advertising Market put mobile ad spend in Australia at $2.5M in 2007. This is largely made up of revenue earned by carriers & the major publishers. Frost & Sullivan predict revenues of more than $10M in 2008.

All of the Australian carriers are exploring mobile advertising as a revenue stream, some more aggressively than others. In many cases mobile campaigns have been offered as part of a broader online/mobile package, in order to encourage advertisers to trial the mobile channel. Most will throw in a free 'mobile campaign site' with a media buy. Both Vodafone & Telstra take a CPM based approach to mobile advertising, advertising rates between $20 - $75 CPM to serve mobile banners across their mobile portal properties.

Vodafone has been the most proactive carrier in Australia to date, having published a Mobile Advertising charter and rate card. Vodafone offers a variety of ad products including mobile banner ads, sponsorships, campaign sites, push messaging and mobile TV sponsorship.

Telstra, through their advertising arm Sensis MediaSmart, has been delivering a variety of simple, banner based mobile advertising campaigns on the BigPond and Sensis mobile sites since running trials of mobile advertising capabilities in early 2007. The results of this trial can be found here. Recently Telstra has also been exploring the use of QR codes in print campaigns to drive traffic to mobile campaign sites.

Three has taken a different approach to mobile advertising to date. Their focus is on integrated content/advertising packages which they put together on a case by case basis, rather than delivering simple banners across their portal.

Optus has had some small scale trial activity in mobile advertising but does not yet have a scalable commercial mobile advertising product in the Australian market.

To what extent are advertising agencies taking advantage of the mobile advertising format?

Many local agencies are using the mobile channel in integrated campaigns or targeting the mobile channel specifically. Often agencies will have a strong relationship with a single publisher (ie. NineMSN) or a Carrier and tend to focus campaigns around their capabilities and audience. For example, the WPP group of agencies entered into an agreement earlier this year with Sensis/Telstra to deliver mobile advertising for many of their major brands.

Most of the carriers (which are technically media channels) also offer agency-like services, including development of creative, destination sites and campaign planning, along with booking of mobile media. Equally, NineMSN through their 5th Finger business operate as both agency & publisher, enabling advertisers to go direct for a full mobile advertising solution, or work through their agency for selected services.

A significant opportunity exists for agencies to build cross carrier / cross publisher campaigns and thus reach the entire Australian mobile audience, rather than a narrow focus on users from a single carrier only.

Global mobile agency Hyperfactory recently set up Australian headquarters with a view to targeting local advertisers and have been actively recruiting a specialist team in Sydney. The Media Store has had ongoing mobile campaigns for several clients in the last 18 months, as have TigerSpike, who are probably one of the more experienced & active players in mobile advertising locally. Ad.IQ, an agency specialising in using SMS as a direct response to print ads have also begun using the mobile channel to drive traffic to mobile destination sites.

Many of these are small niche agencies, but we are seeing more of the larger digital agencies testing the water, often in partnership with carriers or specialty firms such as Front Foot Media, who develop mobile destination sites, or QM Codes who build campaigns linking print ads to mobile content using mobile codes.

To what extent are media planners taking advantage of the mobile route?

To date Australian media planners have not been particularly innovative in adopting the mobile channel. Certainly some have been involved in booking mobile media through the carriers and/or publishers but often this is on request from the advertiser or digital agency rather than as part of the media planning service they provide. Opportunities to book Mobile SEM and off-deck advertising to supplement reach and pick up highly qualified leads are regularly overlooked. There is a great opportunity to offer truly integrated mobile media planning in the local market. At the very least, media planners should inform themselves about the various options locally.

It is said that the mobile ecosystem has four stakeholders - advertisers, publishers, carriers and subscribers? How can they all benefit through mobile ads? Your comments please.

Opportunities for Advertisers (& their agencies)

  • extending reach beyond traditional channels
  • extremely targeted delivery of messages
  • highly measurable campaigns and improved measurability of other advertising mediums
  • accessing mobile users directly when they are out & about
  • positioning as an innovative brand
  • building deeper relationships with customers

Publishers

  • ROI on the costs of publishing content
  • offering users targeted, relevant messages from advertisers
  • delivering free or subsidised services paid for by advertisers

Carriers

  • delivering revenue and improved ROI on mobile networks
  • funding delivery of more & better content services

Subscribers

  • free or subsidised content & services which are paid for by advertisers
  • access to targeted relevant messages from advertisers

What is your take on opt-in advertising?

Opt-in is an important factor in the delivery of Mobile Marketing, which is more often based around messaging (SMS/MMS). Obviously advertisers need an opted-in database or an opt-in mechanism before pushing content via these channels. Mobile Advertising is more often delivered within existing mobile content, in the form of search ads, banners or sponsorships. This reflects the way advertising works online.

The user 'opts in' to the advertising when they choose to interact (ie. click). In a good campaign this means they can go on to participate further, such as entering a competition or signing up for content. By interacting the user is expressing their desire to get involved with the brand.

Other forms of opt-in mobile advertising include signing up to receive SMS ads in return for a free or subsidised mobile service, such as that recently launched by SMS Pup. There is a great opportunity locally (particularly for carriers) to offer users opt-in ads in return for services. According to the 2007 AIMIA Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index, 89% of recipients said they would definitely use more content & services if they were free or subsidised.

• What do you think the government (federal and state) should do to improve the culture of innovation and the Telecom industry?

The Victorian government already does a lot through organisations like Film Victoria, Multimedia Victoria and the recently established Mobility Vic. There are numerous grants, programmes and opportunities available for anyone with some initiative. It's a shame not to have the Commercial Ready grants anymore though.

I think there should be more support for venture capital investment in technology based startups. Tax breaks or financial incentives for VCs to encourage their involvement in local startups would really pick up the pace locally. At Mobile Mondays we work closely with the VC community and intitiatives like MEGA to encourage investor involvement in local mobile businesses. In October our Mobile Monday event is called "Why you should invest in the mobile industry" and it will be a great opportunity for investors to learn about this space, but also for startups & small businesses to learn about how to tap into the investment community.

• If you are given an opportunity to change the nation, what 3 things you will do?

I don't pretend to have the first idea about politics or economics but I'd focus on local initiatives that could make a big impact in the long term. Things like providing every home with a water tank, helping set up community gardens or neighborhood groups to grow vegies & become partially self-sustaining. Secondly I'd provide incentives to support small, locally based business, even home based businesses.

And finally, I'd make sure any politician allowed to advise or make decisions on technology and innovation would have to pass a test to prove they can use twitter, blogs, rss readers, instant messaging and the mobile internet. Anyone with this kind of power should at the very least be able to download software, transfer music to an ipod and be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of a social network. Ideally they would have a blog and a significant community of followers from which to draw input to policy, but i suspect that's asking too much just yet!

• Do you have any advice for people who are looking for mobile as a platform for advertising?

  • Research. Talk to every carrier & mobile publisher before you do anything.
  • Get a second opinion and be informed - there is some really bad advice out there.
  • Ask your agency to present examples of how mobile advertising has worked locally - this will force them to find out too!
  • Insist that your media buyer knows about the mobile channel and present options
  • Read my blog, follow me on twitter and join the “Mobile Advertising in Australia” Facebook group
Thanks Emily for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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WasabiTV - Watch and Download Free Online TV and Video

Vishal Thursday, September 18, 2008 , , , , 0 comments

In the ongoing coverage of exploring new startups coming out of Australia, today we explore a promising startup in online video platform segment - WasabiTV. Its co-founded by Ananth Sarathy from Sydney Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Ananth, he explained how he is progressing with his venture.

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?

Ananth Sarathy and Daniel Brunet meet at an Apple reseller and always remained in contact over the next few years.

Ananth Sarathy, Co-founder/The Digital Media and Strategic Partnerships Clown.- Has a degree in Business and IT, who has worked for Australias Largest retailers as a Senior Business Analyst and like Daniel has a passion for All things Australia, whether it be Content or Intellectual Property and Innovation.

Daniel Brunet, Co-founder/Code Monkey - Is a freelance web designer and developer, bringing his interest in the Arts, Video and Music to life with the tools of the web. A Graphic guru able to code anything as long as it is for the betterment of man kind!

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
Launched November 11, 2006 by two young Australian entrepreneurs, WasabiTV is quickly becoming the leading online portal for commercial, community and independent television media.

With a continuous array of new shows, features and marketing strategies planned throughout it's growth, WasabiTV aims to provide the best solution for individual film and TV producers, production companies and television stations to professionally step into the online market, without having to re-invent the wheel.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
WasabiTV allows producers to directly connect with a core audience and to create a following of loyal supporters by offering a free, interactive, online TV experience. Producers can optionally offer episodes at a cost per download for premium video content. With this in mind, WasabiTV believes strongly in maintaining an accessible experience, aiming to ensure at least 90% of content on the website is available for viewers to watch and download at no charge.

Viewers can download episodes to mobile devices and desktops, as well as stream video directly into their web browser using leading internet video technology. WasabiTV has been developed to meet the needs of producers and viewers alike, while continous re-invention of the website allows room to expand and evolve with user feedback and fresh ideas.

Going forward, WasabiTV sees massive growth and potential in the online TV market and aims to globally provide quality online TV shows, organised with purpose, direction and meaning.

• How many people are using your services?
We have 200 thousand + Impressions per month, and 5000+ Subscribers.

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
All our marketing is totally Viral, and Word of Mouth as we see it as the best and most effective and the cheapest for any startup!

• Are you using lot of open source tool sets for this?
We love and strongly believe in open source as an efficient way for us to grow. We have built on alot of Open Source solutions and have combined the best to come up with our own!

• If you are given an opportunity to change the nation, what 3 things you will do?

  • Free Education for All - There is no reason that someone should not be able to be the best because they cannot afford education!
  • Establish Centres of Excellence in Medicine, IT, Humanity, Engineering, Sciences, Trade and Agriculture - So we can deliver the best services from Australia to the world.
  • Roll the NBN out ASAP - the information super highway in Australia is strangled!
• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
Never ever give up, listen to the bad and the good of what people say. Change Adopt Grow and Challenge yourself. You will never be happy, there will be always something to do. Be wary of miracles, and work hard towards your goals. Have a plan and aim towards it! and the last bit.. there is no such thing as good luck, just hard work and good results!

Thanks Ananth for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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Digital will be about M3 and N3

Vishal Thursday, September 18, 2008 , , , , 0 comments

This is a second guest post by Rajesh Jain, an entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India, and Founder and Managing Director of Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd. He has put together his thoughts on News and Content in a Digital World. Lets explore what he has to say:

On Friday (August 1), I was part of a panel at an event organized by afaqs - “The Future of News.” My panel’s topic was “Who will subsidise Digital Content?” Here is a gist of what spoke:

It’s not about subsidising but about monetisation: Thinking subsidies necessarily implies that the primary source of revenue is somewhere else. How can we look at the digital world independently and see how content can be monetised? On the Internet, the only revenue stream is advertising. My belief is that the mobile is where the big action and opportunities lie. On the mobile, one can create multiple monetisation streams - from not just advertisers, but also subscribers, merchants and enterprises. For this, creating a direct-to-consumer relationship is essential. In other words, content owners need to think of themselves as “VAS (Value-Added Services) Operators” [complementing the Voice Operators] in the mobile space.

Digital will be about M3 and N3: Content in the digital space needs to focus on Mobile, Mass and My (M3) and Now, New and Near (N3). The Mobile will be where we will get our news first - before any other medium. The sheer numbers make it the biggest Mass medium in India. We will also want “My” news and other content to be personalised - things we are interested in. We want to know about things Now - as they happen. We want to also be kept updated on the New stuff - the Naya Naya. We also want to know what’s happening Near us — in our neighbourhood. Putting all this together will create the foundation for the opportunities in the Digital space. The mobile can thus provide not just instant updates, but also offer a window into reach media services (images, audio and video).

First, Create a Right of Way: The first step towards moentisation involves creating services that touch people multiple times a day. On the Internet, Search has done this very effectively and thus created the foundation for companies like Google to take that attention and convert it into cash. On the mobile, I think it will be about SMS and Subscriptions. Use free, permission-based push services on SMS to create the right of way to consumers thus building a subscriber base and creating ‘Media on Mobile’, and then leverage that attention to creating multiple monetisation streams.

Become a VAS Operator: An operator has a direct-to-consumer relationship. In the mobile world, Voice operators have done phenomenally well in using voice as the anchor service to create additional revenue streams. But their focus is still not on VAS. What India needs (and can lead the world in) are VAS Operators. Besides the direct-to-consumer relationship [starting perhaps with SMS subscription services], VAS Operators have three additional characteristics: multiple services, multiple revenue streams, and alternate payment channels. The VAS Operator opportunity in India in the next three years is to reach 50 million subscribers, generating a monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) of Rs 50-100.

Mobile can be an excellent Youth Marketing Medium: Mobiles are increasingly the centre of our lives for communications and interactions for most of us. For Young India, it is even more so. In a world of fragmenting mainstream media attention, the mobile can become the magnet for reaching out to youth - because it is personal, and always available and always on. Digital content companies need to think of strategies to use all the mobile bearer channels (SMS, Voice and WAP) to reach out to the Youth.

MyToday provides a good case study: My company, Netcore Solutions, launched MyToday’s free SMS subscription services in October 2006. Since then, 3.6 million people have subscribed to an average of 3 channels each. MyToday sends out about 12 million SMS daily - about 4% of India’s SMS traffic. While SMS advertising is the first and most significant revenue stream, the Right of Way to the subscriber base is enabling us to create innovative new revenue streams in the form of Pull services (request-reply on SMS), Email2SMS, WAP traffic to our portal (mytoday.mobi), Lead Generation and as we set up alternate payment channels, Paid Channels and Transactions. News is one of our most popular services - reaching nearly 1.5 million, twice daily.

Summary: The Digital world of Internet and Mobile offer rich opportunities because of their inherently interactive nature. What news media and digital content companies need to do is to start thinking of them as platforms in their own right, rather than simply as extensions of print or TV (which starts implying subsidisation). By building a right of way to subscribers, they can create many more monetisation streams than just advertising. The game has just begun!

Bio: Rajesh Jain is an entrepreneur from Mumbai, India. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd (messaging and security solutions, and mobile data services), and have made a number of investments in various companies as part of his own fund (Emergic Venture Capital). He had earlier set up IndiaWorld, India’s first Internet portal which was launched in 1995, which was acquired by Sify in November 1999 for USD 115 million (then, Rs 499 crore). He blogs at Emergic.org

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Cinergix - Share, Reuse, Innovate

Vishal Tuesday, September 16, 2008 , , , , , 0 comments

In the ongoing coverage of exploring new startups coming out of Australia, today we explore a promising startup in online collaborative tool segment - Cinergix Its co-founded by Charanjit Singh from Melbourne Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Charanjit, he explained how he is progressing with his venture.

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?

See Profiles below - basically we are all staunch believers of Internet innovation and spend most of our free time exploring new technologies, products and thought leadership blogs like TechCrunch, Read/Write Web, Mashable, IT|Redux, Guy Kawasaki, John Battelle, etc.

• What is the name of your venture/company?

  • Company: Cinergix Pty Ltd
  • Product: Creately
• Please tell us about your venture/company?
Cinergix is the Australian start-up developing the Creately platform and its patent-pending KObject technology, which is changing the way we solve design and modeling problems. Creately is a rich Internet application with a smart user interface and automated validation checks that will make the process of design easier and more accessible. It enables specialists in diverse fields to capture and share their knowledge and intellectual property. This new paradigm of leveraging user-generated content for design work will enable Cinergix to support the long tail of design problems.

• Who are the people behind this and how it started?
Started in 2007 by a team from Sri Lanka, the UK, and Singapore, the company also runs a research and development centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will set up operations in the United States in early 2009. For more information, visit www.cinergix.com & www.creately.com

The founders met while completing their respective Master's programmes at Melbourne University and first mooted the idea as part of the Melbourne University Entrepreneurial Competition (MUEC 07/08). Originally conceived as a simple diagramming tool, we developed a prototype Facebook application to allow friends to comment and annotate on thier photos. We soon realised the potential of the platform we had created and decided there was potential in it as a general purpose design and modeling tool with intelligence. Cinergix was also selected as a finalist in the Vic Pitch 08 competition held in June 2008.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
With the initial idea mooted in Oct 07, we had a Proof of Concept ready for the MUEC competition by Feb 08.
Since then we incorporated an Australian business entity in Apr 2008 and have setup a R&D center in Colombo Sri Lanka where we have a technical staff of 4.
The team has been developing the code for the last 9 months in preparation for DemoFall08 and our private Beta Launch. Product development continues as we race to add more features and build out our community.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
We believe today's collaborative tools are mainly focused on textual collab like wikis, blogs and so on, whereas collab around visuals is very limited. Design and modeling is best done visually and most effective when a team of designers can work together in a collab manner. Often, people have used whiteboards, mock-ups or even Visio for design and visual collab, but each of these approaches is limited in the ability to capture, share and reuse knowledge. We want to build a visual collaboration platform that will let diverse teams collaborate and capture their knowledge and design intent within their designs, allowing experts and business users to work seamless across multiple domains of expertise on a simple and intuitive online platform.

• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
As a basic platform, it can be seen as a Visio replacement delivered over the web with collaboration and a community of users sharing their designs and expertise.
However, we believe the real value of our platform is its ability to provide visual real-time validation of the designs as we build them. This is done using our patent-pending Knowledge Object technology that encapsulates the experts knowledge into simple Visio-like icons, The Knowledge Objects or KObjects embody their real-world counterpart's attributes, behaviors and rules allowing non-experts to create workable designs and solve problems intuitively

• What type of customers you are targeting?
As a Visio-like tool, we are targeting the general market of professionals who currently use such design and drawing tools. Currently however, we are specifically targeting the business and IT consulting firms, who we believe will use this platform in their customer engagements and leave it behind in their customer sites after demonstrating the power and ease of our platform. In line with this, today Creately comes ready with a set of smart Knowledge Objects for Business Process Modeling, Flowcharts, IT Networks, Capacity planning, UML and so on.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
We are a Freemium product delivered over the web. A free subscription will allow a user to design and collaborate but limit the number of collaborators who can work on the design. After our private beta is complete we will also offer Professional and Business subscriptions with greater utility like unlimited collaborators, full revision control and User management for Business accounts.

We plan to also monetize the community, by allowing users to package and sell their expertise via an online marketplace - This is a new model, but we are not ready to reveal further details at the moment.

• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
Today, Visio is the largest player in this space but their offering is limited in its ability to share and collaborate. In the online space there are 2 small players who have developed some traction, but these are indirect competitors as they do not offer the range of functionality we do.

• What are the main technologies used behind this venture?
We are firm believers in Open source and its related technologies. Today the application is based on Adobe Flex and the Spring platform.
We believe we are pushing the limits of what you can achieve today with Flex and are very proud of the great work our R&D team has done with this platform. We are firm believers in the Flex platform and although there are still some issues with it, we believe its strong adoption in the community will help soothe these issues out inevitably.

• What has been the most easy to use, out of box and helpful technology?
We use Mingle from ThoughtWorks to support our Agile development and its been a great tool for planning and visibility. Although its a paid service, we see the value it delivers for a geographically dispersed team like ours.

• Are you using lot of open source tool sets for this?
Yes, lots of test and build frameworks that support our agile development methodology, including Spring, Subversion, Eclipse, Maven and a range of testing frameworks.

• What's your thought on the start-ups culture and innovation coming out of Australia?
We were of the believe after our participation in MUEC and Vic Pitch that there is a thriving community of innovators and investors in Australia, particularly in Sydney. However, after our recent trip to Silicon Valley where we met numerous entrepreneurs and investors, we believe we still have a long way to go in terms of developing the ecosystem required to support internet startups. Most people we have spoken to locally dont understand the scale of the Internet, perhaps because of the size of the local market, and as such dont understand the potential of these business models. Our American counterparts have both the foresight and the experience in dealing with such businesses to appreciate how the internet is a game changing paradigm that will have an impact on all industries.


Founder Profiles
Chandika Jayasundara – Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
MIS (Melbourne), Pg Dip M(CIM), BSc.(Hons)(London)

Chandika started to work on Cinergix in July 2007 on a full-time basis. Since then he has built a strong team, setup the infrastructure, a proof of product concept and proven the business case to various stakeholders to establish the start-up.

Chandika has over 7 years of experience in creating and deploying software products to serve organisations that range from SME's to Global 2000 companies. He has led international teams in technical and management capacities and supported delivery of large scale web enabled software to enterprise clients. He has also previously founded and led a small software consulting firm with a team of 4 that catered to small and medium sized businesses in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Recently, he has been the key member of a research project at the Department of Information Systems at The University of Melbourne focusing on online collaborative learning and is an author of several publications on this subject. Chandika holds a Master of Information Systems from The University of Melbourne, a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems with First Class Honours from the University of London.

Chandika's long term business and technical vision, the innate feel for the market trends, and proven leadership skills will help Cinergix grow to its full potential.

Nicholas Foster – Director & Chief Operating Officer (COO)
BSc. CompSci (Hons) (Brunel), MInfoTech (Melbourne), GradDip e-Business Law (Melbourne), MACS (Prov)

Nick joined Cinergix in November 2007. Nick has worked in the IT industry in both the UK and Australia during the past 8 years. During his career Nick has been exposed to organisations of varying sizes. He has been intimately involved in the running of an Australian company which provided him with excellent decision making experience. Nick was also involved in shaping and bringing to market a new way of extracting value from intellectual property within the health care industry; using the Internet to sell and deliver the material to healthcare workers all around the world. Nick's other skills include software development; he has created many software solutions during his career all focused on networking and the Internet. Nick completed his postgraduate studies at The University of Melbourne and gained a Master of Information Technology and a Graduate Diploma in E-Business Law. His undergraduate studies were completed at Brunel University in London where he received Honours for his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Nicks experience with start-ups and his ability to manage and lead company operations will allow him to excel at executing the business vision of Cinergix.

Charanjit Singh – Director & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
MBusIT (Melbourne), BASc (Computer Engineering)(Nanyang, Singapore)

Charanjit joined Cinergix in October 2007 to help refine the idea and develop the Cinergix business model. He has 10 years experience in the IT industry consulting with large multinational and Internet start-ups in Singapore, Australia and India.

Charanjit started his professional career with a Singapore-based Internet start-up, where he led the application development teams across the Asia Pacific region, allowing the firm to list successfully on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Since then, he has led numerous large-scale Enterprise Application projects in the region within the Telco, Retail and Government industries, but has yearned to get back to his roots in the Internet business.
With excellent leadership skills, Charanjit brings extensive market knowledge and customer management skills to the team. His exposure to international markets and experience selling to C-Level executives will see Charanjit adding value to Cinergix's business strategy and growth vision. He holds a Masters in Business Information Technology from The University of Melbourne and a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Thanks Charanjit for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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PTY Auctions - Real Estate, Property Auctions, Bid Online

Vishal Tuesday, September 16, 2008 , , , , 0 comments

Today we explore an exciting venture in Real Estate Industry - PTY Auctions Pty Ltd. It was founded in 2006 by Gavin Stuart from Sydney, Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Gavin, he gave insights into his venture and how he is progressing with it. This is what he has to say:

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?
I was responsible for the development and implementation of property application for PTY Auctions. The development and implementation took approximately 2 years with the majority of that time spent working with the regulators to ensure the service complied with each of the States regulations.

Since 2002, I have been involved in successfully conducting live on-line auctions worldwide selling ‘speciality coffee’. I also oversaw the development and implementation of a global document storage solution for the International Task Force for Commodities Risk Management – members of this task force include: ABN AMRO, RaboBank, Mitsui, World Trade Organisation, The World Bank and Ministry of Finance; and developed a high availability Federal Procurement Data System for the US Government leveraging Microsoft best practices. The solution handled in excess of 10 million transactions per year from 61 agencies of the US Federal Government.

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
The PTY Auctions service, for the first time, allows vendors the choice of having their property auction broadcast live via the internet to a worldwide audience of affluent buyers. Breakthrough proprietary technology utilising streaming audio and video allows remote bidders to participate fully in the auction. The bottom line is that we make sure all the bidders are in the room whether they are located internationally or interstate.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
All in all, it took about 2 years to get to market. The software behind PTY auctions was written over about 6 months however, the rest of the development time was spent working with the regulators. Auctioning real estate is very different to auctioning consumer products on eBay. There are many more consumer protections written into the property act and for an online model to fully comply was challenging.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
The main objective was to optimise the process of buying and selling real estate across geographical boundaries - for consumers to be able to safely and easily bid for properties they may have previously discounted and for sellers to ensure that every possible bidder is in the room at the time of the auction.

• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
For sellers we provide both a webcast and a live online bidding service. The webcast service allows the agent to stream audio and video of their auction through the PTY website. The live online bidding service adds the ability for any of their buyers to register and submit their bids live online during the auction.

Members also have access to practice auctions, online tutorials and a historical database of past auction webcasts.

• What type of customers/people you are targeting?
We have a wide range of registered online bidders. Many are businessmen and women travelling interstate and internationally submitting bids from airport lounges. Many are expats bidding from their adopted home such as London, Dubai and Paris. Some are time poor families that cannot make it to the auction room.

We also have people signing up who are interested in watching the auctions as part of their research process before entering the market. All of these groups are targeted by our marketing staff.

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
We market to both the trade (principals, agents and auctioneers) and direct to the consumer. We use a mix of trade journals, exhibition marketing, public relations and direct advertising. We are rapidly establishing links with the community of over 1 million Australian expats through specialists organisations.

• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
We have targets set for ourselves in the areas of trade penetration and uptake amongst buyers of property. We also use statistics such as memberships, time spent online, viewership of each auction etc.. to track our progress.

• What's your thought on being an aspiring entrepreneur?
As an aspiring entrepreneur you must ask yourself a simple question. “What is your definition of success?
a) A profitable company,
b) A company with huge growth or
c) Developing cool products.
If you answered a) you are well on the way to being a successful entrepreneur. All successful entrepreneur’s know that cash flow is king! If your company is growing too quickly and you don’t have the cash flow to cover your expenses your business will fail. I’ve also seen entrepreneur’s fail because they want to keep building software rather than selling their existing products.

Aspiring entrepreneur’s must also be a jack of all trades. When you start a new business you are the: accountant, lawyer, HR manager Marketing manager and IT manager. I would highly recommend doing courses in each of these areas before starting your business.

If you service(s) / product(s) are consumer focused make sure you get several hours of Public Relations training. This is invaluable in refining your marketing message and making sure consumers understand your message.

• What's your thought on the start-ups culture and innovation coming out of Australia?
The start-up culture and innovation in Australia is not as good as other developed countries. The US for example has a number of government funded mentoring programs which can make a huge difference for a start-up.

• What do you think the government (federal and state) should do to improve the culture of innovation?
Provide more small business loans and grants. Reduce company tax and provide a more efficient medium for young aspiring entrepreneur’s to be mentored by successful businessmen and women. An example in the US is the Small Business Administration.

• If you are given an opportunity to change the nation, what 3 things you will do?

  • Education is the silver bullet. Pay teachers more through incentive based programs that are managed and distributed by the principals of each school.
  • More resource / funding must be focused on alternate energy sources.
  • More resource / funding for the technology sector. Because of our geographic isolation we need to created better technology to bring us closer to the rest of the global business community.
• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up? Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
As part of our business I am regularly speaking with small business owners and entrepreneurs. While there is not a dedicated time or place to meet, when we do talk, we talk business. It is critical to learn from others experiences rather than trying to recreate the wheel. This is why I believe a government backed medium for the mentoring of young aspiring entrepreneur’s is so important.

• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
  • Do you market research. Research you target market. Not all good ideas create successful businesses.
  • Know your customers and make sure you design your service / product around them and not what you think they need.
  • Make sure you have enough funding to get market traction. In the current credit squeeze you will not get funding for an idea easily. To get funding in the current environment you will need a growth curve and market traction.

Thanks Gavin for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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Millstream Web Software - Easy Content Management

Vishal Tuesday, September 16, 2008 , , , , , 0 comments

Today we explore an exciting venture in web based content management software - Millstream. It was founded in 2006 by Adrian Lynch from Perth, Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Adrian , he gave insights into his venture and how he is progressing with it. This is what he has to say:

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?
I studied Graphic Design, graduating in 1990, and have run my own businesses since then. I have always been extremely interested in the technical side of 'design' especially developing automated systems to remove the incredible amount of wasted effort that goes into publishing.

I still do a bit of design work, but I now spend most time coding or on system design.

• What is the name of your venture/company?
Millstream Web Software, our product is Spring CMS.

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
Since 2006 we have focused on turning Millstream from a 'web design company' into a product based 'SaaS' provider offering Spring CMS, a simple to use, standards based content management system.

• Who are the people behind this and how it started?
I started a graphic design partnership called 'The House' in 1990 focusing on corporate identity and magazine publishing.

In 1996 we had started to offer web design services to our existing clients, and within the next year I had started experimenting with database driven sites and rudimentary development of our first content management system.

In 1997 I moved into a new partnership with Haymarket, a printing and publishing company to focus on managing their existing print clients, and introducing full web development services. This new partnership called Millstream, developed several custom built CMS's over the years which we could deploy for all our clients, but we also offered general development services, static sites and design.

In March 2006, my wife Rosemary Lynch and I bought out Millstream, and 'Spring CMS' the content management system that we had been developing for the last year. The focus for Millstream from then on has been to offer a single subscription based solution to our clients.

The business now consists of myself, Rosemary and our developer Christian Inkster.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
When we took over Millstream in 2006, we started with the existing Spring CMS and a long list of clients. Over the next 6 months we completely refocused the business, no longer offering 'general web services' or custom development. We shed quite a few of the initial clients that did not suit the new business and concentrated on building our subscription base.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
We are entirely focused on development and adding new features to Spring CMS allowing us to expand the number of monthly subscriptions to increase revenue.

• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
Spring CMS was initially designed to allow us, as designers, to deploy sites for our clients that provided an extremely simple management interface for clients to use, while at the same time being adaptable to any site design.

This allows us to use the identical centrally installed system for small business clients through to large national clients.

• What type of customers/people you are targeting?
Primarily small to medium businesses - though we do have several national and international clients. We also have a large number of private schools using our system.

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
We have established strategic alliances with several design and marketing firms in Australia - and the majority of work is now through them. We do also have a significant number of clients that have been through word of mouth.

We have also released several scripts developed and used in Spring as Open Source which generate a lot of traffic and interest.

• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
We measure success purely by the number of monthly subscriptions.

• What's your thought on being an aspiring entrepreneur?
The benefits far outweigh the risks, that is for sure. Personally the ability to completely focus the direction of the business, and to maintain and develop that focus over several years is something I have never felt I could achieve unless I ran my own business.

• What do you think the government (federal and state) should do to improve the culture of innovation?
I think the 'innovators' are out there doing it already - with or without government support. I am not convinced the government need to do anything or if it's even the government's problem.

• If you are given an opportunity to change the nation, what 3 things you will do?
Only one thing, I'd make sure that the National Broadband Network was nothing less than FTTH (Fibre to the Home) - we are rapidly falling behind, and anything less than full FTTH will be a pitiful waste of effort by the time it rolls out.

• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up? Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
I catch up regularly (though not enough) with the web community in Perth and Australia through AWIA and Port80. Twitter of course keeps me up-to-date with the minute-by-minute tweets of most of the Perth crowd. Luckily the Perth web community is extremely vocal and extremely well connected - it's a great place to be a developer.

• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
Only what has worked for me, focus on what you know, and what solves your problems - because it more than likely solves problems for a lot of other people as well.

Thanks
Adrian for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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Ankoder - More Than A Online Video Platform

Vishal Thursday, September 11, 2008 , , , , 2 comments

Today we explore an exciting venture in Online Video Platform, Ankoder (pronounced encoder). It was founded in 2006 by Rex Chung from Sydney, Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Rex Chung, he gave insights into his venture and how he is progressing with it. This is what he has to say:

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
We're more than just a white label video platform. We provide a flexible API that allow developers to easily integrate videos on their site while keeping full control of the videos and encoding options.

• Who are the people behind this and how it started?
Ankoder is a product of RoRCraft, which was founded by Rex Chung in 2006. We started this project in house since late 2007. We got this idea from thinking how can we capitalise the power of cloud computing. We've designed our application to automatically scale using Amazon's EC2 so that we can guarantee the videos don't need to wait in a queue, and we open up this powerful system at a very low cost. We have very big plans on optimising the video transcoding speed and quality.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
It took us 3 months to build the first version. We released www.ankoder.net as a test project for our own API. Now we're improving our user experience and documentations before we release it to our public.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
The best experience for integrating video functionalities to your own website as well as the fastest and highest quality video conversion.

We believe youtube has solved the online video sharing experience but there's still another issue. Many users wish to see videos on their own devices. With our service, we can convert videos into different formats and sizes at the same time.

• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
We provide a platform that allows developers to make their own video applications easily. There are lot of solutions out there that provides a white label Youtube service or adding videos to social networks, but we're a lot more than that. End users can upload videos directly to our servers, we do the conversion to Flv or mpeg4 or any formats they wish. Our application will post back all the video information to our customer's application while the video file can be hosted on our servers.

Our servers are hosted on the Amazon infrastructure, fully utilizing the elastic scalability of S3 and EC2. Video conversion can take up a lot of CPU power and it is very costly to maintain if it is not their core business. Our value is our ease of use and our ability to scale our conversion servers automatically such that no video will need to wait in a long queue.

• What type of customers you are targeting?
We are developers that are creating new applications as well as established services that want to integrate videos onto their site. For example, since Flickr was born, alot of photo sharing sites flourished. However not all of them has the resource to add video functionalities for their existing customers easily. Another example maybe online CMS applications that already let users upload photos, but does not have video conversion technologies. Our solution is a good fit for these sorts of applications as they can have full control over the work flow of the videos.

• How many people are using your services?
There are two publicly viewable sites using Ankoder right now. First is our own project at ankoder.net. Another one is a vertical social network site for ice skaters, skatingcircle.com, they are one of our first beta testers. We have also integrated our plugin with an open source social network project, lovdbyless.ankoder.com.

Agentpoint.com.au, a CMS for real estate agents, has also recently added video functionalities using our service.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
Most video transcoding servers require thousands of dollars in license fee. Our model is pay per use. Although, when we first launch we will adopt the plans model. Different size plans will have different number of conversions per month. For high volume sites, we can provide a pay per use model at very low cost per conversion.

Thanks Rex for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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StreetAdvisor - Your Street, Your Voice

Vishal Wednesday, September 10, 2008 , , , , 0 comments

Today we explore an exciting venture in Real Estate Industry - StreetAdvisor.com.au. Its co-founded in 2007 by Adam Spencer from Melbourne, Australia.

In a recent email based interview with Adam, he gave insights into his venture and how he is progressing with it. This is what he has to say:

• Please tell us about yourself, your background and interests?
My name is Adam Spencer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of StreetAdvisor.com.au

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
StreetAdvisor.com.au is website devoted to helping people find the best place to live, it’s as simple as that. We have reviews of streets, cities and neighbourhoods from all around the world written by locals in the area. We also have photos, videos, guidebooks, forums and much more.

• Who are the people behind this and how it started?
Jason Spencer (Co-Founder and Co-CEO) and myself came up with the idea for a website about helping people to find the best place to live. It was an idea born out of frustration with our own streets. We thought it would be great if there were a resource that told you what was great, or not so great about the streets people were living in.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
We had about 6 months of basic planning and dev before it was up and running. We felt it was important to get the site live very quickly and make updates often. We launched with a basic database of streets and a review process. That was about it. As you can imagine after about 18 months, the site looks a lot different now, and has much more content.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
Find, share and chat about the best place to live.

• What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
Our mantra “Find, share and chat about the best place to live” can really be broken up into three main areas of StreetAdvisor. First of all people can “find” street reviews, city reviews, photos videos, maps etc. Then they people can “share” their own experiences of what life is like where they live, lived previously or have simply visited. Finally people can “chat” about the best places to live through our recently launched forums, or ask questions about existing reviews.

• What type of customers you are targeting?
Mostly home buyers, renters and sellers. This encompasses a lot of people. This is one of the main reasons we have partnered with some big players in the real estate space such as Realestate.com.au, X Inc Mortgage Brokers, RP Data and Opteon Valuation group.

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
Mostly through word of mouth. We have tried radio advertising, competitions etc but the real key here is give something people to talk about with their friends. That’s the cheapest and best way I know how to get people to use your product.

• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
Measuring the success of a website is tough because it really depends on what you are trying to achieve. StreetAdvisor is a long-term venture for us. Getting all the content we need is going to take time, and they key is to have enough capital to make sure you survive the long haul. Luckily we have more than enough capital to keep StreetAdvisor moving forward for a very long time.
In terms of monitoring progress, as long as we have one more review or photo each day, then it’s good progress. Lucky for us we get hundreds of new pieces of content daily, so each day is good for us.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
2 ways.

  • Advertising on StreetAdvisor
  • Later in the year we are going to release a special version of StreetAdvisor that can enable larger companies to use StreetAdvisor data. That’s about all I can on that for the moment.
• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
There isn't really anyone else focusing on the street level, so it’s hard to identify with any competition. Ultimately there are a number of neighborhood sites out there, but no one at the street level.

• What are the main technologies used behind this venture?
  • Microsoft .Net 3.5
  • Microsoft SQL2008 (Spatial Extensions)
  • Microsoft Mappoint
  • Google Mapping
• What has been the most easy to use, out of box and helpful technology?
All the tools we use have been extremely easy to use. Nothing has been too difficult from memory.

• Are you using lot of open source tool sets for this?
Nope

• What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
Windows Server 2003\2008 and Database is SQL 2008

• What's your thought on being an entrepreneur? How tough it is to start a venture in Australia?
On being an entrepreneur, it’s kind of like going on a date with a cute girl. It’s scary, exciting, daunting, thrilling, but at the end of the day you love it and you always go back for more.
I don’t think being in Australia is any different to being in America. A good idea is a good idea, no matter what country you are in. I suppose there is a lot less competition in Australia, but as I said, a good diea will work no matter what the location.

• What's your thought on the start-ups culture and innovation coming out of Australia?
To be honest, I don’t know of too many start-ups coming out of Australia. Maybe I just don’t read the news enough, or there’s isn’t enough exposure for growing Australian startups.

• How do you see the evolution towards mobile platform.
I don’t think it’s any secret that Apple has changed the game with the iPhone. Companies are scrambling to get their apps on the iPhone, and with good reason…it’s extremely useable. Over the next 10 years mobile will expand as the platform becomes more reliable, faster and cheaper. I’m very excited about this.

It would be interesting to see if we could get a “silicon valley” going here in Australia. There isn’t really a hub of technology as such yet here in the country. Perhaps the government could offer funding\tax breaks for start-ups in Victoria.

• If you are given an opportunity to change the nation, what 3 things you will do?
  • Better Internet Speeds.
  • Media law reform so we Australia gets more online content.
  • Can’t think of another – I love this country!
• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up? Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
Nope

• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
You haven’t lived until you have tried. You will be amazed at how much you will learn by doing your own venture, regardless if it is a success or not. Go for it.

Thanks Adam for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

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