Archive for the ‘innovation’ Category

99Dresses is dressed for success

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Online clothing swapping site 99Dresses, founded by Nikki Durkin from New South Wales in 2010, has been growing since the day it launched.

The young entrepreneur said that it was a tough go launching the site, but once she got it up and running, she valued the experience and learned a lot from it.

“The most challenging thing is figuring out you’re going to run out of money before you’re going to take off. It’s frustrating; it’s a tough feeling. You feel like you’re drowning a bit, but I got very lucky,” Durkin says.

That luck was in the form of her decision to enter a $10,000 business competition, which she won, followed by her admission to Y Combinator — an organisation that provides seed funding to a select number of start-ups.

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Erica Fanning Interior Styling fans the flames of fortune

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Erica Fanning established the self-titled Erica Fanning Interior Styling in Sydney in 2012 with the intention of being able to provide interior decorating services to anyone in Australia and beyond via e-decorating. E-decorating sees people send Fanning their room dimensions via email and getting a complete room design package back, complete with places where clients can purchase everything needed to complete the room’s proposed look.

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Learn Cake Decorating Online: simple name, simple premise, great results

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Established in New South Wales in 2012 by Louise Vansleve, Learn Cake Decorating Online does exactly what its name implies and teaches people how to decorate cakes from the comfort of wherever it is they happen to like doing their baking.

Vansleve was struck with the idea for the online business while trying to make the perfect cake for her young daughter and instinctively knew that other people would be interested in learning this skill.

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Australia boasts significant entrepreneurship

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Not only is entrepreneurship alive and well in Australia, it is, in fact, thriving, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which ranks Australia second behind only the United States in the world amongst developed nations to those looking to start a new business in general and among women entrepreneurs, also.

Some notable Australian entrepreneurs include:

Nick D’Aloisio – Summly

Summly condenses news articles to make them easier to read on smaller tablets and smartphones.

D’Aloisio created the app at just 15 years of age. Yahoo! purchased it for $30 million.

Matt Barrie – Freelancer

Freelancer is a job board for people seeking freelance work.

Richard Chua – Talent100

Talent100 was created by then-high school student Richard Chua, now 27, to help high school students score well on tests and get into the college of their choice.

You tell the company what score you need to get to be accepted into your desired college, and Talent100 breaks this down into achievable goals. So far, the company has brought in more than 1.5 million dollars.

Amanda Lintott – Career Driven

Career Driven is a recruitment company specializing in the car and automotive sector, including sales. They are hoping to break into motor shows in the years ahead to continue growing their business.

Sarah and Emily Hamilton – Bellabox

Monthly subscriptions to beauty boxes are huge in the United States and are getting big in Australia, too.

Sarah and Emily Hamilton created Bellabox — similar to the U.S.’s Birchbox — back in 2011 and have seen incredible success thus far. They are hoping to turn the company into a worldwide business in the coming years.

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I Do in a Day does equal success

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Established in 2012 by Melbourne’s Helyna Van Woerkom, I Do in a Day is a 100% online bridal boutique that features a crack team of wedding consultants to help any bride regardless of location.

Van Woerkom says although she knew she couldn’t provide people with more time in a day, she was well aware that she could do the next best thing and help free up some of people’s most precious resource by offering wedding consultations online.

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Innovation important for Australian small businesses

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Technology Spectator columnist Tim Reed has called for more innovation from Australian small businesses.

Reed said the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) report on ‘Innovation in Australian Business’ found the proportion of innovation to active small to medium businesses (SMEs) increased by 13% in the year ending 30 June 2012 across four areas of innovation: good or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes, and marketing methods.

As small business represents 96% of businesses in Australia, Reed said, what happens in this sector has the potential to drive improvement in the domestic economy.

One way for small businesses to adopt innovation is through the use of online technologies, he said. Most consumers are now searching online first when shopping for a new product or service and yet 2/3 of SMEs don’t have a website, meaning a significant proportion of businesses are missing out on sales and marketing opportunities simply by not having an online presence.

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Set That sets itself up for success

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Set That has impressed some big players enough to land some lucrative online partnerships.

International retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Marks & Spencer, StrawberryNET and John Lewis, and Australian brands, including Styletread, zanui, Surfstitch and The Iconic have hopped on the Set That bandwagon.

Set That lets consumers explore “sets” of products that have been compiled and curated by other site users to find a suitable product to buy. The user’s profile and shopping preferences are drawn upon to create a customised shopping experience.

The most unique aspect of the website is the financial rewards offered for building and marketing sets through online social media. Set creators are able to earn up to 2% commission, either banked into their PayPal account or donated to charity, for an item that generated a sale as a result of their set.

More than 100 stores have already committed to the site and co-creators, Aussie mums Kim Westwood and Liz Tehan, are in early talks with investors in Australia and abroad.

Projections for Set That are to have 300 registered stores by the end of 2013 with that number increasing to more than 3000 by 2015.  The stores are anticipated to showcase 1.5 million products to 200,000 users this year and 15 million products to 2.5 million users by 2015.

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StageBitz deserves props for its success

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Founded in 2010 by Catherine Prosser and based in Canberra, StageBitz is a web-based system designed to simplify prop management for production professionals, allowing them to manage the lifecycle of prop sourcing, maintenance and tracking.

“Each year millions of props, scenery and costume items are created at a cost of billions of dollars,” Prosser says. “Many of these items are used only once, resulting in a massive waste of time, effort, resources and money for the industry. This is a common and constant problem faced by the entertainment industry in Australia, USA, the UK and the world over.

“StageBitz solves this problem by providing a collaboration platform in the cloud for directors, designers, makers, buyers and managers to capture the design, technical and usage information they need to get their projects up and running. It also provides an automatic company inventory feature which will allow companies to manage their assets as well as hire or sell unwanted items online.”

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The Fetch returns great success

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The Fetch, an online community for professionals to share and discover what’s happening in their city, has been going strong since Kate Kendall started it in Melbourne in 2011.

It has now expanded to include 10 cities from around the world.

“I still classify it as a start-up in beta mode, so I guess it’s been fairly flexible and it’s grown quickly,” says Kendall of The Fetch.

Kendall now runs the business alternating between Melbourne and Silicon Valley in the USA.

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Online store lets Aussies buy American without the huge markup (also rakes in money for mum)

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Started in 2007 by Dr Carolina Tillett in Bendigo, Price USA is a site that lets Australians purchase things from the USA helping them to save a lot of money and allowing them to purchase items only available in the USA.

Working with partners in the USA, Price USA simply asks customers to fill out an order form on the website indicating what they want and from where. The US-based agents then buy the goods, package them up and ship them straight to the customer’s door.

Tillett charges the buyer 5 per cent of the total order price to handle the transaction and is raking in close to six figures every year from the comfort of her own home with relatively few business costs.

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