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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Alec Lynch, NSW (b. 1984)
Name: Alec Lynch
Age: 28 (Born: 1984)
Known for: DesignCrowd
Your company needs a logo. You can go to an established graphic designer and may get something spectacular, but there’s the chance the result will fail to meet your expectations, budget or timeline. Instead, suggests Alec Lynch, you can try going public with your logo request and choose among hundreds of samples from aspiring newbies.
Does crowdsourcing work? The rise of Designcrowd, with backing by angel investors and venture capital, is strong evidence it can make for a thriving business model. And Lynch, the gifted CEO, is showcasing it through some very public design campaigns — well outside of Australia.
“On DesignCrowd, you get unlimited designs from designers around the world, first designs within hours and a money-back guarantee,” says Lynch, which assures businesses of protection against risk. He further pitches it as beneficial to designers, anywhere in the world, looking for a foothold in a competitive industry.
In his boldest PR ploy to date, Lynch lit up the media headlines earlier this year by hosting a logo contest for TimesSquare.com, a high-traffic website for all things Broadway. More than 4,000 entrants are competing for the $10,000 grand prize and a precious piece of New York that few businesses can promise.
Lynch handles it like a pro, and in fact, he’s been at it since graduating from the University of Technology Sydney. A failed CRM business led him to work in consulting, then, at 23, to tap into the potential of the crowdsourcing model.
DesignCrowd was a tough sell early on, and Lynch scrambled to keep the business running with credit cards and family loans. But the patience and grit have paid their dividends. He received angel funding in 2009 and, in 2011, raised over $3 million in venture capital through Starfish Ventures, making Lynch among the youngest CEOs the distinguished firm has endorsed.
Lynch has since turned his flair for guerrilla marketing into some pointed satirical contests as well. DesignCrowd has hosted campaigns to replace the NSW Government’s floral logo, and even to re-ignite Tiger Woods’ then scandal-rocked career. The results, even in jest, have made DesignCrowd undeniably more relevant to the market. Pump that fist!
Anthill asks: Alec Lynch, what has been your greatest sales achievement?
Selling my first crowdsourced design project was not easy. It took about one month to do and the pitch was, ‘You give me $400, I’ll get you 100 logo designs from around the world.’ It sounded crazy and I had no previous clients to point to. Thankfully the client bought (and thankfully it worked).
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.