We saw the cost of energy rising, the growing frequency of major destructive climate events, the crazy behaviour of office staff wasting electricity by leaving things on overnight and on weekends (74% of the week), the overly complex solutions available....
Two Harvard Business school students met and exchanged ideas about whether crowdsourcing could be applied to the fashion industry. We identified a way to leverage the internet to connect independent fashion designers with customers around the world, and have the crowds curate the marketplace.
This innovation arose from a desire by the originators to give themselves control over their own electronic identities and online information. The first germ of the idea started when one of the team started to write his story and wondered how he could prove his story was not fiction. The ideas became more focused when the developers of the idea had to identify people for an online payments service. The development started when it became apparent the AML/CTF legislation required organisations to reliably identify people and there was no privacy-friendly service on the market.
Duc Ngo, inventor and CTO of JMango, got tired of re-writing every app he made to work on multiple mobile devices. Traditionally, developing apps for multiple operating systems took way too long and required specialist skills resulting to mounting costs. He found this to be inefficient and too expensive, not to mention tedious, repetitive and just plain boring. So he set out to create his own solution and the result was the JMango Mobile Platform.
This innovation initially came to life when I was working on my butterfly and insect farm. I wanted people to be able to experience various insect life cycles in their own home or at school, so that I could share something special with them. I chose a few of my favourites and came up with a prototype for an enclosure that would meet the housing requirements for all of them.
Thinking about the lack of a working online fitting room, we reaslised that although shoppers can’t describe their body's shape/size, they actually don’t need to as the clothes in their wardrobe do that for them; people only buy and keep clothes that fit well. Fit2Buy lets shoppers compare the size/shape of items online to the items in their wardrobe; because they know the items in their wardrobe fit, if the clothes online are a similar shape and size then they will fit the shopper too.
In 2009, we decided to find out what was happening inside Australian small businesses that was holding them up from getting online and participating in the digital economy. Our research showed us that for the majority of SMEs, getting a website was all too hard... too technical, too expensive and too time-consuming. We decided to change all that.
Whilst in my hotel room at night I would search Google for "The best coffee in..." the city where I was staying. I found this process exhausting and it usually came up with mediocre results. So a couple of years ago upon arriving back in Melbourne I had a chat with coffee-loving friends James Crawford (Web Developer) and Adam Lowe (Psychologist) and the concept of Beanhunter was born.
We were writing a news article on an indie game developer and noticed that their official website was a total mess. It had very limited pictures and no videos, and provided no effective ways to communicate with its existing and potential customers. Having browsed around in the iTunes marketplace we discovered a similar problem shared by many indie game developers: one- or two-man teams spend all of their energy on making a kick-ass game, and they don’t have the resource to build an awesome website to showcase the game. This inspired us to develop the Indie Hub.
Olivia Wood was driven by what she saw as emerging trends in "Education/Entertainment" consumer products and the proliferation of personal technology in all aspects of modern life. iMinds has carved a strong niche in the new publishing space, securing all major eBook and eAudioBook distributors and having strong sales uptake from the new information consumer...dedicated to getting the most from their tech devices.
Daniel He, an optometrist, first worked in an optical store in the late 1990s selling eyewear. Too often a customer was dissatisfied with one or more aspect of shape, colour, material or size of the glasses they purchased. Most compromised and settled for something that was mass-produced. Now, a decade on, this problem was a recurring theme. So he out to change this, in an industry dominated by multinational companies.
I became fascinated by Khao Larm when living in Taiwan. I wanted to try my own recipes in it, but never saw it being prepared. Moving to Thailand, I am fortunate to have a neighbour, a lovely old lady we call Yai Yu (Aunty Yu), who prepares Khao Larm by the traditional method. Having observed Yai Yu making Khao Larm by the traditional method for some years, I wanted to use my industrial design and ethnotechnology studies to solve some of the apparent problems.
With the state of the stock markets, economic turmoil and inflation, GoldSwap helps people preserve their purchasing power. Gold is the best protection in terms of financial preservation, and passing wealth from one generation to the next. A dollar today is not necessarily going to be a dollar tomorrow...but an ounce of gold will always be an ounce of gold.
We had all worked in some really brilliant organisations as well as some terribly uninspiring organisations and the one thing we knew was that workplaces that make an effort to understand and love their people are the places we have all loved to work in. Our question was how could we bring this culture of participation and crowdsourcing to life within workplaces.
I was working as a Graduate Engineer on the construction of an onshore LNG Gas facility. We had to maintain extremely high safety standards whilst working at height during construction. I was surprised by the lack of innovation in the safety products available at the time. None of the existing products were able to provide the levels of freedom and safety that we required. I couldn't help but think that there must have been a better solution, which is when I came up with the fundamental concept for the T-Line -- a concept that remains today in the current version.
Absolute Data Group's Product Development Manager, Michael Halter, believed he could hugely expand and extend ADG’s military-grade technical maintenance and training systems, which were being successfully used by Australian and international defence and aerospace clients. Michael wanted to integrate ADG’s software with product lifecycle, configuration management and asset management tools, to help ‘civilian’ companies benefit from the same superior tools as used in Defence.
Russell Bolden of Glenbrook, NSW, had one those light bulb moments after a visitor to his home asked what direction the township of Katoomba was as they looked out over their spectacular view of the Blue Mountains. This was a question he had been asked by others too many times before without ever being able to give a satisfactory answer. The eureka moment was thinking of a direction plaque (as commonly found at lookouts) and then Google Maps and how the two could be brought together.
We were working closely with one of our clients, a locksmith, who was having difficulty managing the day-to-day activities involved in a do-and-charge business: providing quotes, booking jobs, using staff effectively, and remembering to invoice. We saw that the issues with our client were not locksmith issues, but issues almost every small business faces. We knew that through the power of the iPhone and a clever web app, we would completely change how small business operated. ServiceM8 was born.
We were planning our wedding and I was looking for a wedding gown with a very strict budget in mind. I shopped at home using the Internet, but was unable to find any website that dealt specifically with wedding attire. eBay was an option but was overruled because of the large number of wholesale importers with poor quality gowns.
I was responsible for managing access to a "preferred supplier panel" for one of the big banks. It was a debacle. Suppliers worked really hard to get onto the panel and got little for it. Staff just used the same suppliers as always because they didn't have time to do a better comparison. Procurement had little visibility of what was going on. When I realised these issues were common, I started Magnetized Markets. Our goal: make it easier to do business with preferred suppliers with less time and risk.