What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was 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. Anthill’s editorial team then trawls through hundreds of applications and identifies and profiles the top 30 Australian entrepreneurs under the age of 30. The process culminates in an event held in Melbourne where the 30 winners network and celebrate. We’ve been releasing profiles of this year’s Anthill 30under30 winners via our Twitter account – youngest to oldest. After a brief hiatus for Venture Capital Month, these profiles continue.
Name: Clint Salter
Age: 24 (b. 1985)
These days virtually all industries and sub-industries are ripe for reinvention online. Take the ultra-physical world of dance, which 2009 30under30 winner Clint Salter is doing his best to jazz up online with his specialist directory and social network, DanceLife.
Salter had a tough upbringing, raised by a single mother in the working class western suburbs of Sydney. Yet by 16 he had launched his own dance studio. In November 2007, he had the idea to create an online world for dancers and performers that would include a social network and business directory.
To get the website built, he needed cash, but the banks wouldn’t lend him enough to make a go of it. So, he secured two smaller loans and his mother guaranteed a larger loan.
Despite strong growth in its first year, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Salter. Like all instinctive entrepreneurs, he’s had to adapt to the behaviour of his customers.
“Once DanceLife had launched, I noticed there was a need for dance studio owners to have a place where they could see what freelance teachers were available,” says Salter. “I came up with the idea to create a Dance Teachers Directory. Freelance teachers would be able to buy space in the directory to advertise themselves and the dance studios would be sent the directory for free. This didn’t work as the teachers weren’t proactive and I didn’t have the resources to follow up and sell. Dance Teachers are now a part of the online business category and this is working well.”
Salter also works full-time as an agent for The Harry M. Miller Group, meaning he is a very busy man. He is in the process of launching a talent and entertainment consultancy arm of the DanceLife brand, and has a five year plan to build DanceLife into Australia’s leading dance brand across a number of areas, both on and offline.
And it would be a brave person to rumba against this entrepreneur from Western Sydney with fire in his belly. DanceLife returned over one-third of Salter’s initial investment within its first nine months and was a finalist in the 2009 AIMIA Awards and the POPRepublic Awards 2009.
For having the vision and passion to pull himself up by his leg-warmers and push the envelope in an industry crying out for digital deliverance, Clint Salter is a worthy winner of 2009 30under30 honours.
Entrepreneurship according to Clint
“I grew up in the western suburbs slums, with my mum and a series of bums, people showing me all the ways a man can fail. I had a dance studio at the age of sixteen, built student numbers to over one-fifty and today I’m founder of Australia’s home of dance – DanceLife.”
“If a young westie boy who grew up in housing commission raised by a single mother can create two successful businesses by the age of 23, I believe anyone can.”