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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So, we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.
Marcus Lim, NSW (b. 1985)
Name: Marcus Lim
Age: 26 (Born: May 1985)
For the homeowner whose wiring is on the fritz, whose busted kitchen cabinets beg for a makeover or whose bricks are simply lacking mortar, finding a professional to do the job can be nerve-wracking (and sometimes even mess with your plumbing).
Pick A Quote, the website and iPhone application developed by Sydney’s Marcus Lim, enables overwhelmed individuals to post their jobs online and compare offers from competing trades and service providers in the neighbourhood.
The service is free for customers who post jobs and gives local businesses the opportunity to gain exposure.
“We realised that majority of Australian consumers are smart shoppers and are looking for options before hiring a service provider,” says Lim. “We understand that finding a tradie or business is an arduous process that requires a lot of time and effort. Consumers are looking for an alternative to making their lives easier, saving them time and money.”
While the Internet might be globalising the economy, Pick A Quote’s scope is unmistakably local and community-oriented. Carpenters, plumbers, painters and gardeners are all represented, although less localised professionals, such as web designers, can also sign up.
Using an “intelligent matching system,” according to Lim, Pick A Quote is able to connect providers and customers who are likely to be the best fit. A feedback system also filters out scams and unreliable providers.
The coolest feature, though, is PhotoMeasure, a tool included in the app version. Specially patented, this tool measures the dimensions of a photographed object that needs repair or replacement, such as a door or a shelf, using a neat little trick (demonstrated below) to correctly scale the measurements.
Of course, smart ideas can’t fund themselves. Securing investment was the most pressing challenge for Lim from the beginning.
Fortunes changed when Pick A Quote won the SPRING Singapore entrepreneurship competition in 2010, earning enough to officially launch the start-up. A networking session in Sydney later introduced Lim to some important high net worth investors who agreed to commit.
Lim’s abilities as a communicator, added to his experience in management consulting and pure “tenacity and determination,” have given him the know-how to bring Pick A Quote to life and amass his company’s reputation. It’s a sure bet that customers will find his app to be the perfect match.
Anthill asks: Marcus Lim, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?
“The fulfillment that people are benefiting from using the service that I have developed. This is the single greatest motivator for an entrepreneur. The ability to wake up every morning knowing that you have to make it happen requires a large amount of motivation and the ability to ride out the trials and triumph. Being an extremely competitive person throughout life has taught me to be on top of my game and this motivates me to be the best.”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.