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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. More.
Stephen Dash, NSW (b. 1984)
Name: Stephen Dash
Age: 26 (Born: March 1984)
A few years ago, a young investment banker named Stephen Dash was in JFK airport in New York. He needed to access his email to learn the name and address of his hotel. But — horrors — his iPhone was dead.
Dash paid $45 for a charger at an airport convenience store. And out of that angst came an idea that hurled Dash out of banking and into the entrepreneurial multiverse.
His year-old company, Quickcharge Media, launched with business partner Ben Rundle (also 26), provides kiosks by which people — for a $2 fee — can plug in a dead or dying phone and give it a jolt of juice.
“The simple reason I chose to pursue this business is that the opportunity stacked up in my head — I believed in the concept, its financial viability and its growth potential,” Dash says.
And, as we continue to hear, there are more mobile phones in Australia than people.
Quickcharge has two models — a freestanding machine and a smaller, tabletop model. Each is equipped with several charger plugs, aimed at numerous makes and models. A user jacks in, pays the two bucks and gets a 10-minute charge.
The kiosks have video screens on which advertisers can purchase time. The machines, after all, have a captive audience. Quickcharge also “hires out” machines or conferences or special events, makes agreements for businesses to “host” a machines, and leases kiosks to businesses for employees to use.
Dash has been a go-getter for a while now. At 19, he wrote a textbook/study guide on accounting for first-year university students. More than 1,200 copies were sold in 18 months. He graduated university as a valedictorian.
Quickcharge, which employs less than five people, has maintained its market share despite the emergence of competitors with similar devices. On average, one Quickcharge kiosk per week has been installed since the company was established. Customers and partners include ANZ Bank, Research in Motion and City Convenience.
Dash expects an additional 140 contracted site installations over the next six months. Revenue over the first three months of fiscal 2010-11 is 385% higher than 2009-10.
“I take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been given in life,” Dash says. “I like the idea of putting my name next to a clever business that I have created.”
Quickcharge kiosks promotional video
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.