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How did winning a tech award back in 2014 lead this start-up to explosive growth?

Philip Andrews with his award

Philip Andrews won the 2014 Digital Content Award at the Talent Unleashed Awards with his digital platform Liquid State, which provides companies with the ability to develop cross-platform integrated apps. Philip attended the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa as his prize.

The Talent Unleashed judges, including Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak, were impressed by the Liquid State’s offering, and the ease with which companies and individuals could use it to create strong apps without any coding knowledge. “A clean, concise story of how entrepreneurship and societal advancement can happen by applying modern technology,” said Steve Wozniak.

After winning at the Talent Unleashed Awards, Liquid State has since undergone significant growth, hiring five new members of staff. The company continues to expand day by day, with over 1,500 apps built for an extensive range of clients (such as Deloitte, BDO and the Queensland Treasury Corporation) and revenue on track to achieve 300 per cent growth in 2016.

Liquid State is now working with clients across over 40 countries, including Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Switzerland. Philip is looking forward to expanding its presence in Europe, with a new office opening soon in Berlin.

The Liquid State team
The Liquid State team

How to build an award-winning start-up

The Talent Unleashed Awards aim to recognise the best and boldest in technological entrepreneurship. As the 2016 Awards draw closer, we interviewed Philip about how he has taken his start-up to new heights after winning at the awards. Below is what he had to share with Anthill.

How has Liquid State managed to achieve such explosive growth?

The secret to our growth is listening to our customers and to the market as a whole. Our initial product and value proposition met the market expectations at the time we released it but very quickly the environment changed and we had to change our offering along with it. Being agile is a cliche but it is a necessity to do business today.

We have also always seen ourselves as a global company that just happens to be based in Australia. This perspective keeps us focussed on the bigger, international picture. Our competitors are those that are playing on the world sated not the guy down the road. This leads you to produce product that is world class, because it has to be.

How has winning at the Talent Unleashed Awards helped you pull off this growth?

Connections, support and validity are the three things that the win afforded us. There is nothing more encouraging than to be recognised by those people you admire. Receiving the award not only validated what we are trying to achieve but opened the door to multiple opportunities that wouldn’t have existed without it.

Who are your competitors in this market? What sets you apart from them?

Different parts of out platform compete with different companies. So our ability to deliver app-based communications solutions 20 times faster than custom produced equivalence competes with app developers and app development technology, being able to publish documents and notifications from a single source to a range of devices and channels competes with big players like Adobe, and being able to deliver a custom content stream based on engagement analytics and customer interest profiles is the realm of the analytics firms such as Google.

What is your vision for Liquid State?

We are currently establishing a global network of channel partners to help us deploy Liquid State based solutions worldwide. So far we have been successful in picking up key customers in Germany, UK, Switzerland and Canada and with the aid of our partners we want to increase the depth of our customer base in these countries plus add additional territories as well.

How has it been funded so far?

We bootstrapped the company for two years off the back of previous company sales/ profits and then raised a seed round with a syndicate of high-net worth investors before launch. We won two federal government commercialisation grants  to help with the got to market strategies and I am glad to say that we are now building the company on the back of our own sales efforts. We will be looking to apply some scaling money in the form of a Series A investment round later this year to truly ad pace and acceleration to our international aspirations.

What tips can you share about turning a passion for tech into a game-changing business?

Do what you know and do it well, and if you don’t know about it, then learn fast.

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