Home Articles Where is Australia’s youngest university student now? Running a successful start-up!

Where is Australia’s youngest university student now? Running a successful start-up!


At age 12, most kids are playing computer games and transitioning into high school, but this wasn’t the case for Mel Myers. At the ripe age of 12, he became Australia’s youngest university student and then went on to become Director of successful Australian start-up, BoxBrownie.com. Mel started studying mathematics and IT subjects externally at Deakin University through open learning and his only guidance was from textbooks and course resources. By the age of 14, he was part of the first intake of students to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast.

“Attending university at a young age was a fantastic experience and academically I was treated the same as everyone else which was perfect.  Being younger than my classmates and under 18 made social gatherings outside of university hours tricky, but the hardest part was not being able to drive. However, at the time I really didn’t know any better or what I was missing out on. So, perhaps ignorance really is bliss!”

A few years down the track saw Mel starting and selling his first online shop with a business partner and graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, majoring in Information Systems. Then he started his own online shop selling mail order computer software, built a search engine and developed a web business and team now known as Jetpack.

The birth of Boxbrownie.com

Mel ventured out from his business and through mutual connections and various encounters, met Brad Filliponi and Craig Morrison, Co-Founders of BoxBrownie.com. Given Brad was a professional real estate photographer and Craig’s IT background, the pair saw a gap in the photo editing industry and the concept of BoxBrownie.com was established.

“While working as a professional real estate photographer, I was failing to find an affordable graphic designer to edit photographs,” says Brad Filliponi, Director of BoxBrownie.com.

“I had the idea of creating a photo editing website for real estate agents in my head for many years before I started to do something about it. I established BoxBrownie.com after realising that there was gap in the market for an effective photo editing service that was accessible online from anywhere in the world and could be delivered in an efficient and fast manner. After two website attempts with Craig, it was in November 2014 that Mel Myers joined the company and took BoxBrownie.com to where it is today.”

The company is revolutionising the industry with its digital editing services. It is a cloud-based software system designed to make image editing fast, easy and affordable. It offers a wide range of services including photography retouching services, floor plans, 3D rendering, copywriting and more. The business is growing at a rapid rate with currently over 3,000 customers and quarterly growth of 56%.

Who is the target market?

BoxBrownie.com is suitable for everyone from real estate agents to developers, professional photographers to amateurs and online retailers who want to showcase their products with professional photos. Their services are available for a wide range of industries including real estate and online retail.

Initially, the company was manually sending photos to clients. Mel soon found that they needed to modify the website into a system that is designed to be scalable in the long term. After relaunching the site twice, changing the product offering and figuring out how to make the business sustainable, the third time really was the charm for BoxBrownie.com.

“BoxBrownie.com fills a gap in the market for all photo servicing needs that can be accessible online from anywhere in the world, but it stands out from competitors,” says Mel. “Everything lives inside our platform, with the editing process and automated systems in one place. Our efficient system enables better customer service, low prices and results in a guaranteed 24 hour turnaround.”

How is BoxBrownie doing so far?

The concept has changed the way photography is digitally altered in the real estate sphere and has become extremely popular with real estate agents and property managers as they have the option of adding virtual furniture and additions to property photos, changing or enhancing site and floor plans and more. Among leading Australian agency clients are Ray White, Century 21, Stockland, CBRE, Richardson & Wrench, Harcourts, Barry Plant, LJ Hooker, Elders, First National, Raine&Horne and more.

“Since our relaunch, we realised that the market is much bigger than just real estate agents. Our services are suitable for online retailers, SMEs, PRs, eBay and Gumtree enthusiasts and so much more,” says Brad.

Standard costs are $3 for image enhancement, $30 for a 2D floor plan, $40 for 3D floor plan, $40 for virtual furniture, $20 for item removal and $5 for day-to-dusk.

Although based in the Sunshine Coast, the company has a large team of experts all around the world and offer a guaranteed 24 hour turnaround.

The company has also recently launched in the US and UK, which is already generating 5% of their revenue. BoxBrownie.com plans to continue being a disruptive innovator in the market and expanding further into the global real estate and property industry.