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Ben Thomas-Brigden, 2012 Anthill 30under30 Winner


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative 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.

Ben Thomas-Brigden, NSW (b. 1985)

Name: Ben Thomas-Brigden
Age: 27 (Born: February 1985)
Gender: Male
State: NSW
Known for: Blink Mobile

Ben Thomas-Brigden knows his name isn’t a head-turner at biz and tech conventions, and basically, he’s cool with that. As the chief technical innovator at Blink Mobile Interactive, he’s content to let his brand do the talking.

“Enterprises don’t trust their corporate systems to a twentysomething-year-old newbie from the Central Coast of NSW,” he says. “But they do trust Blink Mobile. Good PR makes sure we tell our success stories constantly through the press and through case studies. We punch way above our weight.”

Thomas-Brigden is the brains behind the Blink Mobility platform, part of whose PR came through inclusion in the 2011 SMART 100. It’s an example of an MEAP, or mobile enterprise application platform, which consolidates products and services for developing apps that can be deployed anywhere on a network. Local governments, federal agencies, airports and construction companies are a few of the parties that have shown an interest in such a platform.

The story behind Thomas-Brigden’s breakthrough is an account of survival of the fittest. His first innovation was a “virtual noticeboard” system for SMS with a user-pays model, which showed signs of promise. It was 2007; Blink Mobile was poised. And then Apple dropped a bomb on the market in the shape of an iPhone, pushing SMS out in favour of apps. Game over…right?

Instead of bowing out, in his words, “we embraced the enemy.” He developed a platform compatible not just with the iPhone, but with all smartphones and post-PC devices. In the process, he leapt over one revolution to spur on another.

“We invented a platform that would take advantage of the capabilities of smartphones and allow firms to deliver their information systems to all devices,” he explains, “instead of just an app for a particular phone type.”

Thomas-Brigden marks 2009 as the year of Blink Mobile’s rebirth. Since then, the company has grown from two employees to 18, with 50 enterprise-level customers and almost 50% profitability. Those don’t sound like the credentials of a ‘newbie’, but hey, he may be just getting started. It’s the revolutionary front, after all.

Anthill asks: Ben Thomas-Brigden, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?

A desire to invent cool stuff, achieve financial freedom, solve real-life problems, and not to ever work in a ‘normal’ job. Having enough resources to be able to study, invent and fund new opportunities is going to be important for me and is the way I can also contribute back to the community.

Blink Mobile Interactive


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.