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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.
Cameron Tanner, NSW (b. 1986)
Name: Cameron Tanner
Age: 26 (Born: January 1986)
Known for: Chargebar
It was a golden moment when all of the bars lit up in Cameron Tanner’s head: how can mobile phone users on the go stay connected when their batteries die? Thus, Chargebar was born.
Tanner’s company is responsible for over a hundred mobile charging stations popping up throughout the Sydney area (and soon to expand to Melbourne). Phone carriers down on their luck can now get free power-up service in places as diverse as bars (the drinking kind), shopping centres, convenience stores, transit hubs, and exhibition centres.
That’s right: for free.
Chargebar utilises commercial advertising at stations to offset costs. Where brand sponsorship is in place, there’s no charge to the customer.
A Chargebar app for locating the nearest station — for that last second before your mobile drops off — is also available.
Launched in 2010, Chargebar is sustaining itself nicely, to the tune of $1 million in capital growth, all while maintaining a staff count of three (which includes managing director Jonathon Tanner, Cameron’s brother).
Cameron had a very good job going as an account manager when he decided to quit and start his own business. Although his service would appear to be a godsend, he’s had to do a lot of persuading to get where he is.
“I almost feel like people are set out to make you fail before you start,” he says of entrepreneurship. “I’ve needed to bring my A-Game to every part of this business to encourage clients to take risks, spend when they don’t want to spend during GFC and believe in a new idea. I beg and barter all I can to make our money last.”
But Tanner isn’t stressed. He’s actually enjoying his semi-celebrity status, he says.
“When I tell them I am the founder of Chargebar, they say, ‘You’ve saved my bacon countless times!'”
Not everyone is enthusiastic, he admits. “Some I am not so popular with: ‘I can’t use the excuse to my wife anymore that my phone was flat — jerk.'”
Lesson learned: you can’t win ’em all.
Anthill asks: Cameron Tanner, how have you built buzz for your business?
For some reason, every exclusive event wants a phone charger and doesn’t want to pay for it! Fine by me! I have contra’d over $140k in marketing at Australia’s top exhibitions events by offering our hardware throughout the last 18 months and they let us have a booth or full sponsorship in return.
Chargebar Sponsorship Promo
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.
For some reason… every exclusive event wants a phone charger and doesnt want to pay for it! Fine by me!
I have contra’d over $140k in marketing at Australia’s top exhibitions events by offering our hardware throughout the last 18 months and they let us have a booth or full sponsorship in return.