Home Cool Company Awards 2011
Inspirational businesses often are created from the synergy of founders from disparate backgrounds. Web designer and marketer. Retailer and foodie. Engineer and artist. And, of course, lifeguard and law student. That would be Clint Miller and Kate Miller, who created a business that links Australian youth to projects in developing communities overseas.
3Fish aims their products and marketing at people and organisations with a social conscience, who care about the origins of their products. They provide merchandise for musical bands like the John Butler Trio, for existing retail brands such as Mambo and ALAS, and for non-profit organisations such as World Vision and the Global Poverty Project. You also can see 3Fish's stuff on campuses like RMIT and Latrobe. All in all, 3Fish has produced more than 100,000 items.
All Hail the New Number 2! Launched in 1993 in a Western Australia garage, the company sells itself as solid like a big telco but spunky like a startup. iiNet has also challenged itself with breakthrough products, the latest of which is iiNet Labs, a research and development division that focuses on the needs of the company and its customers. The company that once organised staff for a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro now finds itself at the summit of 'coolness', taking home the top accolade at Anthill Magazine's Sixth Annual Cool Company Awards.
O3Office was birthed with the idea of giving road-warrior solopreneurs and SMEs a place to hold a meeting or temporarily set up shop. As the thinking went, a businessperson on the go can book a hotel, restaurant or flight, or rent a car. Why can't the same magic happen with office space?
Can you remember the winner of TIME magazine's Most Influential Person poll in 2009? Was it Barack Obama? Oprah Winfrey? The Dalai Lama? No, it was Moot, the pseudonym of 21-year-old Christopher Poole, a college student and founder of online community 4chan.org. So, why the long winded introduction to this year's Cool Company Awards Readers' Choice Award? Did we get gamed?
Leaping into the online music service market is like standing next to a speaker at a Motorhead concert: It's not easy to be heard. Guvera, a company spawned on the Gold Coast, has bucked that challenge with big-amp angel backing and an approach to ad support as unique as a Coltrane solo.
What makes ride-sharing company Jayride cool is how it pushes its brand and how it has plugged in a revenue model designed to keep the company motoring along and driving toward its ambitious goal of extending beyond Australia.
Brightgreen is a Melbourne-based company that specialises in energy-efficient LED lights. Founders/brothers David and Barry O'Driscoll say they've concocted lights that have the same brightness as a 50-watt halogen bulb, but with 15 times the lifespan.
And here's our shining example that the entrepreneurial spirit can rise anywhere, anytime. Because we can guarantee you've never seen another designer T-shirt manufacturer like this. The men who make the Doin Time line of tees live in the Youth Unit of Port Phillip Prison, a maximum-security facility. All profits from the shirts go to charity.
LX Design House is an electronics design consultancy founded by Simon Blyth in 2006. Based in the Sydney suburb of Eveleigh, it's run by a small, nimble group of engineers who enjoy a good challenge. And what better challenge might one tackle than (cue Hammond organ) the mystery of mind control.
In less than two years' time, LeadBolt has become one of the world leaders in an industry boosts revenue for online publishers and advertisers via a method called content unlocking. In essence, site users encounter a screen that makes an enticing offer; the user must engage and react to the offer in order to continue seeing the site content.
Stroll past our august cast of Cool Company finalists and you'll hear a broad range of definitions for "singularly nifty." But only one company -- Starlettos -- can say that, barely 14 months after its launch, its product landed in the glitzy gift bags given to nominees of the Emmy Awards.
Last week, I caused an online ruckus by questioning whether Cool Company Finalist LeadBolt should be named our 2011 Cool Company Awards Readers’ Choice winner. LeadBolt totally annihilated the competition – because its business model is based on triggering online actions, such as Facebook Likes. Starlettos, the first runner-up, had courted reader praise and social media reactions the old fashioned way – by rallying their mates. So, who should get the award? Short-cutting LeadBolt or hard-working Starlettos? The results were smashing.
Reactive is one of Australia's largest and longest-running digital agencies. It was started in 1997 when its two founders, Tim Fouhy and Tim O'Neill were both 21 years old. Today, the agency has a multinational footprint, with full-service offices (not just sales staff) in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Auckland and New York.
Oomph, a company that offers a easy-to-use, highly customize publishing platform for tablets, hit the ground running when the iPad arrived in 2010. The principals behind Oomph, operating under another company name, already had about 50 iPhone apps under their belt.
Yellow Pages, you've been put on notice. The young men behind the job-bid website Service Seeking want to put you out of business. But, well, short of that, they want to continue the biggest site of its kind in Australia, giving consumers a place to compare quotes and prices from local businesses.
The Cool Company Awards Readers’ Choice Index was created to provide an opportunity for Anthill readers to vote on Cool Company Award finalists, in one of three ways: Commenting, Like-ing and Tweeting. This way, readers not only direct attention to a worthy cool company but also introduce new people to these awards.
It takes more than a little effort to make car washing cool. The folks at Sydney-based Nanotek have pulled it off, though, combining a slick (literally) product with an aggressive franchising strategy that has established beachheads in more than a dozen nations.
When the folks at Stuck On You, the online storefront for kids labels, are asked how they are making the world a better place, they offer a brief, punchy answer: Ever seen a frustrated parent? Children leave jackets at school. They accidentally switch lunchboxes with friends. Stuck On You's labels are parents' first line of defense.