Home Smart 100 2011
Inventor Don Richardson was approached by AFGC with a problem that its food industry members were confronting; it had to do with improving and monitoring the refrigerated distribution of perishables -- foods and pharma products -- during distribution. The industry wanted a more responsive way to ensure their product food safety. Richardson was then granted patents in numerous OECD countries for its unique business process.
The three of us where completing our postgraduate studies at The University of Melbourne. We started to work out what could be done to make it easier for people to create diagrams that wouldn't just be pictures but could represent the real world. We entered the Melbourne University Entrepreneur Challenge (MUEC) and with our business plan and pitching won second prize.
Vickie Johnson (founder & director) was working in her car between coffee shop meetings in the North Queensland heat in December 2009. Sweating and watching the battery power of the laptop depleting, she reflected on the fact that using her iPhone right now she could book a hotel room or a flight to England, but here she was working in the car and having meetings in coffee shops with no other options. Being a woman of action rather than negativity, she set about creating a network providing businesses with access to work or meeting space Australia-wide.
After starting Pole Dancing classes and travelling to Sydney each week, the need for my own Pole took hold, but my landlord at the time did not share this same enthusiasm for installing a pole. This predicament forced me to design and have made a freestanding pole that did no damage to the precious roof.
Clinton Larson and Emma Lo Russo, ex-Macquarie Bank colleagues, came together to explore the impact that the social web and changing technology were having on traditional businesses, especially those looking to compete globally. After testing the opportunity, they launched DIGIVIZER in July 2010 -- a solution that finds the digital footprint of people organisations know (their customers) or people they should know (prospects) on the social web.
I discovered how difficult it was to reach my powerpoint to turn off wasted standby power. The purpose of this innovation is to enable everyone to save wasted standby power or simply to gain switching access to one's powerpoints. And to provide a visual reminder for those of use who are forgetful.
Russell Bolden of Glenbrook, NSW, had one those light bulb moments after a visitor to his home asked what direction the township of Katoomba was as they looked out over their spectacular view of the Blue Mountains. This was a question he had been asked by others too many times before without ever being able to give a satisfactory answer. The eureka moment was thinking of a direction plaque (as commonly found at lookouts) and then Google Maps and how the two could be brought together.
At the University of Technology, Sydney, Professor Hung Nguyen and his research team are developing a system operates a wheelchair with nothing but brain waves. The tech can be revolutionary for people with severe disabilities. It earned position No. 3 in this year's Anthill SMART 100.
Absolute Data Group's Product Development Manager, Michael Halter, believed he could hugely expand and extend ADG’s military-grade technical maintenance and training systems, which were being successfully used by Australian and international defence and aerospace clients. Michael wanted to integrate ADG’s software with product lifecycle, configuration management and asset management tools, to help ‘civilian’ companies benefit from the same superior tools as used in Defence.
Duc Ngo, inventor and CTO of JMango, got tired of re-writing every app he made to work on multiple mobile devices. Traditionally, developing apps for multiple operating systems took way too long and required specialist skills resulting to mounting costs. He found this to be inefficient and too expensive, not to mention tedious, repetitive and just plain boring. So he set out to create his own solution and the result was the JMango Mobile Platform.
After working with companies that needed to store massive and growing data collections on computers that could no longer match their growth in I/O capacity each year, we realised that eventually all these companies must resort to parallel processing of their large data collections. They simply have no other direction to go in. Our approach was to bring together the best available technologies to make the world's fastest MPP system that permits simple expansion beyond the size of the largest systems in operation in the world today.
We had all worked in some really brilliant organisations as well as some terribly uninspiring organisations and the one thing we knew was that workplaces that make an effort to understand and love their people are the places we have all loved to work in. Our question was how could we bring this culture of participation and crowdsourcing to life within workplaces.
My professional background as an accountant collided with small business ownership when I bought a surf shop. I knew I needed to get my tax completed just like any small business owner, so I took my “folder” to my tax accountant. He was gobsmacked by how organised my tax information was. I was also developing my own clientele as an accountant, and clients’ tax accountants commented on how easy it was to complete their tax returns as all the information was at hand, so I researched producing a commercial version of the system I was using for myself and clients.
Recognised as a world leader by the ATS program and featured in A Faster Future by Brad Howarth, BigTinCan and BuzzMe Beats have attracted world leading artists like Jessica Simpson, and leading music management guru, and former VP Sony Music Jerry Blair to join the team. BigTinCan believes that the future of music on the smartphone can be compelling, yet simple and easy to use. With a fundamental patent pending on the use of mixed alerting on smartphones, BigTinCan is well placed to globally grow our market.
When I went to purchase my first car, there were so many things I did not know and did not understand about the process. After a great deal of research and conversing with friends I still made a lot of mistakes. Realising how much research and street know-how is required, I created this iPhone application, which can help at the most important time, when you actually go to look at and purchase a car.
We conducted some analysis of the rewards credit card market for our website and discovered that the vast majority of rewards credit cards fail to deliver real value for Australian consumers. We were gobsmacked to learn that some cards even put consumers in the red, charging more in fees than they deliver value in a year. It was time someone made it easy for the average person to compare rewards cards and rewards types, and to expose the sneaky marketing tactics banks and financial institutions have long used to promote ‘rewards’ cards.
I was responsible for managing access to a "preferred supplier panel" for one of the big banks. It was a debacle. Suppliers worked really hard to get onto the panel and got little for it. Staff just used the same suppliers as always because they didn't have time to do a better comparison. Procurement had little visibility of what was going on. When I realised these issues were common, I started Magnetized Markets. Our goal: make it easier to do business with preferred suppliers with less time and risk.
We realised that many coupon or daily deal sites bombard users with unwanted offers which often become unmanageable and turn users away. Why not create a mobile app that allows users to pre-select the brands and types of deals they would like to receive? It creates a win-win situation with users receiving targeted offers and brands receiving higher conversion rates.
Shortcuts realised that whilst the Internet offers significant revenue opportunities, less than one fifth of Australian salons have an online presence -- and are missing out on potential business. Already enabling salons to take bookings online, Shortcuts wanted to drive more business to salons at minimal risk and cost to them, and enable potential clients to find Shortcuts salons anywhere, anytime.
We were writing a news article on an indie game developer and noticed that their official website was a total mess. It had very limited pictures and no videos, and provided no effective ways to communicate with its existing and potential customers. Having browsed around in the iTunes marketplace we discovered a similar problem shared by many indie game developers: one- or two-man teams spend all of their energy on making a kick-ass game, and they don’t have the resource to build an awesome website to showcase the game. This inspired us to develop the Indie Hub.