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10 Great Australian Startups To See At CeBIT 2014

Business Insider Australia’s coverage of CeBIT 2014 is presented by the Microsoft Cloud providing flexible enterprise cloud solutions for business.

There are over 150 budding Australian startups ready to explain their solutions to almost every problem imaginable at this year’s CeBIT tech event in Sydney.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said on Monday Sydney was a “hotbed of innovation” with about 64 per cent of the country’s startups based in the city.

“The harbour city is at the heart of the digital economy,” he said.

Baird said there is a challenge to fill the gap left by the mining investment boom dropping off in Australia and while infrastructure projects are going to be a huge filler it’s just one part.

“Form a state point of view, we have very much started to focus on infrastructure,” he said.

“I am also aware that we do face significant economic challenges and we must do more because there is a productivity gap that we see quite a bit.

“We need new approaches and we need new business models to drive innovation, growth and productivity.”

Business Insider has done the rounds at CeBIT 2014, here are 10 awesome young startups to go and see.

1. Workible

Workible is a realtime recruitment tool for the supply and services sectors including hospitality and retail.

Co-founders Fiona Andon and Alli Baker came up with the recruitment platform when they were working part-time.

“We were looking to find jobs which fit around us,” Anson said.

“If a dating site can match love interests why can’t a job site match availability?”

Making it easier for the service sector to find, interview and hire staff in real time is already working for the two.

After launching in October last year Workible has over 12,000 users and is being used by about 60 employers including Dymocks books, Boost Juice, Novotel hotels and Max Brenner.

The two bootstrapped the initial project to prove product-market fit, Anson said launching a startup is one of the trickiest things she has ever done.

“It’s a hard thing to do. This is the hardest business I’ve ever had to run,” she said. “We were starting from a standing start with no market knowledge.”

“When you’re in a startup you’re doing something totally new,” she said.

“You have to take a leap of faith and then prove it to investors.”

The pair are now pitching for Series A Funding and are looking for about $1 million to scale the idea.

The startup funding environment in Australia is more difficult to navigate compared to the US because of the difference in investor risk profiles, Anson said.

2. Flamingo

Launched by self described futurist Dr Catriona Wallace, Flamingo is a co-creation company aimed at improving customer experiences by bringing vendors and consumers together.

Wallace said a healthy customer isn’t captive, they aren’t loyal, they can control their own data and they want to be able to design or customise their own products.

The Flamingo platform is a vendor relationship management product which allows consumers to tell big corporates across the retail, banking, finance, telecommunications, insurance and utilities sectors what they want from their insurance policies, banking products or electricity providers.

Wallace told Business Insider the idea came about when she realised the huge disconnect between what big corporates think their customer’s want and what consumers say they actually want.

“There’s a significant shift now in the way consumers want to interact with businesses,” she said.

“Customers are now empowered through social media and through digital and mobile around having a greater voice.

“We built it [Flamingo] because I fundamentally believe its impossible to unlock value out of customers without their help,” she said.

Flamingo’s pricing is based on the value it creates for business.

3. Tanda

Conjuring up the idea for their startup while drinking in a university bar, Tanda cofounders Jake Phillpot and Josh Cameron prove that some of the ideas you have after a couple of cold ones aren’t bad.

The Queenslanders have developed a time and attendance system for small to medium businesses. With built in rostering and data analytics Tanda is giving SMEs a way to see their exact staffing costs and patterns at any given time.

Beer seems to be good for business because after bootstrapping the launch of the product last year they landed their first customer, Interport Cargo, while having a beer with the manager.

But its not all drinking for this startup, the boys who are also housemates, have also developed compliance modules for all awards and enterprise agreements which makes the system even more useful.

4. Delivery Hero

This idea is awesome. You know when you really want a curry from that hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant down the street, it’s raining and miserable outside and the shop doesn’t deliver? Delivery Hero steps up to the challenge and will bring you your butter chicken, papadums and large coke to your door.

The concept has been huge in the US, particularly in New York, but now it’s in Australia.

Based in Sydney, Delivery Hero also delivers alcohol and other necessities to your door.

5. TalentTag

After over a decade in the recruitment game, TalentTag founder Roy Stapleton said he was fed up with how the industry worked.

He came up with the idea of TalentTag, a referral based recruitment tool, as a way to “democratise the industry” and speed up the process of locating candidates.

The platform works by sending out a notification to people that a job is available, asking them to refer suitable people from within their networks. If the person referred is successful they are paid a referral fee.

Stapleton has already had three investment rounds before the startup’s launch.

6. Veilability

Anyone who has been married, or knows someone that has tied the knot recently is probably aware weddings are expensive and take a huge amount of time to plan.

Veilability founder Kristy Ouwerkerk told Business Insider Australia’s wedding sector is worth about $6.6 billion annually and brides spend over 200 hours planning their big day at an average cost of $54,000 a wedding.

Veilability is a similar concept to AirBnB but for weddings. It enables brides-to-be to enter the type of wedding they want to have whether it be garden, beach, vintage or luxe to name a few and the app will show you all the available venues in the area.

While still in its infancy, the service was launched three weeks ago and only covers Brisbane, it will be launching into other capital cities shortly and will include search options for all wedding necessities including florists and photographers.

Ouwerkerk came up with the concept after she got married and found it “incredibly frustrating”.

“The industry hasn’t changed,” she said.

“Venues are usually the first thing people book and the most expensive.”

The startup received $20,000 in seed funding from iLab as well as some sweat equity from developers. It’s now on the hunt for a second round of funding, looking for $620,000 in angel investments.

7. Shorelog

Shorelog is taking boating management online, getting rid of salt sodden paper records and automating compliance and maintenance reminders.

A self funded Australian startup, Shorelog’s cofounders John Rainbow and Martin Ward launched the cloud based platform to improve efficiency around safety and maintenance procedures in the boating industry.

The online log book has been developed for Australian regulations but a US, European version are due out later this year.

8. Oomph

Tablet publishing startup Oomph enables businesseses to create interactive digital magazines, brochures and retail experiences.

Oomph commercial director Zachery King told Business Insider the company has evolved with the emergence of the iPad and the company’s growth has also been helped along by a changing startup scene in Australia.

He said there is more funding available and fewer barriers to entry in Australia today compared to five years ago.

9. Sniip

Sniip is a virtual wallet which is attempting to bridge the gap between traditional bricks and mortar retail outlets and online shopping.

Marketing head Lisa Hardie told Business Insider the startup uses QR codes so consumers can scan and purchase goods or pay bills using their smart phone.

The company is already working with electronics retailer Dick Smith and is in talks with a number of government agencies.

The startup’s parent company Foresiight bought the IP off another Melbourne company last year and is expanding the technology to make tedious bill payments, including fines, easier.

Hardie said it’s good for retailers because of the data the app can capture and the geolocation capabilities.

10. Issue

Located directly across from the Oomph stand at CeBIT, Issue is a similar interactive publishing product.

Issue backend developer Khoa Nguyen said: “Competition is good, it’s healthy”.

Issue publishes beautiful branded content. It’s a self funded, bootstrapped startup which is running its first funding round later this month.

The minimum buy in is currently $50,000 and while the system isn’t completely automated just yet, Nguyen said the company aims to “eventually have it automated” in about two to three months.

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