It’s no secret, to those who know me, that Business Insider Australia is one of few sites which I consistently go for all my tech updates and news.
Just this morning, they posted a top 100 list of the most innovative tech people in Australia this year. They ranged from small start-up companies with 500,000 followers to entrepreneurs netting $70 million for their ideas.
So while sifting through the endless pictures of Australian tech greatness, I thought I would share my top five of Australia’s coolest tech geeks and why their ideas stood out to me.
1. Matt Bullock, CEO and founder of Centify
One of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, Matt Bullock grew a start-up company named eWay from the comfort (or discomfort, depending on your point of view) of his own garage. It soon became a multinational presence, bringing in 250,000 clients and processing a quarter of all online purchases in Australia. Bullock sold eWay in April 2016 and started Centify.
— Centify (@CentifyApp) September 26, 2016
A dynamic and engaging app, Centify brings the fun of mobile gaming to the world of sales. The focus is on mini-game competitions between co-workers, where sales teams play multiple types of games to earn extra cash as an incentive driven scheme. Managers can set the competition and the reward, can accurately track commission and cut down on disputes, as well as paying the staff quickly and efficiently.
It’s certainly a business philosophy which, I believe, should be employed by many, if not all, employers. Motivation, no matter what job or stage of said job you are in, can be a tricky thing to manage, but this app will allow for a more positive outcome.
2. Chris Strode, founder of Invoice2go
Most invoicing programs back in 2002 were expensive accounting systems that did not present an easy solution. Strode, in the same year, began coding an alternative as he made his way home from work.
Come forward 14 years, and Invoice2go has become a mobile-centric invoicing program. It reached top 10 status among the most downloaded in apps; it received, and still receives, funding from two top venture capital firms in the form of Accel Partners and Ribbit Capital; and its new office is being opened in California, with new CEO Greg Waldorf stepping in to take over creative control.
— Invoice2go (@Invoice2go) September 20, 2016
This is a very smart, very efficient start-up from an Aussie who, being a small business owner at the time, understood the value of instant gratification from a hard day’s work.
On average, this app is saving customers three hours a week. Doesn’t sound like much, but take into consideration a mobile coffee shop which is constantly on the go and suddenly three hours a week affords the owner some time to relax and enjoy his own brew.
Invoice2go pays quicker, on an average of seven days quicker, and if there were any fears of information being lost in transit, fear not, because everything is backed up on the cloud and synced across all devices on the network.
A solid investment, in my view.
3. Nirary Dacho, co-founder and CTO of Refugee Talent
When a man goes for a job, and has the backing of a Masters Degree in Web Design and a Bachelor of IT, usually he would be at the top of a potential employer’s list. But Nirary Dacho applied for more than 100 jobs, and was constantly knocked back, with the underlining factor being his recent arrival as a Syrian refugee.
A chance meeting at the Sydney Techfugee Hackathon in November last year between Dacho and Anna Robson, a former employee at Nauru detention centre, sparked the idea for a digital platform to connect refugees to appropriate and willing jobs – for both the short and long term.
Breaking down myths & misconceptions of Islam at Lebanese Muslim Association pic.twitter.com/blshdA6Gfo
— RefugeeTalent (@RefugeeTalent1) October 5, 2016
It’s unfortunate, in this day and age, that we need a secular website for something like this, but until we as a society can look beyond racial and religious profiling then I will continue to applaud sites like Refugee Talent for giving an option for those who have been overlooked as an option.
An easy website to navigate, and a fantastic way to promote growth within the Australian workforce.
4. Paul Rybicki, head of TV and content for Optus
One of the biggest coups in recent sporting history, Optus blew everyone away by outbidding the established televisor, Foxtel, for the rights to televise the English Premier League for three seasons. With a massive $200 million deal sealed, Optus offered life-long fans a dedicated 24/7 football experience for multi devices – mobile, Fetch TV, and Fetch Mini – and delivering, for the first time ever in Australia, football brought to you by a telecommunications company.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) October 13, 2016
As a football fanatic myself, I was slightly cautious about how Optus was going to make this work. It’s no secret that the infrastructure in Australia, in regards to online streaming, is not even close to being great. Considering Optus had previously tried to enter into the televised domain, Rybicki’s courage to push for this content was admirable.
But despite the first day hiccup, and the UK satellites going down, Optus has produced the footballing content at a reasonably good rate; with games on demand, talk shows, fantasy league talks, and player spotlights all at the touch of a button (or mobile screen), and all in high definition.
If they can continue to improve on the seamless streaming ability, no matter what internet capability you may have, then Rybicki will be lauded as a pioneer for Optus.
5. Tim Fung, co-founder and CEO of Airtasker
Airtasker did not begin as a roundtable committee meeting. Tim Fung started the $3.5 million online company by simply pitching ideas to his housemate. He had been a part of several start-up ideas, all of which had reasonable success, but this idea truly struck him when he and his housemate were moving.
We’ve all had to call upon mates to help us move. We’d sweeten the hard day’s work with the typically Aussie incentive of a case of beer as payment. Fung took advantage of this idea, and tapped into this very easy-to-understand concept, and its success is due to the lucrative nature of hiring “the everyday man” – much like Uber has done.
— The Morning Show (@morningshowon7) October 11, 2016
Either online or on your mobile, create a free post asking for help with something, receive offers from Airtasker employees within minutes, and choose the best person for the job. Simple, effective, and fast.
The company already has 600,000 members across Australia, with over 250,000 positive user reviews, and more than $40 million in task transactions and counting.
We should celebrate these home-grown innovators, these pioneers of Australian technology. They’re our global ambassadors, as most of the world do not consider our small country to be of any major point of interest when it comes to technology. We need to be encouraging new ideas because we have the ability, as seen by the five people above, to make our own mark on the world. – Phil Logan