StartupSmart Awards 2012

  • Pollenizer



    Pollenizer is a Sydney-based start-up incubator, co-founded by tech veterans Mick Liubinskas and Phil Morle, which recently celebrated its fourth birthday.


    The Pollenizer team is made up of 30 people in Sydney, and 50 mentors from around the world. To date, Pollenizer has co-founded more than 25 online companies.


    Last year alone it tested 16 ideas, started eight new businesses, raised $7 million for portfolio companies, raised $1.1 million for incubation, and sold Spreets for more than $40 million.


    It has also introduced the Pollenizer “pod structure” whereby set teams work over four-month semesters, thus bringing consistency to the incubation process.


    According to Liubinskas, the new team structure and four-month process is proving very successful, saying it’s “something we can see one day taking to other cities around the world”.

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  • Meet the StartupSmart Awards class of 2012

    feature-awards-2012-thumbThey’re young, they’re smart and they’re off to a flying start.

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  • StartupSmart Awards 2012 – The companies to watch

    When StartupSmart announced its 2012 awards we were flooded with more than almost 300 entries.

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  • Target Media takes top spot in 2012 StartupSmart Awards

    Target Media Australia has taken out the top prize at the 2012 StartupSmart Awards, named the country’s fastest-growing young business with an impressive revenue of $14.1 million.

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  • Recycling Solutions



    John Cross is creating a monster. Well, it’s a crusher.


    His company, Recycling Solutions, is in the process of developing the Plastic Bottle Crusher, a recycling aid that will do exactly what it says.


    “I am passionate about recycling and educating people in recycling and I realised a great business advantage in this product with global markets,” Cross says.


    Cross is manufacturing the machines in China and will then distribute and license them from his Gold Coast base.


    He says the research, development and engineering required to design and build the machine has been his greatest challenge, and climbing this intellectual property hurdle has been one of his key achievements so far.


    His key bit of advice? Always obtain professional advice.


    “Find the best firm in each field required, learn from them, always be friendly and you can get a lot more for your dollar.”

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  • Mozo

    Mozo is a financial services online marketplace, helping more than 300,000 Australians find a better banking or insurance deal every month.


    The site provides free independent product information, with peer-generated content and personalised comparison tools to help consumers find the most suitable financial product.


    According to founder Rohan Gamble, Mozo is the only financial comparison site in Australia that delivers full market comparisons to consumers.


    “Our proprietary database covers over 1,950 products from 196 providers across 23 product categories, from personal banking, business banking, insurance and travel money products,” Gamble says.


    “In addition to the Mozo website, we co-branded comparison services for some of Australia’s leading online publishers. Our partners include Fairfax Digital, BigPond and Choice.”


    Gamble says he started the business because he saw an opportunity to create a “true consumer champion brand” and online marketplace in the financial services sector.


    “It is no secret that for most Australians, financial decision-making is a chore,” he says.


    “Visit a financial services website and you’ll start to understand why – serious images, jargon-loaded content and brain-racking tables.”


    “Mozo was the first online comparison site to offer users a fresh perspective to the dull and jargon-filled world of financial services.”


    Mozo intends to be site of choice for consumers wanting to make financial decisions, and the preferred online distribution channel for financial institutions wanting to acquire new customers.


    “A major challenge to starting our business was our timing. Just as were about to launch, financial markets imploded,” Gamble says.


    “Suddenly, the revenue model of our start-up – based on a healthy and competitive retail banking marketplace seeking to acquire new customers – seemed a little out of place.”


    “We revised our launch plans and lowered our cost base. We turned to PR and social media channels to build the brand rather than more expensive mainstream online advertising.”


    “We also had to make some tough calls on staff and make things work with less people.”


    Gamble says while he wouldn’t want to relive this experience anytime soon, the business is far better off as a result, and has successfully turned a vision into a profitable reality.

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