Startmate winners: Bug Herd – StartupSmart

Bug Herd

Last week, StartupSmart reported on the unveiling of the five tech start-ups that will be taking part in the inaugural Startmate program.


The scheme provides $25,000 in funding to each start-up along with ongoing mentorship from the likes of Mike Cannon-Brooks and Simon Baker.


StartupSmart speaks to four of the successful applicants, minus a publicity-shy fifth start-up, to get the lowdown on their ideas, what they hope to get out of the program and their lofty ambitions.


2. Alan Downie, co-founder, Bug Herd 


Can you explain what Bug Herd is, exactly?

Bug Herd is online bug tracking for less tech-minded people. Usually this kind of application is aimed at software engineers, but this is less complicated.


It runs on a web-based platform that allows you to embed functionality directly into the website you’re working on. It’s aimed at web developers who are maybe a bit less tech-minded than software engineers.


The developers can then log in and track the bugs that are occurring on the sites they’re working on.


How did the idea come about?

I’ve been doing software development for the last 10 years or so and three of us, my wife Thuy, Matt Milosavljevic and I, have run Angry Monkeys, a web developer business, for the past three and-a-half years.


All of the bug tracking tools we used are ideal for a team of a dozen or so that has an engineer in it, but they are a bit over-engineered if there’s just two of us working on a site.


We decided to build a system that was ideal for us. We initially built Bug Herd just for us, but we always knew we would sell the product. We’ve been developing it for the last six months or so, on and off.


What gap in the market did you see?

There are a dozen or so apps that do what we did before Bug Herd. The market is very crowded and they are low-cost products. We were never going to retire off it.


We needed a product that we could love off comfortably. That’s what Bug Herd is – there’s a definite gap in the market for it.


Why did you decide to get involved with Startmate?

We were lacking a bit in terms of customer acquisition and business development. We saw Startmate and thought that it would be a very good fit for us. They key for us is the mentorship we’ll be getting.


We were about to hit the button in the beta version of Bug Herd when we heard that we got into Startmate, so we held off. Hopefully we’ll launch it by the end of the month.


We are a bit different from the other businesses in that we’re based in Melbourne. We’ll have to move up to Sydney for the first three months of the program.


What are your ambitions for the business?

We want it to be the focus of Angry Monkeys, certainly for the initial duration of Startmate. We’ll look to start off small but then move into bug devices. Once we become well-known we can go up against the bigger players.

Startmate Winner Profiles:


1. IRL Gaming 2. Bug Herd
3. Chorus 4. Noosbox


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