Our time as one of Westpac’s Top 20 Businesses of Tomorrow introduced us to some intriguing new companies. Businesses of Tomorrow is a program for recognizing businesses shaping the future of society in Australia. Hundreds of winners are chosen each year, with the top 20 getting special recognition and access to Westpac’s business growth resources. In 2017, QuintessenceLabs was part of the top selection of program winners, exposing us to a host of top-notch talent in tech from around the country.
You’d be right to assume that QuintessenceLabs and the rest of the Business of Tomorrow winners are proud of their Australian origins, and we at QuintessenceLabs recognize that many other forward-thinking companies start up and grow throughout the country on a regular basis – potential is around every corner!
“This is a further endorsement of QuintessenceLabs’ innovative work as we deploy our highly secure solutions for a rapidly expanding roster of partners and customers.” said our CEO Vikram Sharma said on learning of QuintessenceLabs’ selection as part of the top 20. This endorsement of course applied to the other Australian start-ups recognized, indeed one of the great benefits of the award was to have the opportunity to spend time with other highly innovative Australian companies and learn from each of their journeys.
We’d therefore like to highlight some of the Westpac winners and innovative companies from our neck of the woods, describing the innovations and advances they’ve achieved, and maybe getting the word out on some of these promising Australian enterprises.
Car rental and sharing are known ways to gain access to a set of wheels, but Car Next Door adds the “neighbor-to-neighbor” way, letting individuals allow their cars to be “borrowed” without them needing to be around. Car Next Door makes it simple to turn any car into a share car, empowering people to save money, reduce waste and create greener neighborhoods. Borrowers can sign up and book cars through a mobile phone app, and then access the keys through a digital lockbox. The company handles insurance and other particulars for both borrowers and owners. Car Next Door emphasizes both the economic and ecological benefits of the service, highlighting how each borrowed car contributes to the carbon offset work done by Australian nonprofit Greenfleet.
A streamlined way for people with disabilities to hire and manage home care and support workers, Hireup essentially removes the middle man in such processes by taking care of the administration in hiring a chosen work, such as insurance. Disabled persons or their families can use Hireup’s platform to review and choose qualified workers to perform household tasks, give rides to perform errands, assist in job searches, and many other necessary forms of support. Workers can also use the platform to apply to job opportunities, and be paid fairly under a “contractor-free” model. There’s even an element of friend-making, as profiles for both parties enhance Hireup’s ability in connecting people with shared interests. Hireup was started by Jordan and Laura O’Reilly, who went through years of struggles finding good support workers for their brother who has a disability. Hireup came from those struggles and Jordan’s own experience as a support worker, recognizing that many parts of the system could be changed for the better.
By using adaptive learning, Mathspace enhances the maths learning experience for students. Learners get their own questions to work on in a digital textbook with handwriting recognition, and adaptive learning analyzes a student’s performance as they work through the answer, lending hits and tips along the way with videos and more. From there, teachers can review all the students’ work and track their progress, which helps the evaluation process or provides more information when providing extra guidance (students can also track their progress to see how they’ve improved over the year). Mathspace is used in over 200 Australian schools, and has targeted content for educational systems in the US, Great Britain, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
A workplace giving platform designed to let employees engage and give back to their communities or to the world. GoodCompany connects with over 1,500 charities, letting employees easily donate to the ones of their choice, as well as use the platform to find organizations for which they want to volunteer, worthy causes to begin raising funds for, and other activities to do good – even simply buying charity gift vouchers. Since its start almost 20 years ago, GoodCompany has enabled tens of thousands of donors to give over $10 million in cash and put in nearly 200,000 volunteering hours.
This company was a 2018 Businesses of Tomorrow winner, so while we didn’t get to rub elbows with them, we were interested in what they have to offer. Metamako provides network solutions for latency-sensitive businesses; latency in this case being the response time in communicating between systems, which sounds like a benefit to any business, but is an especially crucial need to those involved in market trading and other aspects of the financial sector. Based on this, Metamako has highly specialized network hardware and software that are purpose-built to optimize transaction rates to fractions of a second, and can be fully monitored and tracked via analytics.
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High tech is continuing to shape our lives year over year, and helping everyone from big business to ordinary individuals find services, learn better, run their business better, give back to the world, and otherwise enhance their lives. We may be biased, but we believe there’s more exciting innovation in tech coming from Australia than ever before. We’re proud to be a part of such a dynamic part of the world; to have met and interacted with other great firms that use technology in innovative ways, and we do our part in helping advance technology to the benefit of all.