On May 4, 2018 I launched my first Company, age 52, to Empower and help Change Statistics. It has been as challenging as it has rewarding. Launched with Private seed funding, in Bootstrapping stage. It is an umbrella for Collaboration, offers an Affiliate Program and Invites Experts.
We are starting to work out our trip to Swaziland in January to work with the schools we have on board there, and we just made a sale to a neighbouring South African school! I had been in discussions with them for a while, and the call I just had was really exciting and positive. The aim is to use their school as a pilot in Jan to show the rest of the schools in their network the value, with a view to rolling it out across all of them! They're called UWC and they have schools in Singapore, Japan, Canada, the US, Brazil, China, and across Europe. The Head of school that I spoke to is also on the Mental Health Task Force for the whole UWC network, and he is going to champion this. They are also keen to do a big research study across all of their schools in conjunction with this, and include the teacher wellbeing training as well as the student curriculum. Basically similar to the plan for UAE :) Early 2020 is going to be massive!!! :)
This brings up the next people we need on board - researchers! I'm contemplating if we can get some PhD students on board!?
I just got off a call with a company from the UAE who has a contract from the government to help schools meet legislative requirements in many key areas, one of which is mental health. They are fully on board with our program approach (both the student curriculum and the teacher program!) and we are scheduling a pilot in early 2020 with the view to bringing both the teacher and student programs into all their schools!!! Another Linkedin connection!!!! :):)
These stockbrokers understand the value of the Mafematica offering and are talking to Mafematica about an IPO round of funding / and/ or providing themselves as a lead member of the panel of brokers that we intend to develop.
Vinovata is an Australian wine platform in Japanese, providing Australian wineries with a channel to better connect and communicate their stories to customers in Japan and driving the number of cellar door visits by Japanese living in or visiting Australia (PR, Tourists, etc). Stage 1 MVP has been very successful with 40+ wineries sign-ups.
BGL has 60% of the accounting serviices market in the Austrlian SMSF market and has international outlets in Asia and the UK. It is expanding its services to include accounting systems for non superannuation business.
BGL is a leading user of AI in accounting software, and provides, for a company like Mafematica and this will allow Mafematica to provide a true 'straight-though-processing' regime that the industry has talked about for so long but has not delivered.
On 9 September we officially launched our startup to the world and we're so proud to announce that we enable people to cash in on clutter in houses around Sydney. This can be done through renting out items on our platform.
Competition Awards and Supportive Measures including
• Competition Awards: The first prize is around AUD $70K
• Venture Capital
• Connection to all special support units, local venture capital agencies, well-known enterprises
• Overseas Mentors: Experts who have great influence in venture capital field are invited to be overseas mentors.
Thanks to a Genesis Mentor we've been put in contact with the owner of a large co-working space across Australia! He is currently looking for an exact solution like our phone booths, and he invited us to tender to for a fit out of all his offices across Australia.
Thanks to our user/customer interviews we've been able to start work on a new feature that we're excited to test with our user base. It targets specific feedback on where we can improve the user experience and has been flagged in almost every user interview we've done.
I just had a fantastic call with the MBA Program Convenor at the University of Newcastle (he reached out to me via Linkedin). They are going to fly me up there early next year to deliver a guest lecture to their MBA students and run an initial pilot of Open Parachute through their Leadership Program (as well as deliver a talk to the Hunter Young Professionals Network). This will be a great opportunity to check out the University market to develop more programs for that age group. He thinks there is great potential for work with Uni's worldwide, so we're keen to test it out!
We found the perfect person to hire in Canada for sales and program management. She is a teacher wanting to do something bigger, and we have spent the last month vetting her - she passed with flying colours! She is essentially going to create herself a job - she's going to spend the next few months looking for leads, while we focus on honing in on our marketing strategy with our salesperson in LA, and then as soon as we are satisfied with these two variables we will start her full force.
They're a studio and they've been interested from the beginning, but it was complicated to provide them with a fully functional device. The last issues have been solve and now the Alto is flying to Melbourne for them to start working on it!
We've been looking to get the opinions of those who influence opinion. We've got three influential people happy to participate in interviews, with a potential warm intro to a fourth. We're being strategic here and forging relationships with those who are followed.
After doing user interviews we've managed to figure out that there is willingness to pay for our software. Something we had not entertained seriously until now. Also we've managed to verify that a costly feature we thought these users would actually want is not something they value, so we can reduce our scope for development without reducing the perceived value.
We are planning a trip to Swaziland/South Africa and the UK in January to build out the next version of our program (for older high school ages) with international teens represented and a focus on global issues and their impact on mental health. Once this is built in March, we will be trialling it in these partner schools in London and Africa - as paying customers (and the program will also be used as an up-sell to our existing customers - all of whom have already signed on to use it).
We have one London school and one Swaziland school confirmed for this, and we just heard back from a second school in Swaziland who wants to be a part of it! This gives us some interesting feedback because the response rate in Swaziland is currently two for two. Helpful in our testing of which markets are most responsive!
I have a meeting with a Sydney Catholic School this week who are interested in our program, and we just secured a meeting with the head of the whole Catholic Diocese directly after!!! This is massive, because getting approval at the Diocese level means access to the rest of the schools in their district, as well as connection into the wider National Catholic Schools network.
This big customer wanted to get rid of there decade old system of paper based leaves, payroll and time tracking.
The new system is developed and customized in Microsoft SharePoint to utilize the customers existing investment in Microsoft technologies. Added benefits: Single sign on, data security, Document collaboration and highly customized reporting
I just ran a teacher training and then had a meeting with the heads of a large School District in Western Canada. And they just signed on to roll the program out! Starting in one school this term, with the view to putting it in all schools in their district in the Spring!
AND I already up-sold them the new program we are creating (for older ages - to be released in a few months) and they ultimately want one program for each grade (grades 8-12) across their entire district. This is SUPER exciting for many reasons, and also confirms our thinking that up-selling more programs to existing customers is a much better business model than constantly looking for new schools.
Also - I tested our new pricing model, and it looks like we are finally getting a good fit with school budgets. Yay!
I reached out to Congresswoman Napolitano (a US Congresswoman who has put a bill forward to mandate that all schools in the US have mental health curriculum) and I just heard back saying yes to a meeting!!
Getting in with her would be incredible, as she is literally working to make mental health programming available for the entire US!
After winning the NSW Startup of the Year category, Sportility was announced as one of the national finalists and was commended for their revolutionary sports-tech platform which is democratising grassroots sponsorship globally. The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia's peak industry body for the technology sector and announced on Thursday 29 August the National iAwards winners for 2019.
We applied for this about a month ago and were just notified we've been accepted!! Following on from our discussion with you Alex, we need to decide how to proceed...But it looks like an incredible opportunity!
It's based in LA, but all done remotely (works for us being in Sydney!) 8 weeks of online mentorship as part of a cohort - preparing all the "due diligence" of the company (eg business planning/modelling etc). It's run by a VC firm led by lawyers, and their whole aim is to help Startups prepare for the due diligence questions that they are usually ill-equipped to answer. Plus provide $125K US for 7% Equity. They are specifically working towards gender balance in investing, so have picked only teams who have a gender balance at the C-Suite level. I just spoke to the woman in charge, and I really like her - she has also worked within the schools sector!
- They are going to send out information on our program through their PR firm who has contacts with schools across NY in the next few weeks
- We are going to present our program at a large NYC Wellbeing Event in November
- We are going to speak at their conference in NY in November re our programs
- They are going to put us in contact with the New York State Education Department & their other school contacts
Can now give our customers free, speedy shipping, anywhere in Australia - and on our end, for an affordable price. 😄We've partnered with the same company that helped Koala Mattresses achieve 4 hour delivery.
I just met with an organisation working with wellbeing in 14 schools across 8 US States, with a view of expanding globally. They want to bring my program into their schools, and are meeting with their funders tomorrow to discuss next steps!
I was contacted by a large organisation that is running wellbeing programs across New York State, and they currently do not have a clinical psychology-based mental health program (which is what I have created). Great timing, as I am currently in NYC! I will be meeting with them on Monday morning to discuss potential opportunities for Open Parachute in their networks.