Big ideas don’t happen overnight and not all innovations are met with immediate adoption. Of course, you probably know that already. It’s why you’re here, reading this, looking for more juicy inspiration from those that have come before you.
Lucky for you, the St.George Kick Start grants are back for 2019 and, as always, they’re here to give your business the leg up it needs. To inspire, empower and maybe give you that extra push you need, we’re sharing the success story of one of last year’s winners, Madeline Green founder of Otlet, to find out how that much sort after $40,000 boosted her business.
How does the Otlet Kick Start journey go?
Otlet is a biological sample sharing platform for research scientists. We enable scientists to share, source and request biological samples from around the world. We exist because each year scientists collect more than 94 million samples from animals for their research. However, due to a lack of communication, more than half of these samples are thrown in the bin, when they could have been repurposed for additional research projects. The disposal of samples means wasted scientific opportunity, missed discoveries, a loss of research funding and most importantly an unnecessary sacrifice of animals for science.
We won the KS grant at the perfect time for us. We had built and launched Otlet only weeks before and wanted to scale and grow our user base.
How have yourself and Otlet invested the St.George Kick Start grant?
In my 1 minute pitch, I remember saying we would use the money for target marketing, user testing and hiring a head of science communication. We have done all that and more. We now have two staff who work on our social media and science communication channels. We have run a number of marketing campaigns and we are even giving workshops at international scientific conferences. We are using the KS grant to grow our user base so we can then open our revenue streams.
What positive impact has it made on your business?
We now have around 400 research scientists from 53 different countries using our platform. Our month-on-month growth is impressive and I am so proud of the team we have built in the last year. More than 16,000 samples are available on the database and we have samples being shared monthly.
Tips and tricks for success?
1 minute is not a long time to explain a problem and solution, you need to make every word count. I loved going through the process of understanding how to succinctly explain what Otlet does and why that’s important to everyone. Its trained me to be a better speaker at all my events since. You need to connect with people and using examples or props can be a great way to do so. Also, don’t overload a speech with too many numbers and stats, people disconnect easily.
What advice would you give to others looking to apply for Kick Start?
Just do it! If you meet the eligibility what have you got to lose? It’s an incredible event, the St George and TEDx teams are so welcoming and kind, AND you could walk away with $40,000!
What’s next for you and Otlet?
We are focused on growing the number of scientists using Otlet as I have a goal of 1 million scientists on the platform in 5 years. We’ve got a long way to go but I’m excited about what we have already achieved. We will be redesigning the platform in 2019 building in new features requested by the scientific community. It’s going to be a very big year!
Would you like to follow in the footsteps of Madeline? You can enter your idea by yourself or as a business in one of two categories for Kick Start.
Category 1. A NEW business idea.
You’ve recently launched or are about to launch an exciting new business based on your great idea. You may not be trading yet, but have a solid plan in place.
Category 2. An idea to grow your EXISTING business.
You’ve been running a business for 18 months and want to take your exciting idea to the next level.
Have you got what it takes to Kick Start your awesome idea with St.George? Of course you do.
Visit stgeorge.com.au/business/kickstart to find out more and enter.