To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 we connected with startups based around the world to gain insights into different countries ecosystems for entrepreneurs.
Cas McCullough, Founder of Writally based in Brisbane, Australia is the first entrepreneur of the week.
Tell us about your company?
Writally is an early stage startup aimed at helping marketers slash the time it takes to write a compelling, original blog post. As a company we’ve only been operating since March this year and as we’re pre-MVP, we don’t have any turnover to shout home about just yet. At the moment I am running the show on my own but thankfully I’m backed by the amazing team at the BlueChilli startup accelerator.
Who makes up the founding team and how did you get together?
The team is currently myself plus the development and product management team at BlueChilli. Bluechilli is a startup accelerator based in Australia and Writally is a portfolio company. I entered the accelerator program in March after winning the Suncorp #SmallBusinessChallenges competition sponsored by Suncorp, BlueChilli, CCIQ and Microsoft. It was a dream come true to finally be able to develop my app.
What are the benefits associated with your business location?
Brisbane is a great location to startup and collaborate, the space I work out of is fantastic. Not many early stage startups get to leverage really cool partnerships like the one we have with CCIQ. They’ve been supporting our events, promoting us and providing opportunities for us to meet investors. CCiQ is also an investor in my product, so it’s a symbiotic relationship.
What are the difficulties associated with growing a business in your location?
Australia is geographically isolated and our population is small in comparison to other countries. That can be a strength but it can also be a frustration at times. I think that our Government is slowly coming around the idea that innovation is the gateway to economic prosperity in an era of automation and virtual reality. Many mid-level management and professional services roles are disappearing offshore and that has implications for education and employment. I’m really glad to be contributing something pretty amazing to the Aussie startup scene and plan on creating lots of local jobs once we’ve launched in the marketplace.
Where have you found challenges in growing your team?
We haven’t really started to grow as yet but I do have a casual copywriter on board helping me create client content while we’re still running with a manual process. It’s a great problem to have when you have customers before your tech launch, but it means a lot more work for us in the short term. Over time I plan on expanding gradually, as even with the tech, there will be a human element involved in the service delivery.
How do you plan to Internationalise your business?
We are going global from day one. We’ve decided to use Canadian English as it’s an acceptable in-between for both Australian and US audiences. We’ll see how that goes. We are focused on building an international audience first and then will have a system in place whereby beta users can sign up for one free blog post recipe to test the product before they buy a subscription. Almost everyone who’s signed up for the manual service has wanted to test a recipe first and the conversion rates, although a small sample, have been good. Once people sign up we can retarget them with online ads and nurture them through our email marketing. It’s a strategy I’ve seen work many times, so I feel confident it will work for us.