For every successful start up there are an untold number of failed outfits that don’t qualify for a happy snap in the paper with their proud twenty-something founders.
So for a couple of young Aussies to have two terrific tech ventures out the door at 24 is an achievement not to be underestimated. Stand up David Wei and Ying Wang.
After their first venture was bought out by Groupon while still at university, company founders Wei and Wang have gone on to start up online venue sourcing service Venuemob.
Basically it’s an online catalogue of cool bars and function venues that people search to find the perfect place for their party.
And after gaining entry into The University of Melbourne’s Accelerator program and subsequently securing $450k of investment late last year, it’s fair say this simple platform is on its way to big things too.
Partnering with a third amigo James Giang to develop the concept, Wei says their start up journey has been like learning an MBA in the space of a few weeks. And he would know, having been studying for his masters before quitting to focus on entrepreneurial efforts.
Interestingly the boys identified their second startup opportunity during the time they were helping integrate their first business into Groupon.
“We learnt during out time at Groupon that local businesses wanted more function bookings - corporate dinners, weddings, birthday functions - and there weren’t really any marketing channels out there to cater for that,” Wei explains.
With that epiphany, they slammed into action and filled the gap within a month.
“From idea to something we launched was probably a matter of three to four weeks. We brought venues on board without even having a website,” Wei says with a grin.
“We had venues sign contracts and agree to pay booking fees and we said, ‘yeah we’ll get you some soon, but we aren’t launched yet,’”
“At the start it was just fill out a form and we’ll recommend you some venues, manually.”
And while that edge-of-the seat-approach meant some quick lessons and a lot of work, Wei says the team wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Our belief in start-ups is to just start and get it launched as quick as possible, don’t plan out for a year, and even a few months is too long in my book.”
It’s been a heady ride since then for the three entrepreneurs, growing from a team founders to 11 people today as they roll out the idea right across Australia and eye entry into Asia too.
“It’s been a hectic couple of months,” Wei says. But he looks as energised as ever.
David Wei’s 3 Tips For Start-Up Success
1. Launch Quickly
“Launching very, very quickly and getting the product out there and getting feedback, rather than planning for months and years in advance, because it might not get that far.”
2. Find A Good Team
“Like the previous business, this business has multiple founders with complementary skill sets. This is really important for running the business, but it’s also really important to help balance the rollercoaster ride you go through as a start up.”
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things
“The Venuemob concept definitely evolved a little bit, and we’ve just experimented and got feedback and are happy to try different things and spend money to test out new features and functions. Because remember, the more growth you show in the early days, the easier it is to raise money after you‘ve proved your concept.”
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