Coming to the end of their degrees a group of ANU students decided that it was time to seriously pursue an idea and make it happen.
What resulted was Bindle – a mobile application that takes the chance and difficulty out of meeting new people and finding exciting things to do!
“I arrived in Prague, in this beautiful city, on my own with no one to accompany me and no idea where to begin exploring”, says Afnan Hannan, an ANU Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Economics graduate.
It was not until Afnan brought the tales of his travels back to Canberra that he and three other (then) ANU students realised the scale of the problem. They immediately felt as though they had stumbled across one of those entrepreneurial gold mines – a problem so large that it affects almost everyone in the world, yet a problem for which there appears to be no simple solution.
Co-Founders of Bindle; Rizvi, Marko, Steve and Afnan clued on to the fact that it doesn’t actually matter who you are or where you are, finding exciting things to do, and new people to do them with, can be difficult for the best of us.
What differentiates Bindle from other mobile apps is that Bindle leverages crowd sourced information to let users post and rate activities that are happening in their vicinity. These posts trend based on their rating conveying the crowds top picks of events, nightlife, restaurants and activities that are happening in any one moment in the area.
When asked about how studying at ANU has helped their entrepreneurial journey Afnan said “we really owe a lot of where we are right now to studying at ANU. We’ve been able to leverage advice, networks and obviously our knowledge get to this stage. The [Systems] Engineering methodology has been an important driver for Bindle. We employed an agile method of software delivery; testing the product with users rigorously as we develop, which has helped save a lot of money because we haven’t had to go back and delete or change features that won’t be palatable to the market.”
But as young budding entrepreneurs, these ANU graduates know an idea is just the tip of the iceberg. Co-founder Rizvi Mridha explains the potential obstacles. “Raising capital is the single largest barrier to entry for entrepreneurs, particularly in Australia. You need to prove market demand for your product or service but to do so you need a prototype, particularly in the tech space in which we operate but it’s almost impossible to achieve this without having capital to start off with, which is why grants, competitions and crowdfunding have been so important to our journey so far”.
The Bindle team have received funding through various competitions and initiatives such as the ACT Government Innovation Connect program but are still on the lookout for more support.
ANU supports commercialisation of student ideas and projects through a number of initiatives and programs including the three million dollar ANU Discovery Translation Fund.
The Bindle team is hopeful to receive funding through this program and we wish them well in their future endeavours.