Alex Levashov – founder of Suburbarian

Alex is the founder of Suburbarian – a website that will help people make a decisions on moving based on social media sentiment analysis of Australian suburbs.

Alex has a wealth of experience in both the financial and digital worlds. He has solid expertise in e-commerce, project management, general management, business development, marketing and strategy and offshore outsourcing.

He started his career in the stock market, where he was involved in share trading and M&A activities in Russia and Ukraine. After running a successful mid-size digital agency business for 8 years, he was able to expand the business 10 times in terms of revenue over 7 years. Alex has also developed software products: a niche eCommerce product (extension for Magento eCommerce platform), now leader in the sector with over 2,000 installations, and a SaaS solution solving a similar problem for different segments of market.

His practical experience is complemented by IT/Business undergraduate degree and an MBA (Melbourne Business School) where he concentrated on strategy and marketing.

Find like-minded people, who are willing to take part in the venture, develop the plan and execute it.

website twitter

 

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

If you have ever moved you know that it is a very important decision from both a rational and emotional point of view, even if you are renting.

You want to be sure that you are moving not only to the right house, but also to the right area. You don’t want to spend significant effort and money to be unhappy living in the wrong neighbourhood.

There are number of tools that help you to find quantitative information about suburbs such as average property cost or census data and other statistics. However, when it comes to less tangible, qualitative information like “how do people feel living there”, information is fragmented and not representative.

I experienced this problem first hand when I tried to find a place to live after I’d just moved to Australia. I thought: “Wouldn’t be great to have a live window to the neighbourhood to see what people really think about living there?”

The solution?…

Today it is possible to solve this problem thanks to widespread of social media and democratisation of the tools for big data analysis – and that is where Suburbarian comes in.

Suburbarian will analyse data streams from Twitter and other social media using sophisticated data mining algorithms and find out what people think about certain suburbs. The findings will be presented to the consumers in clear and easy to understand way and help them to make the right moving decision.

To better understand how it will work check our presentation at Slideshare.

Please explain your business model

We plan to provide basic version of the product on our website free of charge with advanced access for a subscription fee.

We also plan to distribute widgets (like one you see here) and open access to our data via API, so for example Westpac can monitor sentiments and perceived value of suburbs on an ongoing basis.

We also plan to have some revenue from advertising.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months? 

We are on the idea stage, though interface screens are available.

We are seeking funding for MVP development; once we find financing we’ll start development. It may take a bit longer than 3 months though (4-6 months).

How do you make ideas happen?

Find like-minded people, who are willing to take part in the venture, develop the plan and execute it.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

A serious challenge for b2b start-ups is risk averseness of medium and big businesses and government agencies, it’s not easy to sell them the services of a start-up.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

Rent-a-drone business sounds interesting. Not sure, maybe somebody’s already doing that… And I am talking about more than just flying drones, there are also robots for communication (remote meetings), exhibitions and I’m sure there are other applications out there.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment? 

realAs – predicts the selling price of a house within 5%,  the winner of Westpac Innovation Challenge, where Suburbarian was a finalist.

Tesla, and Google – with it’s understanding image content

Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.

alan jones – @bigyahu

Dean McEvoy – @deanmcevoy

Elias Bizannes – @EliasBiz

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

We are looking for investors, mentors and advisors.

We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?

How do you find seed and pre-seed investors operating in Australia?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Beer De Luxe

 

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