Andrew grew up in Tasmania, before moving to Sydney to study engineering at UNSW. After discovering he really didn’t want to be an engineer around ¾ of the way through his degree, Andrew joined Bain & Company as a graduate. From there he moved to Darwin for a year, and then joined joining Archer Capital in 2010. In 2014 Andrew left Archer to work full time on his first business venture, which he started with Peter in mid-2013. At the start of 2015 Andrew and Peter started work on Found full-time, which launched at the start of 2016.
Peter was a serial entrepreneur from a young age, starting his first business at the age of sixteen. While at high school and university he started several other tech businesses, and by the age of 21 was employing six staff while still studying full time. In 2013 (aged 21), Peter and Andrew started Rifurb, which went on to become a major supplier to Uber, both in Australia and throughout Asia and the Middle East.
Can you tell me a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Peter and I came up with the idea for Found when we were running our previous business together – and realised how hard it is for businesses to find great young staff – and for young people to find jobs. We believe that recruitment is at least five years behind most industries in how it’s adopted mobile technology and that with the right product we could really have an impact on a massive industry. We were lucky in that we were already working together and had a business we could launch Found off the back of. We really just started spending more and more time planning out what we wanted Found to be – then finally took the plunge and started hiring developers to build the platform.
We want Found to be the easiest and fastest way for businesses and young people to connect.
Can you please explain your business model?
Right now we’re a free service. Longer term, we’ll only charge when we connect a candidate and employer who are mutually interested in working together.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, we’re working on building out our product for corporate and recruiter users.
What are you excited about in the next year?
I’m very excited about getting this launched, as we’ve had a lot of interest from some large corporates around the country.
Tell me how you make your ideas happen?
Just do it. There’s no time like the present.
What role have mentors played in your business life?
I’ve had some great mentors over my career – including former bosses and colleagues, and other people I’ve met “along the way”. They’ve been instrumental in supporting, encouraging (and investing in) Found.
What does your typical day look like?
Arrive at the office around 8am, and spend the next hour and a half drinking coffee, answering emails, checking the numbers, and making plans for the day. We have our team stand up at 9:30am, then it’s onto trying to fit in everything that needs to be done around the inevitable meetings that pop up. I always try to be out of the office by 6. In other jobs, I’ve had in the past I have worked all kinds of hours, and now firmly believe that spending more time in the office isn’t the way to maximise your personal productivity or output. It’s important to get out and have a life outside of work.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business in Australia?
Australia is an exciting place to launch a business – it’s a good size market, is well positioned near Asia, and has enough cultural and business commonality with the USA and the UK that if an idea works well here, there’s a good chance it’ll work there too. The key challenge in business is always in finding the right people – this is an issue in Australia (as it is in other parts of the world).
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
I’m happy to give just about any idea away for free – as unless they’re in the hands of someone who’s determined (and able) to do something about them, they don’t have any value. Of all of the business ideas I’ve spoken to people about over the years, I’ve seen less than a handful turned into reality. If you have an idea, talk to everyone about it and get their help and input, it’s very unlikely they’ll copy it – regardless of how good you think the idea is at the time.
What people do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
I think what Emily Yue and Bridget Loudon are doing at Expert 360 is really interesting. They’re totally reinventing a part of the employment market which had worked the same way for a long time. We’re aiming to do the same – except for entry-level staff, rather than CEOs.
What about internationally?
Internationally, there are a range of startups in Europe who are focused on the youth market – like us. There are a few there who are doing a great job of really improving the way that employers match with (and hire) young people.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
The first step for businesses is to be socially responsible within their own organisation. There are way too many businesses out there that focus on trying to get good press for doing various good deeds – while having a non-inclusive, intolerant culture. Businesses that focus on being great businesses will (in their own way) help to impact social change. A healthy business that’s growing will hire more staff, pay employees more, and have a productive impact on society.
Is there a particular charity or social enterprise you support?
Not yet. Note to self – find one!
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
I’m always a fan of the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review for Australian news. Other than that, I’d actually be more likely to recommend platforms – there’s some awesome content on Instagram and Snapchat these days.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
Don’t use Twitter I’m afraid!
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea?
Absolutely. We’re always on the lookout for talented people who are excited by what we’re doing. Right now, we’d love to find some young people to act as ambassadors to help with the marketing of the Found app to other young people and local small businesses. If you’re excited by what we’re doing – get in touch!
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?
What do we need to do to convince you all to try Found next time you’re hiring, or looking for a job?
What’s your favourite restaurant?
The King Cross Hotel has the best pub grub in the city.