Steve Fanale – founder of The AppVillage

Steve began his career in the interactive and digital media industry over 15 years ago. After initially working in senior exec roles at Young & Rubicam and APL Digital he decided to take the plunge and start-up his own interactive agency, MassMedia Studios, in 2000.

MassMedia Studios is an Australian leader in the provision of digital and interactive services and moved on to the international stage when he opened offices in London and New York in 2006, and grew the team to more than fifty employees with global brands like Audi, Cadbury, Unilever, Diageo, Vue Entertainment and Yahoo!7 on its key client list.

In 2003 work begun on the development of Traction, a relationship marketing platform that helps brands interact, learn and effectively target their customers across all marketing channels. Highly regarded across the digital marketing industry, Traction has grown into a global platform with clients across North America, Europe and Asia.

In 2007 MassMedia and Traction was sold to the publicly listed BlueFreeway group. During his time within the group Steve was asked to move in to an interim COO role to improve the groupʼs internal processes and stabilize its financial position.

If it’s a business just targeting Australians then population size is the biggest challenge.

In 2010 Steve left the business to take some time off but his interest in digital innovation brought him back in to the world of apps in 2012. As the founder and creator of AppVillage, Steve believes he has developed an incubation model to meet the needs of innovators, designers, developers, investors and consumers who love being part of the app world.

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

The Appvillage is a community app incubator for the development and marketing of mobile apps.

We are responsible for the assessment, development, marketing and funding of app ideas. Being solely focused on apps, allows us to establish a brand in the marketplace with a very clear vision.

Our aim is to grow an intelligent, sustainable, business with an in-built process that increases the chance of success with every app that we produce. We are able to do this through our ever-growing community that are incentivised to become the business’ biggest supporters.

Our unique model of sharing the risk, and rewards, with all contributors incentivises a global community and builds an audience via their advocacy across their own extensive social networks.

The model essentially fast tracks minimal viable products to market and tests market interests before setting up a viable business startup.

How do you make money? (please explain your business model)

Our current revenue model is earning a percentage of the net revenue from each app produced.

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

We are currently working a range of projects

Apps we hope will be released in the next 3 months

  • FoodFriendzie – Fun way to discover your next dining experience. FoodFriendzie is the first theme for a planned suite of Friendzie apps.
  • BAC Trackr – Dont be a boozer
  • FameFace – Name the celeb
  • Bliss – Track your relationship
  • Bear Hugs V2.0 – new features and new bears
  • 2-3 GamesVille games

How do you make ideas happen?

  • Research
  • Quality production
  • Funding
  • Marketing
  • Management of all of the above

What does your typical day look like?

Lots of emails, laughs, brainstorming and wearing lots of hats.

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

If it’s a business just targeting Australians then population size is the biggest challenge.

If you are targeting the world then finding investors locally to back your big dream.

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

Half Brick

What about internationally?

Back Flip

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

That is the basis of our model. We are always looking for good people to either contribute their time or funds to help take an app idea to market in return for royalties that are generated by the app.

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good-looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

If you ran AppVillage what would you do differently ☺ ?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

At the moment the Beresford and an Italian café Ocello. Both are meters from the office

What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?

Eyes wide open – Gotye Lanterns – Birds of Tokyo

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Sure. App marketing package.

Make sure you sign-up to join our amazing community for Australians making ideas happen.

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