Keira Hajinakitas, Author at Tank Stream Labs

This start-up life: why ‘disruption’ is just more of the same

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Last Christmas, in a clear sign of festive concern, my family gifted me a gym membership.

It must be close to a decade since I last visited a gym. Aside from the new-found energy, the thing I have found most entertaining is observing what’s changed.

The core exercises are the same. It’s hard to improve on the burpee or box jump. However, when it comes to behaviours. it is like a version of Sliding Doors.

A decade ago, gym attire constituted a clean T-shirt and rugby shorts, and social interaction was limited to a polite nod as you furiously disinfected the running machine.

Now we are pumping iron in backwards flat caps and shin-high socks, and no set is complete without a congratulatory high-five.

Halfway through my first class I was officially nicknamed “Big Rig”. Afterwards I needed to consult my nine-year-old on the etiquette of the fist bump.

It seems sometime during my health hiatus the local sweat box has gone all Slim Shady.

This reminds me a lot of innovation. Many of the most iconic and transformative companies have not fundamentally altered basic processes.

Airbnb still finds you a room. Uber still relies on a car to get you to a location. Airtasker still uses a handyman.

However, they all involve real and significant behavioural change.

Are you game to sleep in a stranger’s house, let your neighbour drive you to the airport or find someone to assemble your IKEA furniture on the internet?

Since I launched Commtract my single biggest obstacle has been behavioural change.

We offer people amazingly talented communicators on demand. Everyone gets the concept and can see immediate practical uses. Most will even concede that flexible work forces are the future.

Fortunately, there are always the adventurous early adopters. These folks are happy to challenge the status quo, embrace change and are invariably rewarded in their own careers.

However, there are some who simply cannot align the theory and practice. Embracing new behaviours is a leap too far. How can they justify the change?

The answer to that is simple. Focus religiously on the output.

Is your accommodation better value, your neighbour’s car quicker and more comfortable or a flexible workforce delivering better outcomes?

Today I just squatted 70 kilograms. Who cares what I was wearing, I haven’t loaded a bar like that since I was 20.

If that doesn’t deserve a combined butt tap, back slap and fist bump, well then my name isn’t Big Rig.

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Sydney’s Tank Stream Labs has done a deal with a startup that turns restaurants into co-working spaces

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TwoSpace, an Australian startup that turns restaurants and bars during the daytime into co-working spaces, has announced a new partnership with Sydney’s Tank Stream Labs.

The startup revealed that its subscribers are now able to access Tank Stream Lab’s downtown Sydney office – home to digital companies like Braintree, BuzzFeed and Equitise — while Tank Stream tenants can now work out of any TwoSpace venue.

Tank Stream Labs chief executive Bradley Delamare said that the deal came about out of a desire to support flexible working arrangements for its tenants.

“A lot of our members have clients all over the city and we believe they can greatly benefit from having bases in a number of key locations,” he said.

“We think it’s important that we’re constantly innovating too — just like the startups that work from our space. Developing new flexible work options is a key value-add we can offer our members that help make their lives easier as they look to scale their young businesses.”

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Startup sector enraged by scrapping of 457 visa: “We want these kind of innovators to continue to make Australia their home”

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Meanwhile, Tank Stream Labs chief executive Bradley Delamare says he was “lucky enough” to come to Australia on a 457 visa and is concerned the new scheme will make it even more difficult for Australian startups to build talented and global teams.

“I’m concerned these changes are going to make it more difficult for Australian startups to find and recruit the international talent they need to compete in a global marketplace. Especially when we have a skills shortage in the tech space,” Delamare said in a statement on the changes.

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Tech and hospitality sectors brace for 457 visa abolition

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the chief executive of one of the country’s largest co-working spaces Tank Stream Labs Bradley Delamare, also came to Australia on a 457 visa.

Mr Delamare arrived in the country in 2011 from the UK on a 457 visa sponsored by EY. He said the process was made a lot easier because a large corporation was behind it and had the resources to manage the process for him.

“There are a huge number of creative and savvy migrants who are not just working for large companies on their visas, but have eventually gone on to launch their own small businesses and startups,” he said.

“I just hope the Temporary Skills Shortage visa is as attractive to foreign talent so they won’t be deterred from working in Australia.”

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There’s a problem with abolishing 457 visas: Australians don’t want some of the jobs they currently fill

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Andreas Rost, owner of the Organic Bread Bar in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, is nervous and with good reason. As an employer of four 457 visa workers, he is unsure if he will be able to keep operating thanks to the government’s abolition of the skilled visas.

Mr Rost told The Australian Financial Review he had been forced to employ four out of his 11 staff on 457 visas because he found it difficult to find Australians who were willing to start work at two or three in the morning.

“I’m originally from Germany and it’s similar there, if a country is wealthy physical work becomes unattractive,” he said.

“In large bakeries people can start work at 7am… but in a small bakery you have to start in the night, so I think it’s more difficult for a small business to find people.”

Mr Rost said he had also had problems in the past with local workers who he would train in artisan baking for three or four months and then leave the small business after six months, while foreign workers who would usually stay for two years.


Best ways to use your frequent flyer points

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It’s one thing to earn frequent flyer points, but another thing altogether to spend it. Just as there are plenty of things to speed up your earning of points on the ground, there are also plenty of ways you can make the most of your points when booking a flight.

One of the main ways to make your points go further (literally), is to make sure you choose to spend it on the right routes and membership programs.

Play your cards right and you can save as much as 40 per cent, which means more points left over for your next trip.

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Tank Stream Labs Technology Showcase

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Tank Stream Labs is one of Australia’s leading breeding grounds for technology entrepreneurs, thought leaders and early adaptors. Our community are the future tech leaders in Australia with global aspirations.

Tank Stream Labs hosted and organised its first technology showcase event at the end of March with a selection of its start-ups focused on the B2B market. The showcase was a great opportunity for the start-ups to market their innovative businesses to small, medium sized businesses and corporates across Australia.

The event proved to be extremely successful with over 100 external companies attending from a variety of industries. This was highlighted by the positive feedback received on the day.

James Kent CEO of Amicus was impressed with the innovative solutions, passion and enthusiasm of the start-ups.

Samantha from IBM found it really valuable having ‘all the start-ups in one place’. ‘There was a great energy and atmosphere. Its great to see so many innovative solutions.’

Jack & Alfred from Jobs for NSW commented on how impressed they were with “how the companies control their own IP and are scalable”

Napoleon a young entrepreneur from Sydney was impressed by all the innovative ideas. “I was really inspired by all the companies and how advanced they were in their growth journeys.”

Matthew Barnett Founder of Bonjoro said, “It was great to get a high level of exposure to so many potential customers at the same time. It was one of the best tradeshows I’ve been to as I knew everyone there was attending due to their interest in tech & innovative companies”.

The feedback highlights the quality of the tech start-ups we have at Tank Stream Labs and how their innovation and creativity translates into great solutions and products.

Tank Stream Labs will continue to host these Technology Showcase events every two months with a different theme for each event. The next event will be FinTech focus with a selection of Tank Stream Labs FinTech businesses.










Are you marrying the right business?

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Blog by Sridhar Krishnamurti

Creating a new business can be overwhelming, so, just imagine being married to it! Being married to a business that you simply don’t really like that much is really hard work.

There are many difficult decisions to be made in the process of business creation but, the most important and challenging is,

“What business should I start?” or “What path should I take?”
Asking yourself a few questions prior to deciding can assist you to create the most stable and sustainable platform possible, to enhance your chances for success.

The first question to ask yourself is “Why exactly am I planning to start this business”? This may seem obvious, however my experience is that the majority of people who start businesses are unaware of their real reasons for doing so.

Second, ask yourself what does success look like for you in life and business, because business is a long journey and you’ll be married to it for a long time.

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Sydney startup Recomazing pivoted to focus on B2B recommendations for startup tools and services

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Sydney startup Recomazing first launched in mid-2015 as a platform to enable friends to find, make, and share business recommendations with their networks.

Founder Marc Cowper remembered the excitement he felt seeing businesses register their interest on the platform’s initial landing page ahead of launch; the team was “filled with confidence” as thousands of SMEs created profiles. In other words, everything was looking great.

“Then, shortly after our consumer launch, the reality that everything was going to be infinitely harder than we had anticipated started to sink in. We learned, like a lot of marketplace startups, that no amount of business engagement could make up for a lack of engagement on the consumer side,” he admitted.

“We weren’t hitting our forecasted acquisition rate or the required volume of recommendations. As a result, we weren’t delivering enough value to our user base or our investors.”

After six months of looking at the data, Cowper said it became obvious that Recomazing’s most engaged users were the businesses themselves: they wanted to increase word of mouth recommendations for their own business, but were even more active in searching for services to help themselves grow.

The team’s pondering of a pivot to a B2B focus was pushed by what they were seeing working out of Fishburners, where every day people would post on member channels asking for recommendations on various business tools and services.

“The problem with these channels was that the same questions got repeatedly asked, people with valuable recommendations stopped answering, and there was no shared knowledge bank between members,” Cowper said.

This, in turn, created a number of issues. As Cowper explained, startups were making the mistakes as those before them and choosing the wrong suppliers, while Fishburners’ community manager, tasked with driving knowledge sharing between members, was spending a significant portion of their day trying to manually facilitate these conversations.

This led Recomazing to create its community-based model, which allows startup communities to create a ‘RecoHub’, where members can save, search, and share recommendations for business growth.

“The startup community seemed like a natural fit for Recomazing. The learning curve for startups is incredibly steep, the constant introduction of new digital tools keeps the need for recommendations high, and the Australian startup ecosystem is in desperate need of better collaboration,” Cowper said.

While seeing the new model could solve clear issues, the decision to pivot and the process of making it happen wasn’t easy.

“The most difficult part of pivoting was feeling like we were letting our existing users, partners, investors and clients down. We were so thankful and appreciative of our early adopters and we desperately wanted to repay their faith in us. On a personal level, it is something that I really took to heart and I still think about. I still have hope that as we grow, I will find a way to return the favour to those early personal relationships that were so pivotal to our success,” Cowper explained.

“As a founder, I also felt like I had let my team down. I look at my team as my first investors and ultimately the decision on initial go-to-market strategy rested on my shoulders. Knowing I had failed them really motivated me to make it only a temporary speed bump instead of a permanent crash.”

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