Tell us a bit about your startup? IDU Identification is a Digital ID Authenticator app for Licensed Venues to manage their clientele quickly, easily and at half the cost of the current market, allowing patrons a more convenient way of carrying and providing their identification at venues. Our app allows for patrons to have their ID verified against official records, to then allow them to have a digital version of their ID to then go out to participating venues with just their phone. Also replacing the current ID scanners with a simple tablet application, dramatically reducing the time it takes to scan ID’s at venues in turn, reducing the amount of time wasted in lines outside venues.
Can you share with us when you had the light bulb moment to pursue this startup journey?Ironic I know, but I first came up with the idea for IDU Identification, a nightlife related product, in a subject at school called Academy of Ideas. Academy of Ideas is a new subject at my school that is based around teaching students future problem solving skills, with the incorporation of philosophy. Then for the assessment we had to come up with 8-16 problems that we thought would be at large 50 years down the track in future Brisbane. We then had to decide on an underlying problem. Then come up with 8-16 solutions to the underlying problem. For the problem I decided upon identity theft, and then as the solution I decided upon digital identification. At this point I saw that I could make a product out of this idea, and it solved a need that customers had, which was everyone wanting to go everywhere with just their phone. I was then wanting to make a digital version of a driver’s license, but at the time was very difficult to do. So I then decided to pivot the idea to the nightlife industry, which is where I still am today.
Your app doesn’t just cover having a good time, it also has a medical attention feature, which protects individuals from emergencies too! How cool, what made you choose to implement this feature? The decision on this feature was made as there is currently a significant amount of people with certain allergies, and requirements that prevent these people from certain medication. This then means that if any individual has any type of medical condition, whether it be a type of disease, all the way down to an allergy, if paramedics are called to these patrons aid, they can readily find out any relevant information they may need to be able to accurately, and effectively treat patrons. These patrons are then able to start being treated on their way to the hospital if required, to potentially save lives.
Can you share with us the process of locking in clubs + bars? Was it easy Locking in clubs and bars was and is no easy task. Venues have been experiencing issues with the current ID scanners ever since they were introduced in July 2017. This has been helpful for us to the have something to really emphasise on the issues that the venue managers experience, and offer a solution to their issues. Initially acquiring venues was a lot more difficult as they had never heard of myself, or the company, and my age was a contributing factor, as this young kid was trying to sell these night club managers on what we were trying to do, so this meant that I had to really show them the amount of research and validation we have put into our product to show that we can and will deliver. But after a while gaining more customers became easier as we started to generate interest from big and well known venues which really showed other venues we were legitimate and they followed after the larger venues. What we do is we secure a meeting with the venue manager or owner, then going over all of the issues they currently experience, and then discussing what issues we solve and how, then the added aspect of being a cheaper alternative.
Is this something you are looking at expanding internationally? The initial expansion plan is to cover ID scanning in as many of the venues as possible out of the 260 odd venues in the Safe Night Precincts across Queensland. To then after this expand down to discussions with the New South Wales, and the Victorian Governments to discuss being able to add areas similar to the Queensland Safe Night Precincts, or enable our method of ID scanning at venues in these states. The aim is to have this plan completed by the end of 2019. Then in 2020 expand to the United States, and then England, as the scanners are actually a method of counter-terrorism. Meaning that we will have the ability to connect into any chosen government database; for example the terrorist watch database, to then be able to detect anyone recognised on this database, and prevent anything happening before they enter a concentrated area with a significant amount of people, which both the US and the UK are looking into.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs in the early stages of startup? My number one piece of advice would be to attend events, and get very good at networking to help you find the people you need to make your idea into a reality, because when you know someone, who knows someone at this and that business, it makes your job a whole lot easier. Fast tracking your startup journey. The startup journey is a very up and down road, with lots of road blocks in the way before you reach success, but you just have to find a way past any issue you may come across and keep pushing forward. Sometimes just standing back and looking what you have in front of you can do a world of difference to help you find a solution to your problem.
Do you have any tips for pitching? The best tips I have for pitching is to always go over whatever you are pitching before you do it, and the thing I find that works best is to make your script for the pitch in dot points, so you know what you have to discuss, but don’t read off of a piece of paper word for word and not interact with the audience. As well as this make your pitch interesting and engaging so your audience doesn’t get bored.
Mitch Robinson was one of the attendees of Myriad in Brisbane.