Australia is one of the world’s most exciting growth tech markets with over 27 years of continuous economic growth, a sophisticated consumer base, and business spending on tech forecast to hit more than £35 billion this year.
To celebrate the success and opportunities of the Australian tech ecosystem the Government of Western Australia’s European office together with other state offices, Austrade and Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting the ‘Tech Australia 2018’ event on 12th of June in London.
We spoke to Matthew Hart from start-up Soter Analytics who will be Western Australia’s participant on the rapid fire sessions stage.
Give us a brief overview of Soter Analytics and its solution
Soter Analytics aims to be the leading workforce digital coaching company. The first problem we’re helping industrial workers to solve are musculoskeletal injuries, which are the leading injury cost to originations.
Describe your first solution: the SoterSpine
The SoterSpine consists of a wearable device clipped to the shirt of an industrial worker. Captured data is fed into the SoterSpine app which identifies at-risk movements and quantifies the risk of musculoskeletal injury. Information from the algorithm is used to formulate a unique, personalised training program which helps the worker to improve their working habits and avoid on-the-job injuries.
Name some of your big customers in Australia
Our first customer was Roy Hill – they realised that while they were a new operation, they would likely see musculoskeletal injuries in the future. They decided to fund our development activities to build a Minimal Viable Product with the potential to prevent these types of injuries.
We recently began a trial with Woodside to prove the value of our solution to not only help them solve their biggest injury problem, but also to test if it’s worth making our hardware device intrinsically safe (a requirement for petroleum companies).
How did you access talent and market opportunities in Australia?
People from other countries often don’t appreciate that Australia is one of the 15 biggest economies, despite our relatively small population. We’re innovative, ready to have a go, and what this results in is an ability for innovative companies to bring their solution to market and test it with relative ease.
What we found in particular was that resource companies in Australia are ready and willing to test new innovations, provided it solved a real problem and it was a potentially viable solution.
What is your view on future market opportunities for your company in Australia and internationally?
$140 billion is spent on workplace musculoskeletal injuries in North America, Europe, and Australia every year – it’s a huge business opportunity! During our paid trials, we’ve proven that our solution works in multiple industries and countries – this is because, unsurprisingly, people do not differ and the injuries they experienced are caused largely by the same high-risk movements that they often make.
Your top two tips to Western Australian start-ups wanting to make it overseas?
My first bit of advice for start-ups wanting to crack overseas markets would be to travel extensively and understand the markets you want to sell to. We’re in a lucky situation where we speak the global language of business, but there are still some cultural differences between countries. Be humble, listen to the customer, and let them guide you past these differences. If you’re really helping them solve a problem, then they should be happy to help you with this.
The second bit of advice would be look for ‘arbitrages’ in the different markets. Two examples of this would that some of the best value developers are often found in eastern Europe, and raising capital in the UK is far easier than in Australia. By understanding where the value lies, you can really accelerate your development.
Fast forward five years in time: how would you describe Soter Analytics?
We will not only be the leading workforce analytics company, but also the leading individual worker coaching company. The era of making every worker to do the same generic training program is effectively over as generic work will be replaced by automation. Workers will have more individual skills and thus face more personalised challenges that we aim to help them overcome. We also identify that digitally connecting workforces will enable better integration with autonomous ‘workforces’ and machines.
To register your interest for the Tech Australia event please click here.
If you would like to know more about Perth startups and how to grow your business in Western Australia or expand to Europe, the UK or Israel as a WA business, please contact Charlotta Andresson on Charlotta@wago.co.uk