International Athletes Turned Entrepreneurs

Matthew Clough and Olivier Despati

Startup Dunedin Podcast #010

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There are over 130 craft breweries and over 500 wineries in New Zealand. The vast majority have a taproom or cellar door where you can hear more information about the wine or beer you're about to buy.

But what happens when you're at the supermarket or liquor store?

Compass gives consumers the customer service they deserve, regardless of where they purchase the product. Their technology allows businesses to tell their story and share important product information, all through the consumers smartphone.

On this episode, Angus sat down with Matthew Clough and Olivier Despati to talk about their experience starting up through Audacious, Startup Dunedin's student startup programme for Otago Polytechnic and University of Otago students.

Could you please elevator pitch Compass?

Matt: The problem we started with is that consumers want more information about the products they’re buying, but there’s no easy way for them to get that information.

Ollie: Compass uses NFC tags on the shelfs of retailers so consumers can scan the tag and get information that’s relevant to them for example, where the product is from, what it might pair well with (if beer or wine), and any other information the consumer is interested in.

What has it been like running a startup as students?

Ollie: I feel like it’s pretty good. In your Uni semester you usually have time to do extra activities and Audacious is really fun. It’s not like something where you feel like “Oh man, I have to go to Audacious.” It’s more like “Oh YES! I have Audacious tonight!”.

Yes it’s a lot of work, but it pays off - you gain so much experience. My lecturers probably won’t like to hear this but I feel like I’ve learned a lot more at Audacious than my whole semester at Uni.

Matt: If I was to do this anytime in my life, I’d want to do this as a student. Especially being in Dunedin, it’s startup central. The amount of support we get through Audacious, Startup Dunedin and the Uni is pretty awesome.

What would you differently if you did Audacious again?

Ollie: If you have an idea, great, but get out there and talk to people. Get out there and talk to people earlier. Talking to your friends is okay, but you also need to talk to consumers and businesses.

At the start of Audacious we didn’t know what idea or problem we wanted to do. If we had spoken to businesses earlier, week two or week three like some of the other students had, we could have gone a lot further.

Matt: If I was to go back in time to the start of Audacious, I’d probably say to myself, as I’ve said multiple times, is just focus on the problem - instead of the wonderful solution you have in your head.

What message do you want our audience to take?

Matt: If you have an idea, just actually do something about it. You’re not going to get anywhere with it sitting in the back of your mind. Take the first step and start talking to people about it.

Ollie: Also, if your idea changes through the process, that’s not bad. You’re probably going to end up having a better idea or a better product. It’s just part of the process.

That’s something I learned through Audacious.