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Funding boost for SA business tool expansion

40 Under 40

A South Australian software company has been awarded $350,000 from the State government as it prepares to scale up and expand its technology platform in international markets.

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Adelaide-based startup, Teamgage, was awarded the South Australian government research, commercialisation and startup fund grant to further develop its software as well as expand its international presence.

The grant follows growing demand in the United States, Asia and Europe for the software company’s continuous digital improvement technology, which aims to instil a culture of continuous improvement at all levels of an organisation.

Husband and wife team Ben and Noelle Smit launched Teamgage commercially in 2016 and the company has since been adopted by state and national organisations including Santos, SA Water, Telstra and Westpac as well as the New South Wales and South Australian governments.

Teamgage has also won a range of awards for its software, including Adelaide’s 2019 Best Smart Business prize and in 2018 CEO and co-founder Noelle Smit was named one of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 winners for her work inspiring other women to embark on careers in technology.

The South Australian startup’s success has been in its digital employee engagement process, which allows users to submit anonymous feedback on a 20-second interface via a range of customisable metrics such as workload, safety, manager relations and fulfilment. The feedback is added ahead of regular team meetings where it is reviewed by staff.

Last month, Teamgage launched a new survey and analysis tool to its platform – the Ready to Use solution.

Teamgage Co-founder and CEO Noelle Smit.

Noelle Smit said the Ready to Use solution was developed in response to the coronavirus and had been added by 1200 new users within three days of the product launching.

She said the business’s latest technology allowed companies to ensure staff were productive, engaged and their wellbeing was supported while working from home using metrics including communication, leader support and remote working. Through the new metrics, teams were able to make improvements based on the data.

“We’ve got whole workforces now faced with managing a workforce they can’t see. They can’t go in and just check in the way they used to do it. Some managers are managing teams they can’t see today and they’re not sure how they’re going,” Smit said.

“So we put together some metrics that could support teams who were now remote to look at what’s working and what isn’t, and how they could change the way they’re working together, given these new conditions.”

Smit said while Teamgage adapted its software for organisations looking to gather data quickly and efficiently during the pandemic, the company was also looking to fine-tune its services for use in international markets.

She said while the company’s technology was being used in countries including the US, Asia and New Zealand, Teamgage was exploring how it needed to adapt for those with more complicated structures and working environments.

“The nature of what Teamgage does is fairly high processing of data, which we need to be able to do at speed. We also need to host data across different regions,” Smit said.

“There are some complexities that we need to build out in the backend of our product to make that really simple and fast for our clients on the front end … such as technical requirements around general data protection regulation.

“For example, a lot of Australian clients, especially in government and universities, require data to be hosted in Australia and not to be sent offshore and there are other, similar requirements, for other regions.”

She said the state government grant would allow Teamgage to expand its international presence in the American, Asian and European markets “in a more concerted way” within 18 months.

“For us at Teamgage in our first three years we were really focusing on the Australian market, and growing and gaining traction here, locally, and that’s part of how 40 Under 40 helped us,” Smit said.

“I think at the time, when I won, we had very few clients in Adelaide – by far the majority were in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

“Since then, we’ve acquired a lot more clients locally and I think that’s simply because a lot of businesses didn’t know about us and 40 Under 40 really raised Teamgage’s profile in the state.

“Now we’ve hit a point where some of our customers are global and so there’s an appetite to look at how we can export Teamgage from here.”

Nominations for this year’s InDaily’s 40 Under 40 are now open.

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community will judge the nominees against a selection criteria based on their impact within a business, industry or community and how they push the boundaries to go above and beyond the norm.

The awards will then be held in October 2020.

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