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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Sam Hassan

Business

Sam Hassan’s software start-up has streamlined the invoicing process for businesses across Australia and is now heading to New Zealand.

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The Egyptian-born software developer co-founded his cloud invoicing company, Link4, with business partner Robin Sands in 2015.

Hassan said the pair initially planned on creating a dashboard for the hospitality industry but changed direction after speaking with local café and restaurant owners.

“What we have done with Link4 is we deliver all of the invoice data from the supplier’s software into the customer software without the need for any data entry or emails or PDFs,” Hassan said.

“What used to happen is [the customer] received an email with a PDF attached. They literally had to print this invoice and someone would sign the invoice as they’re proofed. Then someone else would take the data – all of the line items, all of the costs per item, all of these details that comes in an invoice ­– and add that to their accounting software manually.”

Hassan said more than 2000 Australian businesses used Link4 to deliver their invoices, including BOC Gas, which also used Link4 in New Zealand.

Hassan said Link4 was looking to further expand its presence in New Zealand.

Beyond his work with Link4, Hassan said he tries to remain involved in Adelaide’s Egyptian community by helping those who are new to South Australia to feel welcome.

“I always remember that feeling of coming out of the airport for the first time, looking to my wife and saying: ‘We are in a different country and we know no one here. This looks very crazy but we will make it somehow’,” he said.

In June, Hassan was named in InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

Understand the customer: know their pain and friction points so we can build the best product that can solve those issues. Be ready to pivot when you can see the opportunity based on the customer’s needs.

The team is a key element in the success of the organisation; hiring the best that fit with the organisation’s culture and values is vital.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

I have lived in different countries and I can say that South Australia is the best place I have ever lived.

Over the last few years, it has been obvious the South Australian Government is looking forward to transforming Adelaide to become a hub for startups. In order to do that, they took steps to help existing startups and those who would like to start a new business in SA.

Renew Adelaide is one of the programs that was really helpful for us – it helped us to have an office and grow our team.

There is a lot of talent in SA and it’s a great opportunity to hire and exchange ideas.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

The market – in our case businesses and government agencies – may be more conservative and slow in making decisions compared with customers in other states.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 

Definitely, since we started Link4 we have decided to keep Adelaide as the head office and we have always had plans to expand to other countries but South Australia will be our home.

One of the reasons I started Link4 in Adelaide was that I wanted my daughter and future generations to find job opportunities here in SA so they don’t have to move to Sydney or Melbourne to work.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Although the government is currently running different programs to encourage young leaders to stay, I believe they are focusing on a couple of industries (space and blockchain) and ignoring others.

It’s important to have programs to support young leaders in different industries.

To see the full list of 40 winners go here.

InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.

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