IT brewed in regional NSW
Wagga Wagga is the home of an award-winning app that allows users to order coffee from a café with their mobile phone.
Since launching in 2011, the app created by the startup called 365cups has been used to place 740,000 orders worth almost $5 million.
"If they need a coffee, most people would prefer to pick one up right now instead of waiting in a queue," says 365cups director Simone Eyles.
"There was a clear need for the app and nothing on the market, so we decided to develop it ourselves."
Advantage of regional location
365cups is based in the regional NSW town of Wagga Wagga. Ms Eyles and her business partner, Mariusz Stankiewicz, perfected the app there before expanding across Australia and into New Zealand.
She believes there were advantages in starting a tech company in regional NSW: "Because of the greater distances, people in regional areas rely on technology and they often don't mind trying a new app."
365cups has won a bevy of awards, including the 2013 NSW Business Chamber award for Excellence in Innovation. It was also a finalist for the 2014 Telstra Australian Microbusiness of the Year and Regional Business of the Year awards.
Ms Eyles and her business partner have been developing more products, including the travel app called Appventure which they launched in October 2015 in conjunction with a number of councils in the Riverina.
After growing to employ five full-time staff they have formed an umbrella company, Marones, which now owns 365cups and the new business ventures.
Assisted by NSW Department of Industry
In early 2015, 365cups received a $5,000 grant from the NSW Government program Innovate NSW to develop its app for a road safety campaign encouraging drivers to take a break and enjoy the hospitality of the nearest regional town centre.
The program also provided advice to 365cups on developing exports to New Zealand.
"The NSW Department of Industry gave us contacts in New Zealand and helped us understand the landscape of conferences and trade shows," Ms Eyles says.
"It's good to talk to their business advisers. They've been great champions of our business and we can talk to them openly because they don't have any commercial conflicts of interest."