Exclusive from PosterCandy: building a startup in the Australian market
David Leach, MD at PosterCandy shares top tips on establishing a creative startup in Australia.
PosterCandy was first established in 2013, when Instagram had just started. As one of Australia’s leading photographic houses, a website for printing Instagram photos was launched. However, not without challenges.
Know what you are signing up for
As a manufacturer, we have always been on the production end of the supply chain, rather than the creation side. Then, one day, a team came to us and asked if we could print Instagram and Facebook images. Well, we certainly had the production ability and capacity, so why not?
What we learnt, much more slowly than we should have, is that establishing a creative start-up is an entire business skill in its own right. And there is not one single ‘right way' to do it.
Another lesson for us was that we didn't even know enough about the industry to choose the right people to champion our project.
Learn from past mistakes and be prepared for a challenge of a lifetime
Without prior knowing how complex the project we were embarking on, we tried and failed, and failed, and failed before we succeeded.
However, there is a definite positive to learning from past mistakes and diving head first into the deep end. If we'd known at the beginning what we know now, we would probably have never started. But, we're at where we're at, we've persevered doing well and extraordinarily excited about the future.
Use Australia's small market to your advantage – don't be afraid of it
Many experienced entrepreneurs believe that if you can make it in Australia, you can make it anywhere.
Australia is a small market where many raw materials need to be imported, we have huge distances, overheads, wages and distribution costs. These may all sound like barriers for a start-up. On the other hand, they are more so barriers of entry for competitors, local and international. Get to market, and you have time to get the mix right!
Before starting a creative start-up, consider these six questions:
1.Why are you starting your business?
Be very clear and honest with yourself and others about your ‘WHY'. This is your purpose. Leadership is about telling the story of your purpose, having a purpose that others can also get excited about, inviting people on your journey and having them want to follow you. Followers make the leader.
2.Are you passionate about your purpose?
Only start a business when you are totally passionate about your purpose. The business is the ‘what’ and ‘how’ you'll achieve your purpose, and you'll need all that passion and energy (and more) to help you survive the hard times that will come as you learn what works, and what doesn't.
3.Have you got what it takes?
Persevere. It will be much harder, take much longer, cost more money and take a higher emotional toll than you first believed. Be prepared for that.
4.Are you prepared to fail?
Fail fast and learn quickly. Most of our primary strengths in life and business come in the form of lessons we learnt in early failures. Those of us not failing are simply not trying hard enough to grow.
5.Who are you surrounding yourself with?
Always employ people smarter than yourself who can do things you can't and from whom you can learn.
6.Can you leave your perfectionism at home?
It's better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. Be prepared to make the best decision you can on the information you can currently obtain and make a decision. If you aim for perfection from day one, you'll never start. Start and learn quickly as you proceed.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”