Professor Daniel Shaddock
“I didn’t want to do this as a small business because I already had a day job that I quite liked as Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Quantum Science. It was through the support of Michele Troni from the Hindmarsh venture capital team and Nick McNaughton from ANU Connect Ventures that I was able to crystalise my thoughts that this could be an exceptional commercial opportunity.
I didn’t have those skills or the insight to know what had to happen and how to make that occur. We decided we’d be a venture-funded start-up which allowed us to get started very quickly, allowed us to grow very quickly and ultimately has allowed us to scale to a very large size.
With the support of the Hindmarsh venture capital team, managing fund supported by the ACT Government, and ANU Connect Ventures, I was able to work through the spinout from the ANU, develop the plan, put in place the initial team and get the first prototype developed. The ANU was then able to introduce us to an alumni who had manufacturing connections in Malaysia and who not only invested alongside our initial venture partners but helped us with the final product design and manufacturing.
Those first few years were challenging and we were on the phone every few days, working through the problems, the opportunities and the cash management. That first team that backed us – Hindmarsh, ANU Connect Ventures and VSi – were instrumental. It’s really a rising tide lifts all boats, the more we can collaborate and share ideas and help each other out, the better”.