Getting on NEIS to Start my Online Business

Friday 24 June 2013 14.15

An Intorduction to was my first real life attempt at a startup. As a wide eyed 23 year old I dove head first into the challenge. Fuelled with unbridled energy and passion for the project. At the time I didn’t think about it, but looking back I can see some of the ridiculous hurdles I overcame. In the end though, I let the project fizzle out. left me broke (in debt actually). But it put me into a unique position that made me much more employable than others my age. Most importantly though, it taught me to be wiser.

It was the era that GoPros were exploding with popularity. The coming of age for digital photography and videography, enabled by technological advancements that resulted in smaller and lighter components. I saw this unfold in front of my eyes. As an avid surfer, skateboarder and snowboarder the uptake in these domains was crazy! In conjunction with this, Facebook was getting crazy traction. These were the days when you would post something and it would actually be seen by people, it was good old fashioned reverse chronological... a little before the sponsored content controversy Facebook went through.

My passions and these technological breakthroughs made me very excited to do something within the space. So I decided to make an online film competition called was essentially an affiliate marketing business. Filmmakers would come to and submit their film into the competition. At the time they submitted their film, they were asked what camera they used to create the film. Once the film was approved by me, the filmmaker would have their film live on their page of On the same page, directly under the film would be links to shops in which users could buy the same model camera used to create the film. These links I hand picked through an affiliate network. These special links dropped a cookie off in your browser which would attribute the sale to, and I would get a commission for the sale.

The other side to this was that the entire competition was based off public votes. The video with the most votes won. This gave filmmakers crazy incentive to share their film page. Bring loads of traffic.

I went through a government program called NEIS or New Enterprise Incentive Scheme. They would financially support me while I got my business off the ground, giving me $12,000 over 12 months. It wasn’t a lot but it did free up time for me to work on

Along with the grant, I was provided a free business course to attain a Certificate IV in small business management. This covered the main domains of finance, marketing and accounting.

The final step to getting approved for the grant was a completed business plan.