Ben Lindsay and Mitchell Donaldson

Some people say that you’re only truly creative when you’re drinking. And well, that’s how GoRepp got started … over a bottle of red wine, or perhaps two. Here’s the GoRepp backstory.

Mitchell Donaldson is a full-stack developer who worked for those big corporates (a place where dreams go to die).

And myself, a biomedical engineering student. We bond over a couple of things: tech, swimming, coffee, wine, and beer.

After seeing Justin Dry (co-CEO of VinoMofo) speak and downing a couple of reds overlooking King St, Newtown, we decided to get moving and work on this nifty idea to reinvent referrals, called GoRepp.

Reinventing Referrals

After doing some flyer distributions myself, I saw what worked and what didn’t for the smaller guys.

So, I decided, enough is enough – and, that GoRepp might be able to reinvent referrals if we do enough testing.

Or in another way to look at it … check that people actually want what we’re making.

Save Time and Money, Get Outside

There’s no point creating something that people don’t want. As you’ll end up wasting a lot of time (and probably burn through a lot of cash too).

Starting a startup is hard. But what’s more challenging than this?

Finding out if people actually want what you’re building, and doing this the right way.

Imagine walking up to random people on the street, chatting to a CEO or hearing direct- honestly from peers.

It can be frightening but that’s what we did and a lot of startups will skip this step and got straight into a product-build mode. More often than not, that’s wrong.

You have to take a leap of faith, get out of the building and talk to people. And that’s what we did.

What We Learned?

So, after talking to some online Australian businesses and students, we discovered:

  1. Australian startups don’t have much to spend on marketing (and love free stuff).
  2. University students want to earn extra money while they’re studying.

We found that there is a need for it, and students want to use GoRepp.

But the problem that we’re having is identifying the right buying persona for businesses.

GoRepp is trying to make it easier for businesses to set up paid referral programs by turning university students into ambassadors.

Our Vision For GoRepp

When you start your business, there are so many things to do.

You’ve got content, social, meetups, referrals, free t-shirts, email marketing, flyers, and better landing pages… the list goes on.

What if you just posted a campaign to 100s of fans? If not 1000s of ambassadors who will generate brand awareness for you by driving their friends and family to your site?

Our vision is to help businesses launch a referral program that can scale out, college-by-college, both nationally and in the future, internationally.

Where We At Right Now?

The app is almost finished (yay) and we have sent out a beta version to 30 highly-motivated ambassadors to see how it all runs.

And, if all goes well, GoRepp will be ready in a couple of weeks for everyone else to have a go on!

We got 170 ambassadors signed up for our initial release and 5 paying businesses. We did all of this totally lean, on a pizza budget (total cost $33).

The team at Incubate and its mentors, thank you so much for your support. And also everyone in the Sydney startups community too.


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