Marty Smee is a previous Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneur Program winner. Matry used the grant to further develop his Happen website and app, which launched on the app store at the start of March, with an android app still in development.
Happen is essentially a digital organiser for the young and hip. The Windsor-based entrepreneur’s application showcased his passion for improving people’s lives through technology.
“What incredible tools we have to build new experiences to improve people’s lives and the communities around them,” the Happen CEO wrote.
“(Happen was) built to make progress in life in every aspect enjoyable and achievable and to create new ways for young people to jump into projects in their community.”
The Happen team now numbers 10 (pictured), doubling in the past few months.
Mr Smee spoke recently with Digital Brisbane.
- How did it feel to secure the funding you were hoping for and what sort of difference could it make to your endeavours?
“Winning a place in the top five of the Budding Entrepreneurs was an absolutely awesome feeling – the team I was part of had been doing things very quietly and just moving steadily up to that point, but when the news came through on a Friday afternoon, the entirety of the next three months was just frantic.
“We used the news to push ourselves in front of some very sophisticated investors, and three months later we were at a major conference securing meetings. All off the back of our LMBE grant.”
- Since applying for the funding, what else has happened with your business?
“Happen has been able to launch our product to a rapt student audience at QUT in October 2015, and developed an iOS application for a huge global launch in March 2016.
“We’ve partnered with large companies like Microsoft, and have some of the best advisors in business working with us, genuinely excited about what we’re doing and the big future that a life organiser like Happen has.”
- How valuable do you see the opportunity to learn from other people’s successes or failures?
“Incredibly helpful. Help in seeing how others have made it through is always amazingly strengthening.”
- How do you view the startup scene in Brisbane?
“The city has come a long way. There is far more talk in regular media and even in everyday conversation about new ideas and taking big, fun (risky?) steps.”
The Happen app is free to download on the iTunes store. It is currently only available on iOS, but the Android app is in development.
The platform is also online and free to use at happen.com.au.