We had a fantastic chat with Annie Slattery CEO of ConX, Australia’s leading construction jobs platform and tendering software for builders and subcontractors.
ConX has had a huge 2017, In October they close seed round of $1m and were one of 10 startups to feature in the StartupAUS report launched last week on Digital Foundations: How Technology is Transforming Australia’s Construction Sector
What is ConX and who is it for?
It’s a platform that we’ve built for the construction industry to simplify how contractors find work and promote themselves online.
Why did you start ConX?
We found that my co-founder Keith has a background in construction and we’re all originally from Ireland and we lived through the keltic tiger going bust in Ireland and watched all the contractors leave Ireland and move to Australia and with no networks and connections they really didn’t know where to go to find a job and we quickly identified the huge gap in the market to connect local contractors with foreign trades and then we realised it wasn’t just a an Irish backpacker issue it was actually a huge problem in Australia in the construction sector which is transient and fast moving so we built a platform and that was a few years ago and we’ve been progressing ever since.
What stage is ConX now?
We’ve been launched for over 2 years so we’re post launch, earning early revenue, growing.
What keeps you motivated?
I think we’re solving a real world problem and looking at the inconsistencies and how people connect with each other and the lost revenue is for both the sub contractors who are trying to find work and the contractors who are trying to hire. When you’re experiencing that and you connect these people and you see how grateful they are and how much they value the system, that really motivates me to just keep going and work hard and improve it and make it better.
What does success look like to you?
Our big vision is to become the standard digital profile of every construction contractor in the world. So similar to what Linkedin has done for the professional industry, we want to build a platform specifically targeting at the construction industry. So it’s a big goal but that will be success.
What do you wish someone had told you?
Something interesting I’ve heard recently, is it take 10 years to become an overnight success and you can’t really just start a business and expect to build it and grow it and sell it or whatever really quickly. It takes a lot, a lot of hard work and persistence to keep pushing.
What advice have you received since starting?
Recently I’ve gotten quite a lot of advice around building a business, so to forget about going for the global vision that we really do want to achieve, but that’s going to take a long time so for right now we just need to focus on building a business, getting more money through the door, making sure all our customers are happy and if we do that we’ll eventually get to the end goal.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting up?
My advice would be to spend time focusing on actually earning money and making your customers happy because we’ve lost a lot of ground chasing investment, and trying to grow our user base, when in actual fact if we just focus on making money and making our customers happy , we would have gotten their a lot faster.
Fishburners is where…
You learn everything you need to start a startup and you’ll meet all the people who can help you along the way.
What do you need help with?
We’re very focused on the construction industry and we’re a B2B solution, so if you’re in construction or you’re friends are in construction or networks within the industry, getting people to register, create a profile and give us feedback is the best thing we could ask for today.