They were Canberrans in their teens and 20s, with fire in their belly and technology on the brain, wanting to take on the world.
Today, as their three companies spread nationally and around the globe, they’re celebrating making BRW’s Fast 100 list, which ranks Australia’s fastest growing public and private, small and medium businesses.
Twenty years ago Australian National University graduates Phillip Williamson, then 26, and Michelle Melbourne, then 20, began Intelledox in Ms Melbourne’s brother’s bedroom, developing an intelligent document creation system.
Matt Bullock, who started online payment gateway eWAY with $50,000 in 1998 when he was 28, says the business would have featured in previous Fast 100 lists had he bothered to enter.
UberGlobal began when Canberra entrepreneur Mark McConnell gave schoolboy Michael McGoogan $1million to develop his web hosting business, which he began from home and which finished 38th in this year’s list.
Canberra Business Council chief executive Chris Faulks said the ACT was punching above its weight and showing it was more than a public service town.
“The success of these firms shows the ACT is home to leading information technology companies and in the future will be known as the location for high-growth, knowledge-based, pioneering businesses,” she said.
UberGlobal’s web technology provides customised domain and web hosting solutions, from the simple and direct to the complex and critical.
Clients include navy.gov.au, airforce.gov.au, wesfarmers.com.au, myhospitals.gov.au and cleanenergyfuture.gov.au.
Mr McGoogan said a fantastic team, investors and an innovative culture helped them make the list for the third time.
“We work with eWAY and Intelledox almost daily, so for them to also make the list is a testament to the old adage that success breeds success,” he said.
“Importantly, the critical mass required for UberGlobal to compete in the hosting and cloud services industry nationally would not have been possible without the support of our local data centre and broadband partner, TransACT.”
Located in Phillip, eWAY finished 79th on the list after growing by 45 per cent in the past financial year.
Mr Bullock said his business was growing by 275 customers a month as more people realised they needed to sell their products over the internet.
He said eWAY now had links with 26 banks and 9500 clients in Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
Ms Melbourne said Intelledox was expanding into Toronto, had increased staff in Singapore and was preparing to open in London next year.
“We have targeted those markets because we can replicate our success from what we have done with the federal government in Australia,” she said.
“We strategically targeted Canada as opposed to the United States because Canada’s regulatory and government environment is more like ours, it translates easier for us.
“We have had a lot of success in the financial services sector in Australia and so the logical place for us to grow is London.”
The Canberra Times