1. Why are you building this startup? What does it do?
I'm building Drawboard to replace pen and paper with awesome Windows 8 stylus enabled devices! I was a chemical engineer and had too many drawings that I had to print out and mark up with pen and paper. Drawboard PDF allows a user to mark up any PDF on a Windows 8 tablet with simplicity then share it with whoever they like. Drawboard also has a large array of other tools such as form filling, signature capture, and many others, making it a truly universal PDF annotator that can be used by just about anyone!
2. What does a product marketing team need to understand from engineering about how to sell the product?
Marketing needs to understand that PDF annotation is no easy feat. The PDF specification causes engineers a lot of headache to deal with, hence why a good PDF annotator is rare and should come at a premium price. Marketing also need to realise that the world is converging on PDF as the universal file format. As the myriad of devices that transcend into BYOD for IT managers, compatibility of file formats (such as Word) will become more troublesome. PDF is the lowest common denominator and will be used throughout industries to share information and collaborate. The potential of an app that can facilitate this, such as Drawboard PDF, will become extremely valuable in tomorrow's world - organisations who do not cater for this will be left behind.
3. What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
We want Drawboard to be used in every single productivity mobile device in the world. Implemented correctly, it has the power to unleash a true paperless office. It will also unlock traceability, real time collaboration, creativity and organisation. One day, wewant people to say "Drawboard" me, or "Drawboard" that document!
4. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start a business in your country?
The best possible motivation you could have for a start-up corporation is to have a passion for what you are trying to achieve. For me, I am always striving to build a solution that I would have loved to have used in my previous occupation. It also helps to seekadvice from relevant people, have a "get stuff done" mentality, and keep healthy relationships with those around you.
5. How do you work with investors, or do you currently use any outside money at all?
Drawboard currently has no external investors, apart from a start-up accelerator program. However, Drawboard won a government grant, which meant investors were not a necessity during our early stage.
6. Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
Microsoft are great in helping start ups build Microsoft based technology by handing out free software through its Bizspark program. Bizspark also allows developers to build an online profile, and access to networks. Drawboard has been lucky enough to engage with local DPE members and get invited to a number of Microsoft sponsored events which we have met talented and likeminded people. This has helped Drawboard shape its team to what it is today and gain knowledge that has been incorporated into its product. Drawboard's close relationship with Microsoft has been extremely valuable.
Drawboard has been getting some awesome press and recognition recently. Their story has been featured in the Engineers Australia’s February 2014 magazine, been mentioned on David Hewson's blog and been adopted by numerous engineering firms. If you haven’t yet had a chance to play with this awesome app, check it out in the Store.