When an organisation hits a wall and struggles to solve an issue internally chances are the first thought that comes to mind is to engage a consultant or outsource the work. The idea being that you can tap into external talent and leverage their skills and experience to overcome the challenge.
Well, what you may not know is that there is alternative known as a case-competition. Looking to take this practice mainstream is Australian startup Flairr that has created a virtual case-competition platform that features live company projects that are looking for an answer. This can range from solving a legal issue to fixing broken code.
Once a company has created a case-competition Flairr helps them tap into the brightest young minds across the world who can bring innovative solutions to real business problems faced by these companies.
Flairr was founded by Karan Billimoria and Andrew Chen who had the ideal while working at a previous startup. As Karen went onto explain “Andrew and I were in charge of recruiting entry-level positions and it was a complete nightmare. Going through 100’s of resumes and taking up so much of our staff’s resources for the interviews was not an effective hiring process”.
As a result Karan and Andrew went off to start their own HR Tech company that aimed to bridge the gap between education and professional. As Karan explains “We wanted to help the people that couldn’t get their foot in the door and gain some experience in the startup space”. While the idea did pivot a couple of times they eventually landed on the idea for Flairr and their virtual case-competition platform.
Since those early days Flairr has come a long way. Despite bringing on zero external funding the company has managed to bootstrap their way to a 15 member based team and are now working out of WeWork Martin Place. Interestingly enough a meeting with Matt Trustrum was also integral to their success. As Karan explained “it was Matt who recommended we pivot to our current business model and we can’t thank him enough”.
In addition to getting the business model right being able to hustle and find leads at a low cost per acquisition has been key to growing interest in Flairr. Karan said that to achieve this the team actually created their own Linkedin tool that they use to generate leads. The tool was so effective in fact that it has also been spun off into its own company called SocialMindr which attracted 10 paying clients within a couple of months.
Looking to the future for Flairr Karan and Andrew are focused on the development of the V2 of the platform and generating nation-wide partnerships with Universities. From there they look to continue to grow the company and provide a platform that makes it easy for any company to run case-competitions in Australia.
This article is part of a new series at Startup Soda called “In The Trenches”, curated by Startup Soda Founder Paul Towers & Matt Trustrum through his work with Start Ups in the Start Up Hub.