Collaboration is key for global success
A young company with a bold goal - to become the world’s leader in experiential education technology - Intersective is making a global step in this direction.
Co-founders Beau Leese and Wes Sonnenreich started the company in 2012 after having worked across the education industry and large employers for a number of years. The challenge of creating effective work integrated learning programs from both sides convinced the duo to start up a new company to find a solution.
“Work integrated learning collaborations between employers, universities and students is actually a really hard problem. It is a three party collaboration problem and it’s difficult, it’s expensive to manage, and it’s easy to go off track,” said Beau.
According to Beau, that problem now has a solution. The 'Practera’ software platform and products aims to make collaboration between students, universities and employers more efficient and effective, helping drive better learning and project outcomes.
Domestic success, global opportunities
With a successful domestic start to the business, Intersective looked to growing the business globally. However, global expansion doesn’t come without its own challenges, “Our major export challenge has been to engage effectively with large overseas organisations. This takes a bit more overhead than dealing domestically. We need to get legal advice to look at off-shore contracting and obviously need to travel to do that. So it’s more time intensive.
"But the chance to work with a forward thinking partner in Vietnam, to deliver a new type of product and secure a long term licensing agreement, was an opportunity too good to pass up,” explained Beau.
Scaling up with easy access to finance
With their bank unable to help due to lack of security, Intersective started researching their financial options to invest in required product development. Export Finance Australia’s Small Business Export Loan fit their needs.
“Dealing with Export Finance Australia was so much more straight forward than dealing with a traditional bank or lender, including grant programs or invoice discounting; all of which we explored,” said Intersective’s CFO, Suzy Watson.
Designed specifically for small business exporters, Export Finance Australia’s online Small Business Export Loan provides unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for a single export contract.
“It was great to be able to choose the aspects of the financing that suited us best rather than being told this is the only thing available.
“The whole application process, including the online process was really quick. From starting the application to getting the funds was a period of less than seven days, and that included a couple of helpful calls from Export Finance Australia where we might have needed just a little clarity on information required,” said Suzy.
The ability to set up direct debit and get SMS reminders were also a positive aspect to the process said Suzy.
The funds provided by Export Finance Australia’s loan have helped Intersective scale-up their business faster than planned, Suzy explained, “it enabled us to kick that project off quickly, hire ahead of the curve, and be able to tick off all of the legal and economic questions we had around dealing in a cross-border transaction quickly.”
“Export Finance Australia have enabled us as a small company to deliver a technology product for a significant client off-shore that will make the world of difference to us as an export ready company,” concluded Beau.