Brisbane business to showcase its smarts in Silicon Valley

Gruntify Igor

1 June 2016 

A Brisbane business kicking goals in the spatial industry has been invited to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 at Stanford University in Silicon Valley in late June.

It’s a big deal for GIS People and founder Igor Stjepanovic, who said the summit was supported and would be attended by the highest level of US Government officials, including President Obama. The founders of Instagram, Airbnb, StartupGrind and other globally successful platforms are also expected to be there.

Choose Brisbane spoke to Mr Stjepanovic about the opportunity and what it means for GIS People. If you haven’t heard of the company’s Gruntify app, we’ll bring you up to speed on that as well. Read on!

How did the opportunity to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 (GES2016) arise?

Our nomination for attendance was based on applying Gruntify and its crowdsourcing capabilities to making our world a better place for all. Gruntify was developed in Brisbane, so a great local success story.

Gruntify is built on the Microsoft technology stack, and Gruntify is a startup enrolled in the Microsoft Innovation Centre. Since they (Microsoft) knew about our technology and the awards that we have won for it, they provided initial encouragement for us to apply.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, we decided to throw our hat in the ring and submit the application.

What is Gruntify and what can it do for businesses?

Gruntify helps businesses to capture and manage vast amounts of field-collected data. By providing a user-friendly visual interface to control all this data, it empowers decision-making for anything from smart cities to nature conservation.

In simple terms, Gruntify is an Instagram-like platform for businesses to capture and manage information. Whether they need to carry out surveys, inspections, audits, need the public or staff to submit maintenance requests, Gruntify provides an all-in-one solution.

Users can post images, videos and audio reports from the field in real-time, which feeds into a control panel. This control panel contains the real smarts of the platform. It is accessible to the business and approved stakeholders, and has a social media-inspired interface (i.e. simple and easy to navigate) that lets them manage, map and action all the incoming data. Also like social media, the control panel is accessed online, so no software installs are required. This means businesses can access their system whether they’re hard at work in the office or sitting on the beach!

Gruntify got its name from its purpose, empowering field workers and giving them ‘extra grunt’.

And by capturing and submitting data direct from the field to the cloud database, it does away with annoying paper-based forms that everyone hates to type up when they’re back in the office. So it does the ‘grunt work’ for them.

Gruntify

Can you share which companies use the app?

We actually soft-launched in early 2016 (but) have been developing Gruntify in stealth mode for about two years. We’re still keeping some details of our platform and the app very secret. Our primary markets are the large enterprises, including Local and State Government departments, as well as private companies. We are presently discussing major opportunities with an Australian Federal Government client. On the other end of the spectrum, we are in the process of partnering with several conservation groups on citizen science initiatives.

The initial concept (alpha version) was developed within three months of our team winning an Open Innovation Challenge run by DSITI and PwC. However, it took a solid additional 18 months of effort to actually come up with a decent beta version of Gruntify. We are now in the process of developing the next generation of Gruntify (v3) and adding plenty of client-requested features to both the app and the management platform.

GIS People is a Brisbane-based company working on global issues. How do you find conducting business from Brisbane?

Our focus and aspirations are most definitely global, not least because our team is very multicultural (UK, NZ, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina). We’ve found that Australia is a great place to get inspired, dream big, and develop prototypes and validate them with clients. Brisbane – with great infrastructure, a growing ecosystem of innovative companies, and supportive, pro-business government departments – is a great place to be and do business in. We are (also) in the process of partnering with Microsoft and ESRI – two international powerhouses that themselves have offices in Brisbane.

What do you hope to achieve from attending GES2016?

Networking and creating great connections for the future is what we most hope to gain.

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