Growth is continuing at pace for social impact business Hireup - winners of the 2017 Tech Fast 50 program in Australia. We caught up with Hireup co-founder Jordan O’Reilly to talk about their experience in the competition, and what has happened with the company since their win.
Hireup are an innovative provider of disability support. Their online platform offers a new way for people with disability to find, hire and manage support workers. At the time, Deloitte partner Josh Tanchel said about the company “They’ve recognised an opportunity in the introduction of individualised funding through the National Disability Scheme (NDIS) and have harnessed technology to bring the peer-to-peer economy to the disability sector”.
Hireup were the first profit-for-purpose winners of the competition, in a year where the top 50 had the highest average growth rate we’ve ever seen, at 664%. They took out the top spot with 7,713% growth, significantly ahead of the runner up and well above the average growth for the top 50. At the time they employed 50 people and had 30,000 registered users. Today the platform has 80,000 registered users, has just moved into a hew HQ and the team has grown to 160. Jordan is excited about the expanding product and technology team, and marketing and service capability they are building for their users. Hireup is processing millions of support hours every year and growth continues on a positive trend.
So success is obviously important to the company, but as Jordan explains, it’s not the full story. Hireup was founded from personal experience, where Jordan’s late brother was a person with disability who relied on carers himself. Jordan trained as an Occupational Therapist. “I worked as a support worker for many years myself and got to see how disempowering the system could be.” In 2013/2014 he and his sister asked each other, what if we could build a technology platform that connected the best care and support workers in the country with the half a million people who experience a disability?
“It’s so important for me that Hireup continues to show that you can be both a company with a mission and a purpose, and a company that earns money, has fast growth and employs people. There has never been a more pressing time in the world and our challenges are getting greater – we need new and radical solutions. Now is the time for social impact companies and environmentally focused organisations to come forward, combining business knowledge with the desire to do good. It’s early days, but I hope we’ll be looked at as an early example of how good business and doing good are not mutually exclusive.”
Jordan would absolutely recommend any growth stage tech companies considering entering Tech Fast 50 to give it a go. “Even the application process itself is incredibly valuable. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on what the team has achieved and the growth opportunities for the future. Deloitte is world class at working with organisations to help them to do this.”
In terms of recognition, being part of Tech Fast 50 means understanding your relative growth in the industry. Once it’s launched and announced it opens all sorts of doors and unexpected conversations. Some of the people we met on the night of the awards are now really connected with our business. Bottom line - you can’t imagine where a competition like this could take you - throw yourself into it.”
For more information on the 2019 Tech Fast 50 program and how to enter, visit www.tech50.com.au.