If you came along to the Innovation Showcase in December, you may recall Elementice taking instantly branded and shareable photos.
This group of 5 snowboarding mates banded together after wanting to capture the action on the slopes. We had a chat with CEO Peter Presneill and asked him how Elementice came about, the ups and downs and their ambition to scale globally.
What was the inspiration behind Elementice?
A friend and I were going snowboarding and we got sick of having to ‘waste’ a run down the hill to take pics of each other doing jumps – and then having to find the images later on. We decided to try and build a camera that could take great shots of us in the air and deliver the images back to us instantly – and so KickerKam was born for action sports! As we were working with Perisher, we started to see the need for something that could work with human photographers too – so then WalkerKam was born. From there we’ve just kept following the problems and customer needs and solving them one by one.
Tell us about your team, and what were you doing before you started working on Elementice?
We’re now a team of 5 and we’re basically all from Canberra. Benny and I (Pete) have been tinkering or working with computers in years both in Government and the private sector. Benny almost went down the path of becoming a high school teacher before following his passion for building awesome tech stuff. James was in the Public Service for a few years before deciding he wanted to do cooler stuff and enrolled at ANU doing marketing along with his photography business. Jon is part-time while he finished off his Computer Science degree at ANU (you’re almost there Jon!). Finally, there’s Dave who very recently moved from doing student coordination with ACU and joined our team as our Operations Manager – Dave makes all the things happen. We love Dave.
Tell us about the problem you are solving.
People are constantly using selfie-sticks and GoPro to take images of themselves having fun at a business location, the next step is for them to post via social media or send them to friends via SMS and email. This often results in the business missing out on potential advertising exposure or brand awareness (eg, I can see Danny is at the snow, but is he at Thredbo? Perisher? Whistler?! Where’s he having the fun?). We’re helping to bring business back into the image capture and sharing process, so they can empower their customers and guests to be “brand advocates” by sharing and posting great images of the fun time along with the brand as a watermark. Everyone should know exactly where the fun is being had!
What are some of the main challenges that you are facing as a startup?
Jeez! Hard question. I guess the usual ones are people and money. Most people are receptive and keen to work with us when we explain what we do. We’re currently trying to get a new version of our product out, to scale fast… but to do that we need money and a bigger team. Our team is great, but we’ve got a big vision for the company.
What is your big ambitious goal?
We want Elementice camera systems to be supporting every experience provider in the world. Our camera systems will help experience providers like cruise ships, wakeboard parks, ski resorts, mountain biking, music and other festivals and corporate events to maximise their brand exposure by helping them empower brand advocates to share the fun on social media and other platforms. We believe guests shouldn’t need to take selfie sticks and GoPro’s to try and capture the fun.
Tell us what life is like running a startup?
You need to like roller-coasters! Seemingly impossible challenges, almost certain dead ends, euphoric highs and devastating lows. Just buckle in. It’s a ride you sometimes want to jump off, but that you can’t help but be excited for the next challenge you’ll overcome.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Following on from the roller-coaster analogy, you need to make sure you regularly look back at what you’ve already overcome and use that as fuel to say you can overcome the next thing!