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UTS Business student to take start-up idea international

11 August 2017

Mladen Jovanovic (left) with colleagues from Recrew. Photo: Mladen Jovanovic 

Mladen Jovanovic, creator of an ‘on-demand’ online application that connects tradespeople with one another, has been chosen to represent UTS and Australia in the 2017 University Startup World Cup.

Jovanovic, a UTS Bachelor of Business student and previous winner of the IBISWorld 3P Innovation Competition, founded Recrew after personally experiencing inefficiencies in the construction sector.

Having worked as a contractor on major construction projects, Jovanovic was struck by the industry’s disorganisation. He noticed that if even one contractor failed to turn up to a job, whole crews were often forced to halt the project; compromising both budget and time.

“Thousands of unorganised contractors and unorganised builders are responsible for delayed and over budget infrastructure projects,” he says. “And the traditional methods of locating contractors in short periods of time are inefficient, unpredictable and unsafe.”

His solution was to create a gateway service that would enable supervisors and foremen to search for certified contractors – within a 30 km radius of the worksite – via an app on their phone. 

With an estimated 2.1 million users on the labour side and more than 200,000 businesses in the construction sector, Recrew – which boasts a similar format to leading online app Uber – taps into a potentially lucrative market.

Now set to take Recrew international, Jovanovic will compete against 29 other university-based start-ups to take out the title of ‘World’s Best University Startup 2017’ at the Copenhagen-based event.

Organised by Venture Cup, a Danish not-for-profit start-up organisation for university students, the University StartUp World Cup was created as a platform for students to turn their ideas into viable business ventures.

Over one week in September, finalists gather in Copenhagen to network with entrepreneurs, investors and business partners, and to further develop and benchmark their business ideas. Following the week in Copenhagen, all participating teams are matched with a mentor through the Venture Cup mentorship program. 

Up for grabs is USD $25,000 worth of cash prizes.

“Winning the Startup World Cup would be a huge stepping stone which will set us up for expansion in the coming years,” says Jovanovic, whose ultimate goal is to take Recrew international.

“Our main objective for this competition is really just to broaden our networks with international entrepreneurs and mentors – winning the $25,000USD would be an amazing by-product.”

Click here to read more about the University Startup World Cup competition.