Uber for tradies wins Startup World Cup prize
Business student and part-time construction worker Mladen Jovanovic has emerged as a winner at the 2017 University Startup World Cup with his platform for getting subcontractors on site at short notice, capping this win by being selected as one of only eight startups for BlueChilli's 'smart city' accelerator program.
Jovanovic, a UTS Bachelor of Business student, founded Recrew after personally experiencing the impact of crew shortages in the construction sector.
Working on big projects, Jovanovic noticed that if even one contractor failed to turn up to a job whole crews could be forced to halt work, blowing out budgets and timelines.
“The traditional methods of locating contractors in short periods of time are inefficient, unpredictable and unsafe,” he says.
His solution was to create a gateway service that allows supervisors and foremen to search for nearby, certified contractors via a phone app.
The software also automates administration, payments and credential verification, and saves users time and money by eliminating the need for invoices and background checks.
This innovation won the 2016 IBISWorld 3P Innovation Competition, before picking up this year's ICT Award at the University Startup World Cup in Copenhagen. UTS was the sole Australian university represented at the World Cup, with Jovanovic competing against more than 70 startups from over 30 countries.
Upon his return from the World Cup, Jovanovic was told Recrew had also been selected for CityConnect, BlueChilli's smart city accelerator. More than 200 startups sought entry into the CityConnect program. Twenty were invited to take part in a boot camp and pitching day, then eight were selected.
The eight startups will each receive comprehensive support, a tech team to help bring their idea to life and $25,000 in pre-seed capital.
Recrew has a potentially lucrative market, with an estimated 2.1 million users on the labour side of the equation, and more than 200,000 businesses in the construction sector.