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Meet Innovators: Issimo Markets by Jay & Nick Cooper

Understanding the frustration points of their customers has led two brothers to produce a web solution that makes running markets more efficient and less stressful.

Markets are one of those areas where there is a lot of paperwork to be done and it needs to be done for each market. With our system, it can be done once.

– Jay

Tell us about your idea or startup.
Issimo Markets will help make the farmers market space more efficient. All kinds of markets and events can use it to free-up time for the more important things. A lot of people wouldn’t realise it, but there’s a lot of paperwork to be done for markets. Not just who’s coming and who’s paid but also from a compliance point of view; food handling, insurance and registering yourself with council. It’s quite tedious both for market organisers and the stallholders.
Communication can become strained as busy stallholders and event organisers, who just want to throw a great event, get weighed down by the complexity.
Rather than a stallholder having to provide the information each time they go to an event, and then the market organiser having to check all that information each and every time, Issimo Markets does it once and when a payment comes in you know exactly which booking it’s for.

What were you looking for when you came to Startup Shakeup?
We’ve been in startup mode for about five years now, developing various products. We were looking mostly for introductions. We’re proud bootstrappers. That’s whereas founders, you put your own money where your mouth is and bet on yourself. It’s important to get customers to shape the product. When we went to Melbourne startup events, they were all very venture capital-focused. We were a bit worried initially, that Startup Shakeup events might be like that too. We were glad to see a focus on solving the community’s problems.

Please describe what Startup Shakeup did for you?
The biggest thing we got out of it is knowing that there is a tech community in the North East. You can sometimes feel like you are on an island by yourself. Now we have connections of both professional contacts and some new friends as well.

What has changed in your business and/or life as a result of Startup Shakeup?
We got mentoring from Mark Cooper as part of the program. The best advice our mentor gave us was that when you are shifting into the launch phase you’ve got to set targets. Once you’ve set a target everything you do has to further you towards that goal.

Where to next for you?
We are signing up the whole of the North East so that stallholders have a single platform to manage all their bookings. Whether an event uses our booking process or not – we want every event to be listed so vendors can find them. We are searching far and wide to bring everyone together.

What is the benefit of Startup Shakeup to our region?
Startup Shakeup so far has been sowing the seeds of ideas and there have been lots of seeds sown. Now it’s time to get behind these ideas and grow them. Startup Shakeup has created an awareness of the problem-solving process in the North East and empowered would-be founders to think big.

What is your advice to other people in startup mode/other entrepreneurs?
When we first moved to Mansfield and started looking for clients, instead of spending on advertising we created an event publication, Mansfield Map. It worked really well for us to first give something to the community and then ask what needs to be done. Rather than hiding away working on your ‘big idea’, get involved in the community and they will help you make it great. If it’s something they really need they will do everything to make sure you succeed.