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Meet Startup: Manufacturing Mate by Sid Steele & Aaron Fahey

The two young founders behind Manufacturing Mate are proof that despite having a great idea and admitting to not knowing how to proceed to a scalable startup, you can attract national and international interest.

Sid Steele started getting noticed when Manufacturing Mate won the Hume Bank Life Tech challenge in 2018 and this year won a trip to Nanjing, China to take part in the NEXUS Summit.

Without Startup Shakeup you won’t have tech startups in this region. They are really empowering young people to start their entrepreneurial journey.

When we did JumpStartMe, there were some kids who were still at school. We have been in touch with them and would like to employ younger people from around here (we already employ two people under 18). They could learn from us.

– Sid Steele

Tell us about your idea or startup.
We make steel manufacturing accessible by connecting people who need steel cut and fabricated to robots. This adds significant value by reducing cost and increasing accuracy compared to existing methods.
Currently, there’s no supply chain automation software anywhere on the internet. By using the proprietary tools we’ve developed you can take an idea, upload it to our platform and have the finished steel delivered to your worksite.
Sid came up with the idea after working as a machine designer and noticing how many costs were incurred in fabricating steel robotically for heavy mechanical sites. Research showed there was no current universal solution. When he worked in mining, he saw the same problem. He decided to take six months away from study to write the code after mine shifts

What were you looking for when you came to Startup Shakeup?
We really had no idea how to progress it. We wrote the code and then thought, now what?
What we wanted was to meet people who had done something similar; coming up with a new idea and scaling it.

Please describe what Startup Shakeup did for you?
We took part in the JumpStartMe program and it completely changed everything. Part of that was being exposed to some venture capitalists that helped us progress our idea, which has made it way better.
Our original idea and code base, we thought would be 90% of our idea and income. Now, that is one isolated feature and we think it’s 5% of our business.

What has changed in your business and/or life as a result of Startup Shakeup?
We both gave up our jobs in early 2019. JumpStartMe, with Mark Cooper, gave us the confidence to go forward. Mark helped us develop a model that would be profitable. At the moment we are self funded but we are looking for people or businesses interested in using our software.

Where to next for you?
We are working to be earning revenue from our system as of 1 July 2019. To do that, we are looking for end-to-end users, from designers to manufacturers.

What is the benefit of Startup Shakeup to our region?
Without these guys you won’t have tech startups in this region. They are really empowering young people to start their entrepreneurial journey. The only barrier here is access to reliable fast internet; it’s holding back entrepreneurship.

What is your advice to other people in startup mode/other entrepreneurs?
We recommend you keep putting yourself out there. That way you meet people who can help you move to the next step.

Visit their website: https://www.manufacturingmate.com/