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Commuting is terrible. For humans, the planet and also, for businesses. By optimising staff distribution and ensuring employees work closest to home, Staybil addresses the root causes of commuter congestion. Their software uses transport network data, Google maps API and smart HR data to create network optimisations for services companies, reducing up to 17% of employee turnover and associated costs.

So, it was no surprise when Staybil won Big Data Innovation of the Year at the 2018 National iAwards in Melbourne. We recently had the opportunity to talk to Richard Savoie, CEO of Staybil, about their iAwards experience and what’s next on their innovation journey.

What made you enter the iAwards?

The success stories of previous iAwards winners are pretty legendary, with the likes of Atlassian and ThreatMetrix jumping straight to mind, so it seemed like a great opportunity to showcase our technology to a wider audience.

More specifically, the iAwards offered Staybil exposure in the innovation landscape and gave us the chance to showcase our unique Workforce Geo-Optimisation technology. It gave us the opportunity to connect with Australia’s industry stakeholders and create relationships within our target market. It also provided an expert-led platform to validate our business model with industry leaders and get their feedback. Winning Big Data Innovation of the Year certainly made it all worthwhile!

Why would you recommend entering the iAwards?

With the AIIA being a well-known organisation for the past 40 years and the iAwards a celebrated innovation recognition program for the past 25 years, entering can create credibility and wider connections that facilitate business growth. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

It’s also quite a fun and engaging process, because the iAwards team makes each company feel welcomed, special, and worthy of consideration. Likewise, the other companies in the competition are super friendly and approachable, so we had a great time making new friends throughout the process.

What did you learn from pitching at the National iAwards?
This is one of my favourite stories about the iAwards. One of the judges actually seemed quite down on our business and spent a fair amount of the Q&A time picking apart details that felt rather insignificant to me. To be honest, I walked away feeling quite confident that there was no way in h*ll that we would be getting an award. But after we won and I caught up with that particular judge, he provided amazing feedback, support, and encouragement.  As an iAwards judge, it was his duty to ‘stress test’ us and try to separate the wheat from the chaff. I definitely learned a bit about resilience in that one!

What advice/tips would you give other innovators considering entering?

Time is precious for young companies and we always have to carefully focus on things that ‘move the needle forward’, as the saying goes. My advice would be to think about the stage of the company/technology, the market, and the potential benefits that winning a serious tech award can create. If the benefits outweigh the time spent applying, then go for it! For us, it was definitely worthwhile.

My only other advice would be to engage with the iAwards team as much as possible and let them work their magic to get even more promotion out of the experience. They might even ask you to contribute to a blog!

How does it feel to have won Big Data Innovation of the Year at the National iAwards?

Winning the Big Data Innovation of the Year iAward was such a surreal experience for our whole team. It demonstrated that passion, commitment, and hard work can produce excellent results. By winning this award, our teams’ passion has only increased by moving forward and gaining more traction towards reaching our goals. We are so grateful to the whole team at the iAwards for understanding our vision and playing a part in growing our organisation. The feeling of having key industry leaders supporting you and your vision is truly amazing, and we are honoured to be the recipient of the 2018 Big Data Innovation of the Year iAward.

What’s next for Staybil?

Things have really been accelerating since the iAwards, surely in part thanks to our success there. We’re busy working with amazing organisations to improve the lives of their employees, and we’re also integrating our software with some great workforce management tools for a much wider availability and impact. If you know any Java API developers, please send them our way!

Do you have a fun fact about your iAwards journey?

If you look at the National iAwards photos from the night, I’m the only winner on stage without a jacket and with my sleeves rolled up. Yes, that’s how convinced I was that we weren’t going to win anything.

Find out more!

For more information about Staybil and their multiple award-winning solution, visit their website.