Based on the global growth potential of her personalised video marketing start-up, Data Creative, Renece Brewster was recently selected to participate in EY’s 2017 Asia-Pacific Accelerating Entrepreneurs program.
The program, which involved a strategic growth forum in Rome, earlier this month, provided the Melbourne businesswoman and 23 other entrepreneurs with support, expert guidance and network opportunities to help them accelerate the growth of their businesses.
Brewster, who is also the co-founder and CEO of video production company Visual Domain, spoke to Dynamic Business last year about making a career out of using video technology, including data-driven personalised videos, to deepen the connection businesses have with their staff and customers.
She recently caught up with the publication to discuss her participation in EY’s Accelerating Entrepreneurs program, including what the selection says about Data Creative and how she will use the experience to scale the start-up, which she founded in July 2015.
Dynamic Business: How will your participation in the program assist Data Creative?
Brewster: EY’s Accelerating Entrepreneurs program opened for applications in late 2016 with a call to find the most innovative and dynamic entrepreneurial ventures, and to help them take the next leap in their growth. After creating over half a million videos in 2016 for some of Australia’s leading companies, I applied to the program because I knew Data Creative was ready to set its sights globally in 2017.
Having run a successful production company for the last eight years, I understand how to grow a business locally. However, taking the next step and expanding globally takes an entirely new set of skills, so I was most excited by the opportunity, through the Accelerating Entrepreneur program, to grow a global business.
The opportunity to generate a global audience for Data Creative, while at the same time attending content-rich sessions, inspiring keynotes and networking events with the world’s top business leaders in Rome was too good to pass up. Having a strong network is everything in business so the opportunity to build this was very compelling.
The selection process was also a real opportunity to stop and review our model and focus, which can be incredibly hard to do given day to day obligations. Having a structured way to stop and re-group was an invaluable part of the experience.
Dynamic Business: How did you secure a spot and was selection validating?
Brewster: Out of the 100s of applicants, Data Creative was one of just 16 Australian businesses (and 48 businesses from Asia Pacific and Europe) selected for the program. We secured a spot due to the amazing results we achieved for the clients, last year, by creating relevant, timely and personalised video content. We’ve worked with a number of different businesses including telecoms, not-for-profits, betting agencies, retailers and many more, all of which achieved higher-than-average results using the platform. With a proven track record and no geographic boundaries, Data Creative was recognised as ready to accelerate globally in 2017. Selection meant that Data Creative, which has a proven track record and no geographical boundaries, was ready to accelerate globally in 2017. We’re really at the tip of the iceberg both locally and globally with where we want to be.
Dynamic Business: Did the forum in Rome give rise to any collaborations?
Brewster: A highlight was meeting the other participants in Rome. It was incredibly humbling and confidence-building to see such a wide array of businesses represented all at different stages. Many were from the other side of the world, yet they are all experiencing the same challenges of investment, valuation, team, direction and focus etc. So many of the businesses are building their value through data, so Data Creative’s ability to visualise this in an engaging way has certainly led to many potential collaborations, which I look forward to exploring.
Dynamic Business: Where to next for Data Creative?
Brewster: At the same time as being accepted as a 2017 EY Accelerating Entrepreneur, we’ve also been accepted into Springboard’s 2017 Cohort. Consequently, from the 20th of February, I’ll be participating in working sessions with Springboards advisors, coaches and alumnae, with the objective of taking an even deeper dive into out business strategies. Throughout this week, I’ll be taking several opportunities to practice and refine our pitch, including a special session called the Dolphin Tank, where some of Australia’s leading investors, corporate partners, press and government officials will be in attendance.
In the longer term, I’m going to put some of the guidance and advice we’ve obtained into action so we can hit the global stage later this year. Our first global campaign launched late last year and we’re about to launch campaigns for global brand Amnesty International and a few more so our case studies are building. Now its time to make sure we can hit the ground with a bang!