Townsville is famous for being a garrison city, a resource gateway and having 320 days of sunshine each year. It’s not known for producing technology companies. However, with growth comes diversification.
In the last five years we have witnessed the birth of successful technology companies like SafetyCulture and JESI, along with a growing tech startup community capable of attracting talented engineers and designers from out of town. Fierce Ventures is one such story.
CEO Stuart King and Designer Sean Bunton created a company together in San Francisco developing intellectual property in payments infrastructure. After returning to Australia in 2014 they created Fierce Ventures – a design-driven software company that builds new products from the ground up.
At Fierce they design and build mobile and web applications for their clients. Their recent work includes an Internet of Things data processing and machine learning system, a realtime gaming platform and a video-on-demand application.
The duo has seen some huge wins since 2014. In 2016 their work on the Zova Fitness App won the coveted Apple Design Award. They also say being based in Townsville hasn’t stopped them from succeeding in winning big projects.
“It doesn’t matter where you live if you are building great software.”
“For me it came down to lifestyle and being part of a community where we can make a change and inspire others to do the same. Townsville has more going for it than it realises,” says Sean.
Stuart agrees. “Townsville is such a great place. I don’t think I embraced it the way I should have when I first moved here but I have changed. When I see how happy my wife and kids are here it means a lot. Townsville has been through some tough times but there is no doubt it’s on the up. There are so many interesting things happening here, a lot of new creative companies and plenty of significant infrastructure projects. I’m proud to say that we’re a Townsville tech company.”
Technology is disrupting industries world-wide and it’s exciting to see our very own companies contributing to that evolution. A healthy startup ecosystem is a good indicator of growth and the Townsville startup ecosystem is moving forwards fast.
“In the three years I’ve been here there has certainly been growth in the community,” says Stuart. “The community has created Innovation NQ, we have amazing entrepreneurs coming through all the time. There are regular design and technology events. There’s definitely a movement forming in Townsville around technology, design, start-ups and entrepreneurship.”
As a city, we are fortunate to have tech entrepreneurs like Stuart and Sean joining our business community, providing intelligent technology products, helping to build an industry and creating new jobs.
“We get to work on really interesting projects solving really interesting problems,” says Stuart. “Using technology to solve problems is much more accessible today than in the past. We are doing some pretty cool stuff for our clients with a small team based right here in Townsville.”
Want more proof that Townsville is becoming a thriving technology hub? Check out these five local apps making life easier for everyone.