Monday, April 30, 2012/
The terms “Noozers” and “Grabbers” might sound a bit bizarre, but Melbourne-based start-up Noozgrab is making a name for itself by linking one with the other.
Noozgrab is a media service designed to connect newsmakers with their target audiences.
“Noozgrab links Noozers with Grabbers – Noozers are the newsmakers and Grabbers are those who want that news,” co-founder Geoff Drucker says.
Drucker talks to StartupSmart about how Noozgrab is redefining the way people deliver and consume media content.
When was the business founded?
The concept was first devised in late 2009 and then refined to enhance its appeal.
Initially, the concept was to create a news aggregator, but we soon realised that the concept provided an opportunity to link newsmakers with news followers. So then Noozgrab was founded in 2011.
What prompted you to launch it; what niche did you identify?
I have over 25 years’ experience working with the media in providing leads to story opportunities.
However, as editorial opportunities dwindled with traditional media, I realised it was time for another approach to publishing content.
At the same time, the internet is providing amazing opportunities for content providers to link directly with their target audiences and vice versa, so I thought maybe news can be delivered to those who want it and they can become involved in that news if they wish.
How did you fund the business?
Noozgrab has been a labour of love for three people: web developer Greg Armstrong, my partner Inge Drucker, and me.
We have all worked together to develop the business model and launch Noozgrab. Greg, who is the principal of Global Outsource Solutions, recognised the opportunity and came on board. He has added enormous value to the concept.
Inge’s strength lies in admin and she has ensured that to allow the creatives to do their work, the business and its evolvement need to be well managed.
In terms of start-up costs, I estimate them to be around $250,000.
How do you promote the business?
The marketing plan is based on direct marketing of Noozgrab to its potential users, and comprises direct contacts with the major newsmakers like governments, public companies, universities, industry associations and sporting bodies, along with a social media strategy.
Internationally, we are calling on our colleagues in 40 countries through the International Public Relations Network as well as PR industry associations in different countries.
While an alternative to traditional media, we will also seek to promote Noozgrab through the print media, especially in the business and marketing disciplines.
How do you stand out in the market? What’s your point/s of difference?
There is no news aggregations site that connects newsmakers with news followers, and provides the latter with an opportunity to interact with the former.
There are services that deliver media releases to journalists, but Noozgrab is delivering news directly to the target audiences.
Of course, journalists can also use Noozgrab as a resource if they are seeking comment on issues that can be found on our site.
Noozgrab is making news a two-way street, delivering the news and generating a response from news followers.
We expect it will be a valuable resource for researchers, companies watching their competitors, governments and oppositions, investors, and influencers such as industry associations.
Such audiences can use services like Google Alerts but Noozgrab offers a more comprehensive service, the opportunity to interact with the news and evaluation tools.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
Our biggest challenge is to drive domestic and offshore traffic to the site, which requires funding, and, in that regard, we have limited resources after building Noozgrab.
We require funding for aspects such as SEO, online and traditional marketing.
A secondary risk will be resourcing the up-scaling of the business as interest grows and, to that end, we are looking for a partner that has synergies with Noozgrab.
How many staff do you have?
Currently, we have eight staff and, when able, we will be adding an SEO specialist and business development managers – servicing defined offshore regions – to the team.
What are your revenue projections for 2011/12?
Having just launched Noozgrab, our FY12/13 forecast revenue is $250k. In FY 13/14, we conservatively forecast revenue of $500k.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
If we had access to an investor partner, we would have preferred to have more capital behind us, particularly at launch when we could make more “noise” about Noozgrab, both in Australia and in other key English-speaking markets like the US and the UK.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
My advice is to surround yourself with good people when you have a good idea because they will work with you to realise your goal.
You need to have people who are on the same page because it allows you to progress faster and with enthusiasm, which instills dedication.