Tweaky launches The $500 Startup for tech-shy entrepreneurs

Online start-up Tweaky has launched a novel marketing initiative dubbed The $500 Startup, which will offer technical assistance to would-be entrepreneurs.


Tweaky, a marketplace for website customisation, was founded by Ned Dwyer and Peter Murray. Earlier this year, the start-up secured $450,000 from a range of high-profile investors.


The $500 Startup will see Tweaky work with a “sharp, motivated hustler” who has a great idea but lacks technical know-how.


Over the course of a month, the successful applicant will work alongside Dwyer, Murray and head of operations Ivan Lim, founder of Vinspi and a member of the AngelCube class of 2012.


In addition, Tweaky will provide $500 worth of Tweaky “credit”.


“We’ve been in the start-up scene for a while and, through Startup Weekend, we’ve met a lot of people who have great ideas but don’t know how to put it into practice,” Dwyer says.


“We’re making it easier for people who want the technical expertise to launch their business.”


Dwyer says applicants don’t need to have a tech-related idea in order to be selected for The $500 Startup program, which, if all goes well, could become a regular thing.


“We’re working with someone at the moment who sells hand-delivered lunches… She doesn’t have a website and doesn’t know what to do to get online, so we’re working with her,” he says.


“Anyone can launch a start-up. All you need is WordPress and Tweaky. We’re showing everyone how easy it is to make small changes to their website.”


The news comes after Tweaky announced Lim as its 2012 “founder’s apprentice”, after putting the feelers out in August.


“We had about 25 applicants… We ended up interviewing about six people and Ivan was one of the candidates. We’ve been talking to Ivan for a long time… He’s a bright spark,” Dwyer says.


“Originally we had this founder’s apprentice idea but already Ivan’s sort of gone above and beyond that role and it looks like he’ll be staying with us in the long term.”


As mentioned earlier, Lim has been appointed head of operations at Tweaky. He will, however, continue to run Vinspi.


“That’s still running and that’s really great for him in terms of communicating with our customers,” Dwyer says.


“We do tests [on Vinspi] through Tweaky so each of those turns into a little case study for us, which we can show our customers. In that regard, Vinspi is a bit of a guinea pig.”


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