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SafetyCulture blazes the trail for regional startups

Three years after transforming workplace health and safety consultancy SafetyCulture into a software startup, founder and CEO Luke Anear has seen his company go global in more ways than one. With engineers poached from places ranging from Townsville’s James Cook University to Italy, and support teams in places such as Kansas USA, the company demonstrates how ambitious ideas can be implemented from anywhere.

“Back then there was a lot less available tech, so we evolved into software to reach a global customer base,” Anear says. “We worked hard to find the best people we could and bring them here, and were fortunate enough to attract the attention of people who wanted to invest and involved in what we’re doing in Townsville.”

The company’s signature app, iAuditor, converges workplace health and safety duties, and offers tools such as inspection checklists and image annotations. The app, which Anear equates to “magic powers for workers,” has been used to complete over 6.5 million audits, and was followed by the training course app Edify in August 2014.

SafetyCulture hosts engineers from around the globe, as well as a basketball court. Images courtesy of SafetyCulture.

SafetyCulture hosts engineers from around the globe, as well as a basketball court. Images courtesy of Janet Richards.

Despite the app’s growth and the company’s recent expansion, prompted by a $3 million investment last year from Commercialisation Australia, Blackbird and Angel investors, Anear continues to operate the company from his Townsville headquarters (which are admittedly incredible, hosting a basketball court and cinema).

Anear says that while he’s, “always considering what the best path is to service clients, for now, with [his] main engineering in Townsville and support teams in local markets,” the company is staying put. Having lived the experience, he has an obvious  confidence in the potential of regional entrepreneurs.

“I think as long as the focus of startups is on solving problems, and problems on a global level, there’s no reason to not do it from where they are,” Anear says.

For more on SafetyCulture’s Townsville office, check out their Nerf War:

About Chris Woods

Chris Woods (@tophermwoods) is the Tech Street Journal's Editor-in-Chief. He lives in Brisbane, has worked in places like Sydney and New York (State of), and will someday update his media-news blog.