The Shed Project is a natural extension of CEO and Co-Founder David Masefield’s shedblog.com.au Built to customer’s specifications, this online tool was crafted by David and his team during Germinate 7. As part of our series of alumni interviews, we have gathered insights from this Toowoomba based entrepreneur.
Tell us more about your company…
DM: I’ve been in the steel building industry for nearly 15 years and over that time I’ve been in the business building sheds, selling sheds and now I am the owner operator of shedblog.com.au Through Shed blog’s customer feedback survey, I got an insight into what people would like to see in the area in the buying and selling of sheds and that is when we started looking to do Shed Project. To find a product that fit our customer needs.
What inspired you to start your company?
DM: I’ve wanted to have a crack at ShedProject as a website as I have seen the explosion of Freelancer style websites- people with a project, who are seeking people who can do the project. Having experience in the steel building industry, I figured there was an opportunity there to be explored.
You are also involved in a co-working space in Toowoomba, can you tell us more about that?
DM: Yes. Canvas Coworking Space, it’s a not for profit that we have established to test the viability of co-working space in Toowoomba. Following our first iteration at the local TAFE campus, we have now moved to larger and more prominent space in Ruthven St.
Why did you choose to work at ilab?
DM: There were a few reasons. Number 1 was to be introduced to their valuable mentors and gain the skills in participating in an accelerator program. I am the co-founder of Startup Toowoomba and we will be introducing an accelerator program to Toowoomba with our partners at the Canvas Coworking Space. Having the ability to not just say ‘this is how you do it’ but having completed a successful accelerator program, now I can share the experience. I’m a strong believer in learning by doing.
What was your experience of ilab?
DM: Our experience whilst great, we were working somewhat remotely. My co-founder and I would travel down on a Monday and a Friday to take part in the various mentoring sessions and the cohort meetings. The remainder of the week, while the other Germinate cohort would be working from ilab we would work from Canvas Coworking Space.
What has been your biggest frustration so far?
DM: As a startup, and I imagine many startups would experience this – there never seems to be enough hours in the day. That’s probably the biggest frustration. The tyranny of distance from Brisbane is a challenge, but it is becoming less of an issue these days, the current Queensland Government recognises the need to develop regional ecosystems, alongside Brisbane’s to support entrepreneurs and startups in the regional space as well.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about applying for Germinate 8?
DM: At the moment, I am supporting a startup in Toowoomba that are currently filling out their application for Germinate 8…so what advice?…If you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know. Getting started is the most important thing so seek out people who are experienced in startups and entrepreneurship. Get some reading done in lean startup and get into the startup community.
If you’re regional, seek out your regional startup ecosystem. In Brisbane, get involved with people like ilab accelerator or River City Labs.
What’s the next steps for Shed Project?
DM: To use what we have learnt through Germinate to develop a version 2.0 of the ShedProject and test the version with our market.