Forgetting to renew tickets, licenses and qualifications as well as misplacing USBs and paperwork is common for most people. For the most part it’s not an issue, until you are getting ready to change jobs and your new employer is chasing documentation – then it is a stressful exercise trying to find it.
Soon-to-launch Mackay-based startup Qualuon (Qwhal-you-on) is aiming to make storing and tracking documents like resumes, medical documents, passports, driver licenses, trade qualifications, high risk licenses, inductions and site specifics as well as other work-related documentation easier to store and easier to find when you need it. In fact, users will be able to send a selection or all of the documentation straight across to the party that requires it direct from the app.
The startup was founded by Michelle Stiller, the daughter of a coal miner, who says she came up with the idea when her father took a voluntary redundancy.
“The initial idea was to create a cloud-based repository to assist job seekers and contractors who move between jobs on a regular basis,” said Stiller. “Seeing first hand just how many documents one person could have was the deciding factor to make the idea a reality.”
For Stiller’s father, entering the job market again in his 50s was a daunting task, but was necessary because he was a number of years away from retirement.
“I was lucky enough to have a daughter that works in HR to help me update my resume and organise my documents to be able to apply for jobs,” he said.
Stiller has a strong background in Human Resources within the mining sector, with a large proportion of her working career spent with BHP Billiton. This career has taken her all over Australia and given her a good grasp on how mining recruiters look for employees – and she has seen it is a clear advantage having all your employer documents collated and accessible.
In addition to uploading and storing documents, users of the platform are also able to set expiry dates on documents and receive reminders to renew things like certificates or licenses.
At the moment Qualuon is completely bootstrapped and has not raised any seed funding. This may not be necessary though, as the startup plans to charge customers straight off the bat with a subscription level that starts off at $34.95 per year.
While a targeted approach, particularly towards the mining industry, may secure Qualuon a number of customers, the business is going to find it a challenge to scale mainly due to the market that it is playing in. It is not the first document storage platform for the cloud and is very much competing with the likes of Silicon Valley juggernauts like Dropbox (which is free to a certain storage limit), Box, and Google Drive.
Having said that, it does not mean it is not possible to grab a portion of that market if the startup continues with its niche approach and builds features as it expands that are specifically related to its chosen sector. A classic example of an Australian startup that plays in the cloud storage space that has done this well is Stashboard, a platform targeted towards the creative community which launched in March last year and has continued to grow.
Image: Michelle Stiller, Founder Qualuon | Source: Supplied