A Brisbane scale-up was so impressed with the market research it received through Trade and Investment Queensland’s Launch U Trade Accelerator (LTA) program that it recruited a member of the project team.
Bidhive CEO and co-founder Nyree McKenzie welcomed The University of Queensland student, Shandul Norwat to the company in March, following his participation in the LTA.
The LTA pairs Queensland-based exporters and trade professionals with students to undertake market research and provide potential opportunities for international business growth.
Bidhive provides a software platform for tenderers and their remote teams to plan and track the progress of their proposal through a combination of data analytics technology, collaboration and eLearning Support. It addresses the contemporary nature of tender bidding, enabling the ‘horizontal and vertical’ process required for collaboration and integration of remote business units.
Bidhive recently won a Queensland Government Go Global Export Grant which allowed it to explore offshore opportunities.
As part of the LTA program, Ms McKenzie tasked the project cohort of international and domestic students to identify stakeholders and alternative products involved in the competition for services, programs and capital works projects required by England’s National Health Service.
Bidhive has been active in the sector for the last two years, with clients including the Independent Clinical Services Group, Matrix SCM and the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Other major brands include Waste Management in the US and Allianz and WooliesX in Australia.
Before November last year, Ms McKenzie said she had ‘zero awareness’ of the LTA program. She was encouraged to engage a student cohort by Trade and Investment Queensland staff who recognised the program as a way for Bidhive to further their export ambitions.
Ms McKenzie said: “The NHS tender process is very complicated to begin with, as the NHS is both a regulator and a provider of services, so it can essentially bid for its own projects”.
“We were thinking: ‘How do we get more localised knowledge to break into the UK market without breaking the bank as a scale-up'?”
“We were interested in finding out more about our competitors and their products in the English marketplace and their differences, price points, and also which companies are actively bidding for work.
“We wanted the market research but having capital for execution was a higher priority, so the LTA program provided great insights – including identifying competitors that I wasn’t really aware of – which we're able to factor in going forward.”
The cohort delivered their report – finalised after two-weeks of research - at a critical time, with Bidhive recently being registered as a supplier in the G-Cloud 12 Digital Marketplace, the UK Government’s framework for public sector organisations to find and purchase Cloud-based software for business development.
Shandul has quickly found himself at home with Bidhive where he’s employed two days a week while completing his studies.
He said the cohort appreciated the opportunity to work on real-world project, complementing their in-class studies.
“Every student is interested in gaining experience from a respected industry player,” he said.
“We had a lot of interaction with Nyree and that was a really good opportunity for us to build our interpersonal skills, as well.”