Key insights learning alongside a Brisbane startup

At the beginning of the 2021/2022 summer holidays, I took part in the Startup AdVentures program where I worked full-time for four weeks with, Monty Compost Co - a startup based in Brisbane making composting made smarter, better and faster with the world-first compost monitoring device.

Written by: Marcus Birthisel, Bachelor of Advanced Business (Honours) student

Throughout the program, I can say with certainty that my opinion and perception has changed of startups from what it once was to now where I am starting to see the abundance of benefits associated. One of which is the amount of impact one person or a small group of people can have by using limited resources smartly and efficiently whilst larger corporations are using vast amounts of resources and achieving much less on average.

Alongside this shift in perception, I was able to learn and experience much more in this program than I expected which has resulted in opening my eyes to so many new and existing possibilities I hadn't considered or didn’t know about. As I don’t think all my learnings over the past four weeks can be succinctly put into one piece of writing I have chosen a select few to share.

1. Managing and leading people

This first learning is from a wider business perspective that I observed during my time at Monty. I developed my understanding of how to manage and lead people effectively from the Founder Ashley Baxter (UQ Bachelor of Business Management / Bachelor of Information technology alumnus). Whilst the preconceived notion is that the founder and CEO would take a step back from true 'work' this is certainly not the case in my experience as all members of the Monty team worked collaboratively, helped each other out, and grew together.

This was an insightful observation as whilst everyone has their specialties and job titles everyone still came together as one team to work closely to achieve Monty Compost's goals and objectives. I believe that this contributes to my above statement that startups can achieve more in a general sense than corporations on average.

2. Project management
Marcus (right) pointing at Monty Compost Co device

The second key learning is from a technical perspective. One of my biggest learnings was being given a project and seeing it through to completion where I was required to apply my learnings and experiences to conduct an analytical social media review for Monty. A key component of this was sourcing, reviewing, and evaluating the data which essentially acts as feedback from customers to ensure that Monty is providing what customers want.

After this first initial step, I was responsible for all the following steps right up to completing a presentation for the entirety of the Monty team which will be used as a benchmark and to inform future marketing initiatives. As a result of this project, it was decided that Monty would preserve what is currently being done rather than pivoting or perishing.

Overall, this project allowed me to gain experience and practice completing a project in its entirety rather than doing just doing specific parts like at university, however, without practicing these parts the outcome of the project wouldn’t have been as successful.

There is no doubt in my mind when I say I would strongly encourage all students enrolled at The University of Queensland to apply for their own Startup AdVenture as there truly is something to be learned by everyone.

Last updated:
11 April 2022