20 April 2012

James MartinUniSA international studies and marketing graduate James Martin and his team have won this year’s Pank Prize for Entrepreneurial Activity for their publishing business which produces a guidebook and smart phone application aimed at international students studying in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

James and friend Sam Trezise co-founded the business Insider Publishing while still studying at university after James saw a need for some guidance for his international counterparts.

“While we were at university I noticed a lot of international students didn’t have the inside knowledge about the stuff only locals know,” he said.

“Where are the cool bars? What is a flat white? Or how do you go about dating in a city like Adelaide?

“It’s one thing to know how to catch a bus but it can make it easier to feel at home when you understand the idiosyncrasies and cultural practice of a new place.”

The paperback guide expanded from its origins in Adelaide to now cater for all of the mainland state capitals and most recently has been developed into smart phone application.

“We looked at the way international students use their mobiles and thought an app has to be the next step in the evolution of our guidebooks,” James said.

“We could build in unique functionality that would make it a really useful tool for students to have in their pockets.”

The Pank Prize is funding provided by the late David Pank’s family who himself was an entrepreneur, setting up a chain of optometrists and an optical distributor business based in the south of Adelaide.

The prize, valued at $15,000, will be valuable to James who says it will be used to further the business.

“The prize will help us expand and further develop the app so we can make it useful for prospective international students too,” he said.

Senior Lecturer with the Division of Business, Peter Balan, says it’s good to see proactive entrepreneurs acknowledged with such an award.

“Many entrepreneurs take risks and often their success flows into the community with further opportunities created,” he said. 

“It’s great to see a young entrepreneur like James being acknowledged for the hard work he has put into a start-up company.

“Entrepreneurs don’t just create business to make money, they provide innovation and a service to the community and the guides produced by Insider Publishing are clearly valuable to students studying in a foreign country.”

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