While many students may think about leaving Australia to start their businesses, Marius Kramier’s trajectory was different. He moved to Sydney from Germany to create his first startup, MateWire, after studying an entrepreneurship course and Business at the University of Sydney. MateWire is a new app that shows you all the cool activities and events happening around you; Mr Kramier plans to dominate the Android market and help students, especially international students, find activities that interest them.
How did you come up with the idea of MateWire?
When I came to Australia from Germany one and a half years ago, I was entirely clueless about startups. Being new in Sydney at the time, I always wanted to go surfing, but didn’t know anybody to go with and I thought there must be a better way to find new mates who want to do the same thing. My own problem basically planted the seed that became Matewire.
How did you end up in Sydney, and did you know anything about starting your own company?
I’ve lived in Germany for 23 years, but the longer I lived there, the more I was drawn to distant places. So, I left family and friends behind to go to the other side of the world and I totally went for it. I didn’t know anything about startups one and a half years ago, but I think it was always inside of me, because I always wanted to optimise things and create value.
Accidentally, I studied Business & IT (at Sydney University) and I couldn’t be more thankful that I studied it. I think it is the course that gives you the possibilities to have the biggest impact in this world, because (today) with a good idea you can change the world by simply spending two months creating a website or an app.
What has the reaction been of your friends in Germany?
Back in Germany, I had four friends that I hung out with all the time and over last year, they all followed my down under. Two of them came here for a month and on their way back home, they had the idea for their app, Stocard, which now has over 150,000 downloads in Germany.
I almost founded MateWire with a another friend a few months ago, when he was here over last summer to write his Masters thesis, but he decided to become CTO for a business analytics startup for which they have received over half a million of funding! So it’s probably true when they say, that you are ‘the average’ of the five people you hang out with most. We always stay in touch and exchange ideas and help each other out. It is very interesting to exchange cross-country startup experiences and I learn a lot through it.
How did you learn about the Sydney Startup scene?
Everything started when I enrolled in Matt Barrie’s Technology Entrepreneurship-class at Sydney University. Through the course, I became more and more involved in the Sydney startup community and I realised that with my programming skills and the strong support from the community, I could actually build the idea as an app myself. There was not one particular experience I think. Simply being surrounded by insane people who think they can change the world is just the best thing that could happen to me. This is especially awesome, because some of them actually change it.
Best achievement so far?
Two of us banged out two apps within six weeks, where many startups with millions of dollars of funding need half a year and more to bring their second platform out. But the greatest thing is when we hear the success stories of the people actually meeting other people in the real world through our app.
We quickly sparked interest in university students with their Android app and then we went ahead and released the iPhone version. The response to our app was overwhelming, because young adults especially love the idea of finding people when they spontaneously feel like doing something cool in their area.
Advice to any Honi readers thinking of starting their own company?
Just get started. Going to Silicon Beach (Startup Meetup) is the best start. I did the same nine months ago and everything started from there. Also there is a lot happening at the unis themselves, entrepreneurial societies and so on.