MMAPT was established in 2017 by founders Tom Marks, Scott Pioro and Tim Jenkinson to commercialise a new photographic imaging platform to facilitate product sales for the online retail market. The company has developed a prototype system called Stevie, which has been used with a range of trial customers to date, including paid trials. Stevie is ready for commercial sales but represents a limited opportunity due to low throughput and the requirement for manual loading and unloading of products, as per trial customer feedback. The company has now developed a true high throughput high quality differentiator for global customers which provides the ability to manage images in the cloud from all locations. Accelerating Commercialisation funding of $750,000 through the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme will support the implementation and development of a scaled ecosystem product.
I engaged with MMAPT as their allocated Commercialisation Facilitator for the Accelerating Commercialisation program and as part of this role assisted them with their grant application. I would like to share some insights on what led to their success in applying for support and funding from the program:
- The company had a functioning prototype and through trials of this early prototype was able to demonstrate strong existing momentum with large global end users and future customers. They were able to demonstrate that commercialisation of their fully automated solution would lead to a successful commercial outcome as their trial customers were highly likely to switch their current process to a product of this scale and capability. It was clear that Accelerating Commercialisation funding would enable them to quickly leverage existing opportunities with clients.
- The company presented a significant market opportunity for their novel product photography ecommerce solution. The commercialisation potential of this technology was high and was demonstrated by the significant partnerships and contracts with paying trial customers in place.
- The technology was novel and new on a global basis. Although the hardware components of the system are based on the combination of existing technologies, the end product, software and business model applied by MMAPT are highly novel with strong IP protection in place.
- The track record and strong commitment from the team, position the company well for commercialisation success. The founders clearly understood their strengths and weaknesses and pro-actively recruited employees, mentors, and a strong advisory group to fill existing gaps.
- The Company’s innovative approach to product development and close relationship with global partners and suppliers was recognised as a core strength which will enable them to maintain a long-term leading position in the market.
Completion of the Accelerating Commercialisation project will help to position this company to achieve the next critical step in scaling their business and solidifying global market share.
MMAPT CEO Tom Marks says, “MMAPT’s technology automates high-end mass product imaging, allowing big e-commerce players to increase speed and efficiency by capturing high-quality images and measurements all at once. This advancement in a demanding and challenging industry empowers brands and gives them incentive and capability to bring operations back onto local shores.”
I feel fortunate to be able to assist and be a small part of their journey through the Accelerating Commercialisation project. It will be an exciting opportunity for an Australian company to observe going forward.