The pen that revolutionises your iPad
Collusion solves the problem of handwriting and drawing on the iPad.
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Robert Yearsley believes his app and pen solves the problem of handwriting, drawing and collaboration on the iPad - and customers believe in him, already pledging tens of thousands of dollars sight unseen.
We have a tax system that will punish you for investing in start-ups, and a tax system that wants to tax founders on value they haven't earned yet. Our only option is to leave.
Collusion, he says, turns the iPad into a useful productivity device for business and education, rather than for just entertainment. It includes a high precision pen and storage of files in the cloud, similar to Google Docs, allowing for real-time collaboration.
Australian founder Robert Yearsley has raised over $40,000 on Kickstarter in the few days since June 1.
But the Sydneysider, like many entrepreneurs, has incorporated his company in the US after being unable to attract Australian investor interest and accusing the Australian government of being "anti-startup".
"Australia's angels [high-net worth individuals] and VCs [venture capitalists] aren't asleep at the wheel, they are persona non grata in my book," he said.
"We have a tax system that will punish you for investing in start-ups, and a tax system that wants to tax founders on value they haven't earned yet. Our only option is to leave."
Collusion is likely to appeal to university students.
Yearsley, who has already developed the core product, said he had not taken a cent of investment so far but was instead raising money directly from customers.
On Kickstarter, in just a few days he has managed to raise over $40,000 out of the $100,000 required by June 30. Yearsley says the product will have a price point between $99 and $150.
"I'd rather take money from someone who is interested in what we are selling than someone who is interested in selling us!," he said.
See more Aussie innovators in Digital Dreamers Episode 3
But he will eventually take investment to expand globally. Yearsley says he's had over a dozen inquiries from investors, none from Australia.
He plans to move to the US very shortly, and says he was "stunned" when the NSW government offered to help him move offshore.
Yearsley has worked on startups for years and was the manager of the Telstra team responsible for the T-Box device.
He said he came up with the idea for Collusion one day when he was lamenting the fact that his expensive iPad was worse than a pad of paper and biro for productivity tasks.
"Trying to use an iPad like a laptop doesn't suit its tablet form factor - it's just awkward, and trying to write on it with a stylus and a note taking app felt like using crayons," he said.
"So we rethought the problem from the ground up, and decided to approach the problem of writing and drawing in the context of the best tech available today - not limit ourselves by the current mode of use that hasn't changed much since we were painting on cave walls!"
The app allows for real-time collaboration and Yearsley believes it is well suited to taking notes, developing ideas, research, annotation, planning, sketching, journaling and presenting. Users can write with their hands resting on the screen.
The makers of the Floq survey app recently decided to poll a plethora of Australian startups for a new survey and map of the Australian tech ecosystem called Startup Nation. They received over 250 responses.
Sydney was found to be the more supportive city for start-ups, followed by Melbourne. But both were only ranked as "somewhat helpful" on average (the third option behind "helpful" and "very helpful").