Zebra hopes to earn stripes through Enterprize

16 Oct 2008
A Brisbane-based start-up company hopes to turn us all into Zebras with its innovative software, which not only provides loss and theft protection for mobile devices themselves but also their contents. Zebras International Pty Ltd is a finalist in UQ Business School's Enterprize competition and will launch its first product, ZSpot Beta, in early 2009. Zebras Managing Director David Ball said ZSpot was mobile software that, once installed, allowed mobile devices to be tracked to within ten metres using GPS and kept the devices' contents safe. "ZSpot allows our customers to stop worrying about losing their portable electronics and personal information and focus on the more enjoyable things in life," Mr Ball said. In fact, Mr Ball said Zebra's whole aim was developing high-quality original products that relieved stress in its customers' lives - hence the company's somewhat odd name. "The name 'Zebras' comes from a comical book by author Robert M. Sapolsky in which he uses zebras as an example of an animal that doesn't get stress related diseases," Mr Ball said. "Naming our organisation after the book helps remind us why we started the business in the first place - to try and better the world by making our customers' lives less stressful. We want everyone to be a Zebra," he said. Mr Ball said while the product's main target market was young professionals, ZSpot filled a nice niche which made its appeal potentially extremely broad. "What is so attractive about our ZSpot opportunity is that it solves a problem that affects just about everybody with a storage-capable portable device such as a mobile phone, and with over 150 million GPS-enabled mobile phones worldwide, that is quite a market." With what he believes is such a promising product, Mr Ball said the three-person Zebras team was hoping to use the UQBS Enterprize competition as a springboard for moving their young company forward. "We were attracted to Enterprize because we thought it could help us get our idea out there into the wider community. We are hoping to build some networks, learn some skills, and hopefully earn some much-needed funds," Mr Ball said. Head of UQ Business School Professor Tim Brailsford said Enterprize, which awards $100,000 to the winning team and is now in its eight year, was about promoting and supporting new venture ideas. "Zebra is just one more example of the exciting innovations Enterprize was designed to showcase. The competition is all about helping entrepreneurs like these to build successful businesses. I wish them well in both this competition and their broader business goals," Professor Brailsford said. All seven Enterprize finalists will present their bright ideas to the public at Enterprize Pitch Day on Thursday 16 October. For more information about Enterprize see www.enterprize.uq.edu.au. To enquire about Pitch Day please email events@business.uq.edu.au