To kick off this project, I spoke with Renece Brewster, CEO and Founder of Data Creative, a world leading platform allowing enterprise to create data driven personalised videos in seconds. Data Creative’s API generated system allows campaigns to be created directly off internal CRMs, fully automating the process and inputting insights from measurement metrics and tracking back into company’s databases. In a short space of time, Renece has built the company to have an impressive list of customers which include the likes of REA, Coles, NAB and Hawthorn FC.
How did you develop the idea for Data Creative and what drew you to this problem?
After running and owning my own video production company for the past 8 years producing on average 200 videos a week for our corporate clients with a team of 60 staff I have seen first hand how much has changed and how the needs of timely and relevant video content is evolving.
With brands like Facebook predicting 100% of the content on their site will be video in the next 5 years I believe there is and will continue to be a real need to ensure that any video content that is being produced is incredibly relevant to each individual and that’s exactly what Data Creative does.
With our technology able to produce video content in real time and personalised in such a broad number of ways and available to view on any device I know we have something incredibly special! As technologies like beacons, VR, AR and retina control become more mainstream our content will sit so perfectly on all of them.
How did you find your first few hires for the company?
I’m a very big believer that the team are everything in any organisation but probably even more so I a start up. We’ve been incredibly fortunate in securing the team we have though a number of sources both traditional hire but also through my network. We currently have a team of six (three of which are called Matt) so we’re still very small. I believe it takes a certain type of individual to not only make it but enjoy working in start up environment and the first thing I do is to identify this and then consider how well they’ll fit in with our culture and the rest of the team. (And if their first name is Matt that helps too!)
What are some of your strengths that really helped you build the company?
While this is business is very different from my first the learnings I have from the first time around have certainly helped. Perhaps the biggest take away from business one to business two however has been my mindset. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into the second time round and the required determination and perseverance that will be required as every obstacle is put in front of you.
While I think this is something almost everyone says I’d like to think I multi task better than most people. The ability to shift gears and make big decisions quickly and follow through multiple times a day certainly helps when growing a business.
What was the catalyst that made you take the plunge and start Data Creative? What would you be doing if you hadn’t started it?
For the past 8 years the video production company I co-founded has been my life.
I’m incredibly passionate about video, I believe it is the king of content, its memorable, emotive and so powerful as a medium.
Working on the Data Creative platform for over 2 years I went to market in 2015 and in early 2016 operationally moved myself out of Visual Domain so I could work full time on growing Data Creative. It was incredibly tough move as I’m still just as incredibly passionate about Visual Domain but I was most excited by the truly global scale of the Data Creative platform. With each campaign to date we’ve achieved some unparalleled results for our clients that include, NAB, Telstra, Bupa, Amnesty international and TAB Corp to name a few and this year we look set to expand internationally.
I’m excited for what the future holds and I’m certain no matter where I land it will have something to do with video!
How did you get your initial funding to get Data Creative off the ground?
We were fortunate enough to incubate Data Creative from Visual Domain before transition it over to its own entity about 18 months ago.
What resources have been most helpful to you in starting up?
I think there has never been a better time to start a business. The eco system, tools and programs available are amazing so too are the meet-ups available most for free that give you the opportunity to talk to like minded individuals and grow your network in such a facilitated way.
I’ve also relied heavily on programs like Hubspot CRM, slack and the google suite of products which make managing the business so much easier and accessible.
What has been the most surprising part of running your own company? What were you not expecting?
How much I can manage — just when you think you’ve reached your own personal limit the tides change and a new load hits you and you manage that too!
Who have been your greatest mentors in this journey and what are the key things you’ve learnt from them?
Perhaps a bit trite but mentorship has come in the form of chance encounters or reading stories of great individuals who take on every challenge with an amazing “can do” attitude — I think I’ve been very fortunate that these people or their stories have managed to enter my life at just the right times when I’ve needed it the most.