The Company You Keep


Stuart Anderson, Co-Inventor and Owner of BeeInventive, shares how an eco-friendly invention that grew from a personal discovery as a beekeeper led to massive start-up success. A family run operation, Stuart used a risky method to jumpstart his business: crowdfunding. Not without its challenges, it still led to massive success and some lessons learned.

Hear from Stuart about what these were, and find out how sourcing reliable and like-minded suppliers can make or break your business.

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Stuart Anderson and his son Cedar, spent the better part of 10 years creating a new type of beehive that allows keepers to extract honey in a simpler and safer way. Once they'd cracked it, they needed to find a way to fund their new business venture, so they turned to crowdfunding. 

Stuart still remembers the moment he turned on the tap to let honey flow from an undisturbed hive. It was a key moment not just for him, but for the beekeeping industry – and now their company BeeInventive employs 50 people selling the equipment all over the world. 

How to crowdfund a business successfully is a hotly debated topic, but Stuart started with the fundamentals: by creating a well-edited and shot video.

“Don't think you can do it in a couple of weeks. It's like anything, the more work you put into it, the more likely you are to succeed. And I guess we put probably a year's lead up into it. And the first part was just studying it.”

There were glitches along the way with equipment – the business had to handle manufacturing across two companies. Bad IP advice, too – which Stuart warns other businesses against. He recommends building up a solid team. “We shouldn't have taken one person's opinion or one company's opinion as, ‘well, they must be right.’ That was a mistake".

The company has sold to over 60,000 customers since launching. For other businesses investigating crowdfunding in Australia, Stuart recommends tapping into government, council resources and your local business community, like My Business. “We've used the industrial area of My Business in terms of HR in the industrial issues, so that we know that we're doing the right thing by our staff and so on.”

For anyone asking how to crowdfund a business successfully, Stuart’s message is key: take advice, but not necessarily follow it.

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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