17 year old Giorgio Doueihi had a problem, his school had just rolled out a student diary app that was unusable. So Doueihi, who’d started coding at 13, decided he’d write a new one.
“I’d been dabbling with a bunch of projects at high school and I’d taught myself how to code,” Giorgio told Decoding the New Economy at Telstra’s Sydney Muru-D incubator.
That app was quickly adopted by his high school which had spent $100,000 developing the unusable system. Giorgio finished school, started university and Backpack, as his app became known, was accepted into Sydney University’s student INCUBATE startup program.
“I found out about INCUBATE and thought ‘I might just pitch this idea I had at high school’ then it kind of took a turn.”
Backpack became Fluid Education and Giorgio was accepted onto the Muru-D program, the product was doing well in the market and gaining customers when he decided to shut it down and move to a new product.
“Sales cycle was a large part of the pivot,” he explains. “Another part was that it had changed from a student orientated app to something more enterprise focused, something we were uncomfortable doing.”
So Fluid Education pivoted and is now a service for matching tutors to students and managing their appointment with the new platform about to come out of beta, “We’ve gone back to our roots,” Giorgio explains.
In many ways Giorgio Doueihi story is straight out of the startup textbook, he’s passionate, has identified a problem to solve and was agile enough to change the business’ course when he was unhappy with the direction.
Fluid education and Giorgio will be a very interesting story to follow over the next few years.