Hackathon winner Fleetsu receives $45,000 to develop its safety-driven fleet management app


Fleetsu CEO Jakub Felinski with Mr Jamie Merrick, Director General, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Queensland.

Perth-based tech start-up Fleetsu has been granted $45,000 in cash and in-kind support to accelerate the development of an app-driven platform designed to optimise and coordinate the use of vehicles, machinery and equipment.

Formed in 2015, Fleetsu was awarded $15,000 by Motorola Solutions on Friday, 18 November after winning the telco company’s 48-hour Public Safety Hackathon in Brisbane.

The goal of the hackathon was to apply the principles of ‘agile development’ to create mobile applications that address real-world operational challenges faced by public safety agencies. The judges were impressed by Fleetsu’s app, which helps agencies track where their vital assets and resources are at all times.

Fleetsu was competing against developers including Gridstone, a specialist provider of mobility solutions for public service agencies, and SDSI, which produces digital resources for police, fire and ambulance services.

The hackathon was supported by the Government of Queensland, which awarded Fleetsu an additional $15,000 in prize money. Meanwhile, event sponsor Amazon Web Services offered the start-up $15,000 in credit to use its web hosting services to help it bring the solution to market.

Fleetsu CEO Jakub Felinski spoke to Dynamic Business about his award-winning start-up, including the role of the lean start-up methodology, its growing customer base and plans for the future.   

What does the hackathon win say about Fleetsu?

Our win shows that applying lean start-up methodology to run and develop a business can result in fantastic early stage traction in the market for a tech company like ours. We have only been around for 16 months and have stayed very lean and focused on developing a solution which is relevant to customers and can help us to generate revenue. This has resulted in us being able to secure high profile customers including Australian police agencies and a number of well-known brands in the logistics, FMCG, mining and construction sectors. We have been working very hard and have remained committed to our vision of helping public safety and industry organisations to become more effective in what they do. As a result, we have been rewarded by almost tripling our customer base in a couple of months.

What led you to create Fleetsu and what is its USP?

Fleetsu provides access to a sophisticated, enterprise telematics platform via rapid cloud deployment. We provide a unique combination of hardware and software which can be easily deployed to various assets such as light vehicles, machinery or other equipment. Our solution then collects full performance, diagnostic and location data which can in turn be used to generate actionable business reports.

I was led to create the business after identifying a gap for an easy-to-use yet powerful business solution to solve some of the challenges in managing and coordinating large fleets of assets. I also knew that the solution had to provide some “eye candy” so we really put effort into developing its visual appearance.

The concept has quickly gained traction and with the support of angel capital I took a huge leap of faith, quit my day job and have been able to grow the business to what it is today.

How will you use the prize money and where to next?

We are very grateful to receive this support from Motorola Solutions, the Government of Queensland and Amazon Web Services. We will use prize money to accelerate development of our emergency services-focused offering. Looking to the future, Fleetsu is also getting ready for Series A funding to further accelerate our expansion to Australian and international markets. This result has shown that we can expand and gain market traction quickly. Now it’s time to throw ourselves in the deep end to continue to grow fast and see what else we can achieve.