Starting a New "Social" Movement

Team Qnect, Australia
Gold Award Winner (University Division), 2015

Although people are constantly connected via mobile devices, it has become a daunting task to get friends to come together for an event because everybody is on multiple social media platforms. Although there are plenty of online ticketing offerings on the market, the customer journey usually starts and ends at the online box office, and there is no integration with social media. This was how three bright students at UNSW conceived of the idea behind Qnect back in 2013.

Qnect is a free-to-download “social ticketing” mobile platform that gives users clear visibility of when their friends purchase a ticket to any event. Users can purchase tickets on their phone and create groups of friends to attend events together for discounts and special offers. Qnect also introduces an innovative ticketing technology, and each user will be given a unique QR code for their discounts. This technology also enables other platform features such as online ticket reselling and gifting. Event organisers can also create, edit, manage and promote their events to Qnect users. Newly launched on the iOS and Android platforms in July 2015, Qnect is the first multi-sided platform for the entertainment industry in Australia, facilitating interactions between event goers, prospective event goers and event organisers. 

“The Global Student Challenge (GSC) was a rare opportunity for us, not only to improve our business model by having it questioned and torn apart by leading experts around the world, but also to expand our business domain outside the Australian market, and apply our solution to a different economies and demographics,” said one of Qnect’s co-founders, Ryan Chen. “Being able to do so proved our business model was truly scalable, and solved a fundamental human problem.” 

Chen continued, “The Challenge promotes global connectivity by combining entrepreneurial ideas from all corners of the world. By competing on an international stage, it gave me a peek into the problems faced in each country. It also allowed me to take a step back and think about problems on a larger and more global view, and as a result allowed us to develop internationally appropriate solutions."

“We loved how multicultural the challenge was, not only in terms of the competitors, but also in terms of the judges,” added Chen. “Although Australia is quite a multicultural society, we have never had much exposure to the international business community. The GSC was amazing. The vastness of countries where the participants came from and the spectrum of judges were simply astonishing.”

“We’re in the Asian Century!” proclaimed Chen. “We are incredibly excited at the opportunities that come with the improvement of financial and technological infrastructures across Asia.” Following its successful launch in Australia this year, Qnect plan to bring their solution to Hong Kong and Singapore in the next year. Looking further ahead, they are particularly excited about entering the vast Mainland Chinese market, which is in the transition from a primarily export based economy to a consumer based economy. The team is confident that their 2-sided market platform can enhance promotion and ticketing infrastructure across different-tiered cities. They also see plenty of potential in other Asian countries.

As the winner of GSC 2015, Chen encouraged aspiring students to follow their footsteps and join GSC in the future. His describes his keys to success as “Apply, Consult, Bond and Experience”:

  • APPLY your idea because you never know what might happen.
  • CONSULT with as many people on campus as possible. Speaking to lecturers and academics, as well as staging mock pitching with fellow students will polish your business plan.
  • BOND with your team because a stronger and goal-aligned team can achieve better and in-sync results.
  • EXPERIENCE different cultures. No matter whether you win or lose, seeing the world with an open mind is never a loss.

For more information about Qnect, visit