Cameron Mitchell is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TrademarkVision, a world leader in image recognition technology.
The Brisbane-based start-up, which now also has staff in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, launched the world’s first visual search for trademarks in 2013. Before this, the only way to find trademark images was through time-consuming and error-prone text-based searching.
TrademarkVision uses cutting-edge machine learning and image recognition technology to protect world brands and Cameron believes their passion is the driving force behind the company’s success.
“Our founder and CEO Sandra Mau is exceptionally passionate and that passion is very contagious,” he said.
“Trademark’s is very much a changing industry at the moment and for this sort of technology we need to ensure our staff are experts to tackle this global problem.”
Landing major contracts with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and IP Australia for algorithms that can detect and compare logos, the company is well and truly on its way to bigger and better things with Brisbane at the centre of it all.
“When I graduated school in 1996, Brisbane was a speck on the world stage compared to now,” Cameron said.
“It’s amazing to come home to Brisbane and be part of a start-up culture like this.”
What three things should someone consider before starting a business?
- Know what you’re getting yourself into. People think starting your own business means you can pick the hours you work when really you’re doubling your working hours.
- You need to be passionate about what your business is setting out to achieve.
- Employ good people to share your success with.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
A million things and nothing at all. Everything you set out to do, you will make mistakes but you learn from them. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your business?
- Major publications like TechCrunch and Mashable have helped put us in front of the consumer market.
- Self-promotion has also been important. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in front of big entities like governments. Never assume you’re too small.
How do you stay up to date with the latest business information?
I read TechCrunch and Mashable daily and am on LinkedIn regularly too. Learning from the past and continuing formal study is important to me so I try to read as much as I can.
Where have you sought business advice?
We have been really lucky and have some very smart people on our board.
What financial factors should be considered when wanting to grow a business?
A flaw in many new businesses is they are chasing money instead of chasing their vision. It’s important to have a plan for your spending but that has to be coupled with impeccable ethics, creating a great culture and growing as fast as you can.
How do you manage risk?
It’s not about avoiding risk but finding the risk that presents an opportunity. That’s the risk we’re willing to take.
What value do you place in business plans and why?
I don’t value the precise outcome of a business plan. I value the process. The process is an opportunity to recognise where to grow other areas of your business.