Innovation is our economy’s lifeblood. Even before the digital age, it was innovators that advanced our knowledge, developed new products and improved our way of life.
Digital technologies have changed the way we live, the way we connect with each other and even – yes – the way we innovate.
River City Labs (RCL) is a Brisbane-based startup incubator. With Shark Tank alumnus Steve Baxter on board and a growing ecosystem of business advisors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, mentors and venture capitalists on hand, its goal is to help businesses in the early stages of development to turn their great ideas into successful and scalable businesses.
The right talent needs the right tools
When RCL adopted a new space in Fortitude Valley, it understood that its members had many requirements. They needed desk space, of course, but also meeting rooms, lecture/presentation spaces, common spaces to take breaks and have informal conversations, and any number of technology-based needs like secure infrastructure, fast and stable network connections and on-demand print capabilities.
“Our goal is to provide everything from the furniture to the Internet, and to remove as many barriers as possible so our members can simply walk in with a laptop or tablet and get started,” says River City Labs CEO Peta Ellis. “What makes a difference for us with technology is if members can access it without requiring assistance from us.”
Printing is an important part of this technology backbone; in fact, print plays a vital role in most RCL members’ business development.
“What is printed is still critical; it’s mostly printing business documents and contracts, and if a business can’t do that, their business is materially affected,” Peta notes.
Help a brother out?
To that end, RCL needed a print and print services provider that would understand its members’ needs and challenges, and create a solution that would make print a low-friction, high-value part of their operations.
Brother’s Commercial Market Development Channel Manager Luke Howard was introduced to Peta and her team by Steve Baxter and he immediately recognized the alignment between RCL and its members, and Brother.
“We saw that our own innovation and skills around printing were an opportunity that could help River City Labs and its startups,” he says.
Adopting a strategic approach, he set about understanding the critical challenges for developing an effective print solution.
The first was the technologies used by RCL’s members. With no standardization, so no possibility of implementing organisation-wide standards and policies, an adaptive solution was needed that could cope with a wide range of devices, from Windows and Mac OS laptops to tablets, Android and iOS devices, and more.
Then it was critical to understand the workspace – how members used the space itself, how they moved through its nodes and transits, and where best to locate different printing devices.
Finally, understanding the type and volume of printing needed was vital to architect the right solution and ensure all user needs would be reliably met. Redundancy was a particular concern, so backup devices were mandatory.
Partners in success
Following a comprehensive audit process, including interviews with RCL members, Brother recommended a solution including a small fleet of printers that included a mix of types and capabilities with seamless redundancy to guard against outages and meet all likely A3 and A4 printing needs.
“The technology that we put into River City Labs needed to be connected to instantly and securely,” says Luke, and in addition to rolling out the solution, Brother is providing ongoing support to maximise the investment’s value.
“The Brother team customized the printers … it’s intuitive enough that no-one could be confused,” says Peta. “They have also been excellent in following up to make sure that everything is going okay.”
For the team’s part, they were happy to help RCL get its space up and running, and to be contributing to something bigger than themselves.
“Helping startups is good for the community. It is startups such as these that will drive job creation and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs,” says, Luke, “so being with these businesses from the start has been a wonderful experience.”
Find out how Brother helped River City Labs in this Case Study.