30/01/2001 - 21:00

IT pair making a virtual impact

30/01/2001 - 21:00

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WITH just $800 in their pockets and the ink still wet on their university degrees, Daniel Barnett and Tom Hodgkinson decided to start their own business.

IT pair making a virtual impact
WITH just $800 in their pockets and the ink still wet on their university degrees, Daniel Barnett and Tom Hodgkinson decided to start their own business.

They set out to create a company specialising in web development and design, on-line marketing and electronic commerce.

Three years on and their company, Virtual Impact, is in its third set of premises, handling contracts for international information technology organisations and considering an Australian Stock Exchange listing.

Mr Barnett said the company’s first client had been a camel park.

The client list has grown to include Westpac, Samsung, ComputerCorp, Access Homeloans, Wet Dreams and Ideas to Empires.

“We just reinvested everything we earnt into the business. We were very much a backyard operation then,” Mr Barnett said.

“Within six months we’d moved into a broom closet in the city. As we’ve taken on more staff we’ve moved on – first to Subiaco and now to Claremont.”

The company has alliances with UK company Fortune Cookies and Earth Connect.

Earth Connect writes software that allows trading portals to communicate and has been using virtual impact to push into the North Asian market.

Fortune Cookies has proved very successful and now passes on contracts worth less than £30,000 to its associates.

This has proved lucrative for Virtual Impact. Fortune Cookies will also be using the WA-based firm for its move into Asia.

Mr Barnett said his company was named Macromedia Site of the Week for its work for Rendezvous Observation City.

The work included building a loyalty program into the website the company developed for the hotel.

“We had more than 1,000 sign up in the first week,” Mr Barnett said.

“It’s using the viral marketing principle. One person recommends the site to five others to qualify for points.”

Mr Barnett said the company was looking for venture capital investors in lieu of a float.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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