For businesses, what's the advantage of becoming location aware? And how can you use smart technology to achieve this awareness? These were two of the questions posed to a couple of location solutions experts recently.

We recently invited Esri Startup Program Global Manager Kurt Daradics to Australia. Our brief to Kurt was clear – we wanted to unlock the potential of local startups by helping them work more closely with location.

As part of Kurt’s week-long tour, we ran several events, including a meetup in Sydney at local co-working space Tank Stream Labs – hosted by Kurt and Gary Johnson, Esri Australia’s Chief Solution Strategist.

The night started as a bit of a masterclass from the pair – both men riffing on the use case for leveraging location-based analytics – however, it quickly morphed into a lively discussion around the role spatial science plays in delivering more compelling and complete technology solutions.

We were lucky to have many of our local Esri startup community in attendance, including Andrew Lowe of PiCo and Cameron Wall of RainCheck. Working within the retail sector, both Andrew and Cameron passionately agreed location was a key element of their future strategy to match consumer expectations and reboot retail as a whole.

Because as consumers, we have a thirst for more information, and a growing expectation for technology to assist us when collating, comprehending and analysing large quantities of data.

Location enablement in an application is now more than simply illustrating where something is. It’s about providing users and companies with the ability to analyse and gain insight into what’s happening at a particular location, and aligning that information to compare it against other data sources.

Location is at the centre of providing both content and context.

Our Sydney startup meetup concluded with an introduction to the Esri Startup Program.

Esri has developed the perfect environment for any startup who has an idea to start sinking its teeth into spatial technology, moving past simply place, and taking a deep dive into true location awareness.

My three key takeaways from the night – and what I consider to be the three reasons why startups need to be location aware:

  1. Knowing more about ‘where’ allows you to influence consumer expectations

  2. Spatial science is at the forefront of reinvigorating many industries, including retail

  3. Location enabling an app enriches your final product, not only through the map itself but via access to content and analytics tools

The Esri Startup Program provides the support and environment to succeed with location. Qualifying startups receive Cloud services, software, training and support, content, and other opportunities to help them succeed.

You can find out more about the Esri Startup Program online, or by calling 1300 635 196. I also encourage you to subscribe to our GIS Directions e-newsletter to receive information on local startup meetups and other events across the region.

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