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Top Startup Employers 2023
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VR, AR, TECH
Top Startup Employers 2023 Ranking
#7 in Australia (0-20 Employees)
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Independent survey results
Areas they do well in, as rated by employees as of July 2023
High eNPS (Employee 'Net Promoter Score')
Inspiring leadership vision
Company culture values employee feedback and input
Safe place for expressing different viewpoints
Safe place for expressing different viewpoints
Approach to compensation is competitive and fair
Employee's roles have a sense of purpose and meaning
High proportion intend to stay with the company for >12 months
Hear from them
What does the company do?
"Start Beyond is Australia’s leading and internationally acclaimed virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) studio; specialising in the creation of immersive learning experiences that transport imaginations and move people to see the world differently.Launched in 2015, Start Beyond’s co-founders Angus Stevens (CEO) and Jaeger Battersby (CTO) wanted to create a business that could move people to see the world differently, and build greater awareness and empathy. With a combination of content creation and intuitive spatial design, Start Beyond’s mantra of ‘identify a problem, provide a solution’ has helped them push the boundaries which once confined workplace training.
Since its inception, Start Beyond has delivered more than 900,000 AR and VR learning experiences. Working with fortune global 500 companies Accenture and Meta, as well as US-based VR company Stivr, their client base includes government departments, multinational companies, and training organisations, such as St John Ambulance, ANSTO, Woolworths, SocialWise VR, UTS and The University of Newcastle. Start Beyond's mixed reality solutions reduce costs and improve training efficiency, by driving participants’ engagement and generating increased knowledge retention. A multiple award-winning company, Start Beyond received Start-up of the Year at the 2017 AIMIA awards; Interactive or Game Production of the Year at the Screen Producers Australia Awards in 2018 as well as being a finalist in the APAC Mumbrella awards."
What is the company’s approach to professional development?
"In addition to regular performance reviews, Start Beyond implements career development check-ins. These are bi-annual. The purpose is to review the employee's personal skills development with their broader life goals with their current role and performance.Within the VR & AR industry Start Beyond's senior team are some of Australia's leading, most knowledgeable, experienced figures within the field. They have a rich track record of training and developing staff, and building the skills of the Australian XR community through the internal training and educational programs they deploy. Developers at Start Beyond receive regular training through the guidance of their CTO on how to create code and craft programs that have never been built before, so they ultimately provide innovation training. It's not training in how to be innovative, it's training in creating a new product and innovating the training/development sector itself. Additionally Start Beyond seeks to promote and support its team and their career aspirations. Within the business half of the leadership team have progressed their career within Start Beyond. 7 years ago Isabella Povolny began with Start Beyond as a recent university graduate. She now oversees the Development team as Senior Technical Producer. As well as Josef Heks who first started with Start Beyond in 2016 as a freelance VR cameraman, is now Head of Capture and Post overseeing all facets of the Production Studio.
In conjunction with the in-house program Start Beyond supports its team with access and financing of specific specialist courses, as well as providing assistance in their outside of work personal development, encouraging them to continue their growth through university degrees and aligning their course-work with their work at Start Beyond.Start beyond encourages and supports not only professional development but personal growth too because both play such a big part in determining a healthy work-life balance and ensuring morale and productivity remain high. With two senior employees they have implemented a 4 day week so they can pursue their hobbies or side hustles on the day off and feel re-invigorated. This change has been fundamental to the business' ongoing success. Start Beyond got here through candid respectful conversations to help create a path that was meaningful and doable for everyone."
What is the company's culture like?
"Start Beyond holds a really respectful and trusting culture where everyone looks out for one another. A happy culture and team satisfaction is the priority for Start Beyond because great people make a great business. The business is constantly looking for ways to make sure the team is able to find what they love about their job to avoid the great resignation and ensure everyone feels supported and fulfilled. Every Friday lunch Start Beyond hosts a company-wide meal and drinks, rotating between: ""Funch - a fun lunch"" ie: hang out and play online games, ""Punch - a presentation lunch"" ie: a team member will showcase their latest project, or offer insights around the latest technology developments. And yes the names are intentionally stupid! By introducing ‘Funch & Punch’ and playing video games at lunch it has made the experience work for everyone and helped build connections through the gameplay which has flowed over into the team’s work."
What are the company's plans for the next 12 months?
"During the next twelve months Start Beyond will continue to improve and promote its recently launched product ONCIO. This is a groundbreaking mixed reality platform which allows businesses to breathe new life into their existing 2D assets as well as integrating and layering new spatial learning content such as interactive 360° video and 3D AR models. ONCIO is a versatile, scalable immersive learning platform delivered across VR, mobile and desktop, that can be accessed by learners via the app stores as well as through enterprise pathways. Current clients using ONCIO to deliver effective remote learning solutions include US-based SocialWise VR, SouthWest TAFE, ANSTO and St John Ambulance. This groundbreaking platform enabled St John Ambulance Victorian to deliver accredited CPR and First Training programs over 300,000 in 2022, and its success has led to it being launched Australia-wide in 2023. Start Beyond will also continue to grow its international reach, through a combination of expanding existing relationships and establishing new client partnerships in new markets. The benefit of this will be two-fold. It will provide more advanced workplace training opportunities, more widely for Australian businesses. This is reflected in Start Beyond’s recent partnership with leading US VR platform provider Strivr to deliver large scale enterprise immersive learning solutions across the APAC market. Plus it will also allow the training products they‘ve built for Australian clients such as The University of Newcastle Speech Pathology Paediatric Oral Muscular Assessment VR training program to leverage the ONCIO platform and be on-sold to universities and colleges throughout the world."
How do you approach diversity and inclusion?
"The technology space remains in many ways a male-centric industry, however Start Beyond are actively seeking to redress this imbalance by employing female & non-binary representation wherever possible. Currently 30% of the business and 25% of the development team identify as either female or non-binary. Within the business Start Beyond has implemented several initiatives ensuring everyone feels valued and equal. This starts with hiring policies which encourage recent graduates to step onto the career ladder and doesn't discriminate against anyone who might otherwise have experienced barriers in pursuing a STEM career.For example within Start Beyond’s development team, the three most recent hires are graduates experiencing their first full-time development role. This includes Michaela Taweel, who was offered a role with the business while she was still studying at University. She has since gone on to play a vital role in building several projects for Australian federal and state departments. In addition to internal promotion Start Beyond also actively promotes its current staff through LinkedIn and PR opportunities wherever possible. This allows the business to shine a spotlight on them as individuals as well as a broader focus on raising awareness of STEM careers. "
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