Brisbane Digital Spotlight is a blog series that aims to shine light on the exceptional talent within the city’s digital community. With each post, I uncover a devoted individual within my network who I’ve recognised to be deeply engaged in the digital industry. Whether it be a Digital Marketer, a Developer, a Co-founder, a Project Manager, or even a Recruiter – my goal is to highlight the work these remarkable individuals do; day in, day out.
In this instalment of the Brisbane Digital Spotlight, I caught up with everyone’s favourite young founder, Scott Millar. From the age of 15, Scott’s passion for entrepreneurship emulated when he founded BOP Industries.
As the Event Consultant at this year’s Young Starters Competition, Scott played a major role in helping shape the next generation of entrepreneurial talent within Queensland. As an attendant myself, I had the opportunity to cross paths with Scott and learn more about his passion for entrepreneurship.
Keep reading as I uncover more about Scott’s exciting venture, his background in the digital industry, and his predictions for the future startup landscape in Brisbane.
Tell us a little about your background, how did you land in the digital space?
Funnily enough, I was never really a massive fan of technology back in school. I was a good student that aimed to get high grades but I unfortunately had some rather old-fashioned teachers that put me right off technology as soon as I started high school.
For me, I got involved in the digital space through my business, BOP Industries. Whilst we started by selling keyrings at local markets, I was always fascinated by the work of Richard Branson and Elon Musk and quickly realised that if I wanted to get involved in the exciting stuff, I had to go to technology.
I initially found myself creating holograms (yes, like Star Wars) through the guidance of a YouTube tutorial. From that point, I was hooked! I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. When I turned my focus to the digital space, I made it my mission to learn as much as I possibly could.
From there, I found how creative technology could be (a concept that I was totally unaware of in school) and decided to make it my mission to spread this with as many people as possible – inspiring a generation of Digital Creators.
Give us a deeper dive into the exciting work of BOP Industries?
Absolutely! So, at BOP we are on a mission to inspire a generation of Digital Creators. We do this through two main areas of our business.
Our first arm is through our ‘Holograms by BOP’. Holograms by BOP are a series of hologram displays that we have created for the advertising and events market. These units range from the size of the phone and tablet, up to our life-size 2m tall units and can be used to project a range of content from people to products, animations and more.
In addition to this, we are also very active in the education space, running programs with students across the country to teach them about creative tech, entrepreneurship and storytelling. With these workshops, we aim to show students how their learnings apply to the real world, and how they can start making a difference whilst still in school.
What have been some of your biggest highlights as a founder?
Great question! My personal favourites have been the places I have been able to visit and the amazing people I get to meet. As an 18-year-old, I have the pleasure of travelling around Australia and into Asia to work with some really amazing people on some super exciting projects. Some of my highlights include partying with the ex-PM of Estonia in Thailand, speaking with UN representatives in Sydney, and meeting with influencers in China!
What are the toughest challenges about being a young founder?
I think the toughest thing about being a young founder is that you’re learning everything for the first time. For me, I’ve already decided my first biography is going to be called ‘Baptism By Fire’. It almost always feels like you’ve been thrown in the deep end and you’re kicking to keep up.
But don’t let that deter you! The challenge may be difficult, but the day-to-day experiences accelerate your learning process.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to pursue their own venture?
My advice would be to just start. Start simple and choose something that you can relate too.
I think all too often we see young people under the impression that starting a business requires them to raise $500,000 for an invention to change the world. Whilst it might seem sexy and appealing to do that straight off the bat, in reality, it would be far more effective to start simple and grow from there.
Choose something quick and easy, such as e-commerce and get some runs on the board quickly. Instead of burning through $500,000 with a mistake, keep the risks low and gradually increase as you start to get comfortable.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?
For me, the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt has been from my grandpa. He used to always say that ‘you’ve got to sell yourself before you can sell your product’. It’s simple, but it essentially says that if you’re a good person and you can build a solid relationship with your clients, you will be far more effective in business.
What do you think the Brisbane digital space will look like in five years time?
I think Brisbane is a really exciting space at the moment as we’re growing rapidly and seeing some super cool ideas being developed. In five years time, I think we will see a lot more homegrown investors coming through – people that have built their startup in Brisbane, exited for a few million and are now investing back into local companies.
I also really hope that we can keep the sense of community we have at the moment. One of my favourite things about Brisbane is the ‘give first’ mentality that everyone has. We’re always happy to help out and lend a hand and it is really lovely!
What are some of your favourite things to do around sunny Brisbane when you’re not at work?
Wait, you mean not working is an option… haha, just kidding! I love to explore the bars and restaurants around Brisbane and find the cute little hidden establishments. As well as that, I can often be found at the beach or anywhere with good food and music… and fairy lights!
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I’m a twenty-three year old Digital Marketing & Conversions Specialist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for all things digital and tech, I aim to connect and learn from as many like-minded digital enthusiasts as possible. If you have a passion for emerging technologies and digital practices, I’d love to connect and hear your story.