Andy Tompkins was the originator of the iPledg platform. He originated from the UK where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant before spending some time in South Africa and then migrating to Australia at the beginning of 2010. Andy is also a panel member for the Queensland government’s Mentoring for Growth program, assisting small businesses deal with some of the issues facing them in day to day operations. It was on one of these panels that he met Bryan Vadas.
Even at high school, Bryan demonstrated entrepreneurial flair and a commercial astuteness beyond his years, having become the face of Young Achievers Australia in 1982. Using broad based skills he has assisted business start ups right through to multinationals who require business transformation solutions. In 2002, Bryan teamed up with Steve Flint to form Time Masters (Australia), offering project management, program management, and general management consultancy to small and large businesses, locally and abroad.
Having met Andy at a Mentoring for Growth panel meeting in 2011, Bryan initiated a coffee, at which they both discussed synergies between the businesses they were running. As they were about to leave, Andy casually mentioned to Bryan about an idea he had about starting a crowd funding site. Typical of most people who are unaware of this little known concept (at least at the time), Bryan asked “what’s crowd funding?” at which point the two resumed their seats and spent considerably more time going through the idea. At the end of their lengthy conversation Bryan told Andy “you shouldn’t have mentioned this idea in passing – you know now I’m going to push you to do it” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Both Andy and Bryan have considerable experience in the corporate world, and both have seen entrepreneurs with great ideas that just could not get their idea off the ground due to a lack of funding.
In addition, both Andy and Bryan were involved in charities – Andy with Mummy’s Wish, and Bryan with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Association (FARA). Both are relatively small charities with limited resources, striving to be heard in the community and to engage with the public to create awareness and raise necessary funding for their projects.
Both Andy and Bryan quickly recognised the “fit” between their philanthropic endeavours and the general concept of Crowd funding, and iPledg became not just a platform for commercial and business projects, but one for charitable and community endeavours.
Finally, with friends and close family involved in artistic and creative pursuits, Andy and Bryan realised that the passion around the creative space would also lend itself to Crowd Funding (this had been proven for years already and all around the world), so iPledg found its third pillar, that of being a platform for the artistic and creative to raise the funding they require for their projects.
And iPledg was born!