BGS Old Boy Alastair Blenkin '08 is aiming to fast-track retail and commercial lease negotiations across the globe after his software start-up business took out the People's Choice award in the Westpac Innovation Challenge.
The lawyer-entrepreneur founded and recently launched Blenktech, developed through start-up accelerator ilab at The University of Queensland. The innovative system provides cloud-based software that automates high-volume contract negotiation, helping big business accelerate agreement, improve outcomes, reduce costs and mitigate risk.
“Our platform removes the grunt work involved with administering these contracts and frees lawyers to do what they're trained for – considering complex legal questions, rather than repeatedly wheeling out the same advice," Blenkin said.
“The Australian property market provides an enormous opportunity but this is just the tip of the iceberg – we're building a scalable solution that can add value across industries and around the world."
Blenkin left his job at MinterEllison to pursue Blenktech, but credited his former employers with giving him the skills to take the calculated risk.
“Minters taught me a lot more than how to be a lawyer – the commercial nature of the property practice grounded my understanding of business and solving problems," he said. “So when I saw what I considered to be an enormous gap in the market, it was a no brainer to run quickly at the opportunity, even if there is some perceived risk."
Along with his on-the-job education at MinterEllison, Blenkin traced his success back to his time at BGS. “My time at BGS was fantastic – studying hard of course, but it's a rare time in your life to be able to laugh, socialise and play sport with your best mates on a daily basis. It's the sort of environment that defines who you grow up to be," he said.
“BGS prepared me well for life after school; surrounding yourself with amazingly talented students and teachers founded a real desire to achieve at the highest level, but good grades and a degree isn't where it stops – I'm motivated to change the game, rather than play by the same set of rules."
Looking to the future, Blenkin has big plans. “I'm aiming to scale my business fast and take over the world," he said. “This might be ambitious but I'm not joking – something you learn pretty quickly in the start-up space is that Australians don't dream big enough. While we're not living in Silicon Valley, we've got just as much talent, plenty of resources and a burgeoning start-up community who are all interested in helping young entrepreneurs succeed."