Hillridge Technology

Partner Profile

Hillridge Technology is an early stage startup creating an insurance product for farmers. The technology uses trusted weather data to help farmers protect themselves against the financial impact of extreme weather.

A successful startup story

Hillridge Technology is based in Haymarket HQ, Australia’s first startup hub supporting entrepreneurs to connect to Asia.

‘I’ve got a group of international students working with me,’ says Dale Schilling, CEO and founder of early stage startup Hillridge Technology. ‘What I really like is that they already have that international mindset. I want to expand internationally and it really helps to have a team that’s already thinking that way.’

Previously, Dale has advertised a number of paid, part-time internships through university jobs boards and the Ribit platform. ‘I got an overwhelming response when I put the ad on the University of NSW  and University of Sydney jobs boards,’ he says. ‘The quality of the candidates was just exceptional.’

A number of the students Dale took on have since gone on to win full-time roles elsewhere.

Dale knows personally how important work experience is for international students. ‘I studied overseas in Japan and I was given a big opportunity to work while I was studying, so I want to do the same thing. I think companies do themselves a disservice if they ignore that very important part of the student body.’

Calendar

Launched in July 2018

House

Located in Haymarket HQ startup hub in Sydney

Cloud

Building a weather-based insurance product for farmers

Graph

Plans to take product worldwide

Graduation

In 2018, engaged five international students in workplace activities

Announcement

Advertises  opportunities on university job boards

An employer perspective

‘When you’re dealing with a complex problem, you need people that see the problem in many different ways,’ says Dale. ‘For me, Hillridge Technology is based in Australia and we’re using Australia to test the idea and pilot the program, but I want to expand internationally. Working with international students really helps me think about that expansion.’

International students also bring the benefit of their studies into the workplace. ‘Typically the student might be an honours student, or doing their master’s,’ says Dale. ‘I get to tap into some of the latest research.’

Last year, 81 students applied for internships at Hillridge Technology, with Dale only able to take on five. Those who made the cut were able to match their interests and experience to the mission of the company. ‘International students need to connect what they’re doing and what they’re passionate about with the job itself,’ says Dale.

Garrett

The startup environment has been hugely beneficial, in terms of being able to think on my feet and adapt when a situation comes up - Garrett Milne, International student

A student perspective

International student Garrett Milne won an internship with Hillridge Technology. The Canadian native, who is studying a Master’s of Health Security at the University of Sydney, worked as a market research intern for the company. Recently, he used his experience to move into a different role at another startup.

‘The startup environment has been hugely beneficial, in terms of being able to think on my feet and adapt when a situation comes up,’ says Garrett, who outlined his farming background and interest in agriculture and biosecurity in his cover letter.

‘If you’re an international student looking for a placement… I really would suggest reaching out to the startup world, see what kind of projects are going on and network with those people who might one day be a mentor, be a manager, be a supervisor.’

Australia's first co-working space dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs to Asia

Haymarket HQ is a not-for-profit supported by the NSW State Government through Jobs for NSW, and offers access to co-working space, mentors and investors, and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs across Asia-Pacific.

Haymarket HQ is also home to the Sydney Landing Pad program, providing select international companies and international student entrepreneurs with all the resources and connections to understand and unlock the opportunities Australia has to offer. The program is free and is sponsored by City of Sydney. For more information, contact letschat@sydneylandingpad.com

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