Canyou SAAS Sydney Startup

How a Coding Bootcamp Led to a Successful Sydney Startup

How a coding bootcamp led to a successful Sydney startup

Connecting as aspiring entrepreneurs in their coding bootcamp classroom, the three founders of rapid-growth Australian SaaS company Canyou hit on a winning formula.

Contribution by Frank Iannelli, co-founder of Canyou


Joining a coding bootcamp can be exciting and daunting. Especially when it’s an intensive program. But it can be a great way to dip into the industry and develop skills in software development in a focused and structured way.

I got a solid foundation during a Diploma course at Coder Academy (and later went on to a computer science degree at Charles Sturt University). But, most importantly, during that bootcamp I was lucky enough to make friends with James Apple and Joseph Park.

Now, several years later, together we’re the co-founders of a successful software startup – Canyou. Here’s some insight into how that journey progressed:

Working as a software engineer

Once I’d built on the skills and knowledge I gained during the bootcamp and further study, I was fortunate to have some great jobs as a developer. Working for Domain and Lawpath gave me a chance to work as a front end developer and JavaScript developer in a professional capacity, while continuing to build full stack capability as I went.

Recognising a business challenge

As software engineers we’re always looking for tech solutions to problems when they present themselves. I come from an entrepreneurial family, and while I was working as a product manager with my brother at one of his businesses, I came across a bottleneck in repetitive staff paperwork. A lot of effort was going into employee onboarding and maintaining licences and accreditations. Immediately I saw that software should be able to assist with solving this issue, and ultimately save time, energy and money.

Identifying a gap in the market

Initially I assumed that there’d be an existing platform to handle this common business challenge. But when I started looking, I found that while there are solid platforms out there to handle tasks like employee onboarding or licence management, there wasn’t anything that was flexible, affordable and tailored to the Australian market.

Coming up with a solution

The solution was to develop a way to handle those tasks using automated workflows, including flexibility to, for example, create custom forms and use e-signatures.

By this time I’d got back in contact with James and Joseph, and after talking it through, it became clear that this was a product that could help all kinds of businesses, from construction to bookkeeping.

We were excited about creating an Australian company to solve this problem and decided to launch into serious product development. That’s how Canyou was born.

Securing funding for MVP

These days there are some great funding opportunities out there for startups. And having that income can really help with being able to focus on the project and invest in infrastructure. We secured an MVP grant from the NSW Government early on, and it made a big difference in our financial footing.

Customer feedback

Feedback from our customers has been a crucial part of our process towards making sure that Canyou is robust, intuitive and does what is needed. It’s been amazing to see how supportive of the company and committed to an ongoing relationship our customers are – which I think is a testament to genuinely engaging in testing and conversation.

Tips for Australian software entrepreneurs

If you have an idea for a software product, get out there and have a go. Use the agile approach, get an MVP happening. And as much as you can, network and make connections – you never know who you’ll make contact with and how you might end up working together down the track.

If you’re earlier in your journey, definitely look into coding bootcamps as a great way to get your foot on the ladder and start building skills.

Author Bio

Frank Iannelli is the co-founder of Canyou, an Australian software company providing flexible online workflows to help bookkeepers, administrators and business owners free themselves from employee paperwork chaos.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.