Queen Bee of Online Startup, HexiDesign, Launches Affiliate Program and Creates a Buzz in Male-dominated Tech Industry

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According to the Kauffman Foundation, only 3 percent of tech startups are formed by women. Julia Rowland, aka Queen Bee and co-founder of tech startup HexiDesign, is bucking this trend and is now creating a buzz with the launch of a cleverly structured affiliate program, all from the unlikely City of Perth, Western Australia.

"My belief in the concept was ultimately greater than my fear of it’s failure.”

In the age of technology it seems everyone that has a great idea wants to found a startup. Entrepreneurs are typically faced with an array of obstacles and these are made all the more daunting when you represent a mere 3 percent of a male dominant tech industry. Whilst women are vastly underrepresented in this industry, there is an emerging exception to the trend – meet Australian startup entrepreneur Julia Rowland, 28.

Julia is the co-founder of HexiDesign, an online marketplace which enables business owners and individuals to crowdsource their graphic design needs. “The website allows an international hive of designers to compete for online design jobs. These jobs range from general graphic design needs, to custom logo and even website design,” says Julia.

“Surprisingly, HexiDesign was created indirectly whilst consulting on branding projects from London,” says Julia, while recalling the beginnings of HexiDesign.

“I was managing freelancers from London and was completely overwhelmed with graphic design work, so I started outsourcing additional work to design friends back in Australia who then competed for these international clients.

“I really enjoyed helping all my design friends and realised the business model potential for a much larger online community of designers,” says Julia.

Julia is often asked why so few women start tech companies and says she doesn’t believe there is one single answer butshe suspects it may be that young women are not encouraged or supported to pursue such industries. She says some of the biggest startup hurdles faced were raising capital.

“The initial site build budget of $20,000, which was my total savings at the time, quickly blew out to 40,000. A few credit cards later and a lot of blind faith HexiDesign went live.

“Staying positive whilst pouring capital into what seemed like an abyss at the time, forced me to confront my fears of failing, but my belief in the concept was ultimately greater than my fear of it’s failure,” says Julia.

Julia says trust is another obstacle in online startup companies. Initially, clients can have a fear of trusting online services.

“In our case we had to wait until satisfied customers started spreading the word and today, half our business is through word of mouth.

“Client confidence is being reinforced with the launch of HexiDesign’s generous affiliate program. This now means that business is rewarding for everyone. Our affiliates earn $25 per referral and the response so far has been incredible.” says Julia.

In recent years, the success of online crowdsourcing for graphic design has accelerated. Julia says clients love watching global entries swarm in to compete for their design projects within hours of being posted.

“Business owners don’t have to settle for large agency fees and limited design options to choose from. Their design needs can now be met quickly, within their chosen budget and online from the comfort of their own premises,” says Julia.

Julia likens this online community of designers to a busy beehive. She says the whole concept of crowdsourcing has always resembled a beehive. “A buzzing online community of designers producing golden designs.

“Hexagons are not only synonymous with beehives, but also perfectly represent the multifaceted nature of crowdsourcing.

“Hexi, is a play on the word hexagon, which became sexy and memorable, so it stuck.” says Julia

How HexiDesign works.
Business owners/individuals choose an affordable design package and post a graphic design project online. Designers from around the world then submit entries. The average customer receives 75+ designs. The customer selects their favourite design, downloads the final artwork with complete copyright and the designer gets paid. Business owners are spoilt for choice, quickly receiving affordable custom logos and websites. There’s also a money back guarantee if customers are not completely satisfied with their project.

To learn more about HexiDesign and their affiliate program visit http://www.hexidesign.com

Media Contact:
Peter Lazo
Director of Public Relations

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Julia Rowland
since: 02/2012
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