By Melissa Keogh
Forget the frustration of lugging groceries home from the supermarket only to discover you’ve forgotten the key ingredients you set out for in the first place.
Budding South Australian entrepreneur Nicole Henderson is set to launch a platform that will make shopping for recipe ingredients simpler with the touch of a button.
Playt (pronounced plate) converts online recipes into a digital shopping list.
Woolworths collects the ingredients, before the Playt user either picks up the ready-to-go groceries from the store or has them delivered to their door.
It’s set to launch exclusively in SA in November before expanding into Melbourne and Sydney.
Aside from attracting the attention of the supermarket giant, Playt received $50,000 in backing through the University of South Australia’s Venture Catalyst program.
Nicole, who graduated from the UniSA’s innovation and entrepreneurship degree earlier this year, says the funding allowed her to speed up the development cycle.
She says it also gave her validation that Playt was a viable business idea.
“Validation is a massive thing for any entrepreneur … there’s a very supportive community in SA.”
While Playt will initially only convert online recipes into shopping orders, Nicole says she aims to soon develop the technology so it can process recipes from printed cook books.
It also allows users to order other groceries and household items unrelated to their selected recipe – such as toilet paper!
The idea for Playt came when Nicole was living in Sydney and working as a bank manager.
One day she became frustrated when carrying groceries home from the supermarket and realising she had forgotten to buy some items.
“That was my ‘ah ha!’ moment,” she says.
“There was nothing out there that allowed me to take a picture of a book, push a button and have the ingredients arrive at my door.
“I became obsessed with the idea.”
Nicole moved to Adelaide two years ago and was drawn to UniSA’s innovation and entrepreneurship degree, which she graduated from in July 2017.
“Before studying I had never heard of the word ‘start-up’,” she says.
“I used the degree as a platform for my research and marketing.”
Nicole partnered with the Moonshine Laboratory and together with Christian Ullmark and Jason Neave the trio co-founded Playt.
It’s located at the WOTSO WorkSpace in Adelaide’s CBD.
Moonshine supports emerging start-ups that need expertise in technical aspects of their business and helped connect Playt with Woolworths.
Nicole says the team plans to have well-known chefs share their recipes on the platform.
She says life as a budding entrepreneur can be a hard slog, but SA’s affordable lifestyle it an attractive place to start a business.
Fellow Venture Catalyst funding recipients are Sally Skewes ($50,000) for Secure Nest and James Walsh ($35,000 + $15,000 worth of incubation space) for Studio Buddy.