Some of the most successful entrepreneurial ventures come about when someone identifies a gap in the market. That’s exactly what Carramar alumni Erin Ballard (née Bell) did when she founded start-up Camp Connect.
“I initially thought of the concept of the Camp Connect software and app from a number of issues I noticed across the industry about two years ago relating to the issue of communication breakdown, particularly in FIFO arrangements, between the office and field employees,” Erin said.
“There were also audit compliance gaps through not having cost-effective means available and failings in other software programs being implemented in the industry that weren’t really suited to the mining demographic or required high speed connections to work effectively, which is not useful in remote environments.
“From there, speaking to my friend Scott (cofounder) he shared the same issues which resulted in the initial plan and scope for Camp Connect.
“Now, the software and app can be used by Mining, Resources and Construction accommodation sites to provide immediate access to essential site, accommodation, mental health and wellbeing information.
“It can also assist in the coordination of sports and social events, emergency response, GPS mapping and travel management to create the ultimate worker experience.”
Camp Connect was officially launched recently, with interest shown from many of the big names in the mining industry. It was winner of the Core Start Award last year where CORE foundation partners National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) and WesTrac assist promising early-stage energy and resources technology start-ups to combat common challenges by providing three months of co-working at the CORE Innovation Hub, coupled with facilitated industry connections and mentoring to support the growth of their business.
“Winning the Core Start Award helped us greatly in enhancing our business networks, accessing international commercialisation opportunities and mentoring as we grow and scale,” Erin said.
Erin’s work on the software and app saw her nominated for the Women in Technology WA Award in 2019 and the Telstra Business Woman in 2020.
Her day job is as a Health and Safety specialist with a large global mining company, yet she is currently on maternity leave, recently welcoming her daughter Lilly into the world with husband Eric. The family live in Marmion and before bringing her newborn home and prior to COVID Erin was a keen runner and loved travelling the world. While her work is very process-related, Erin’s creative side is never far away with her often creating gifts, DIYing around the home and entertaining family and friends with themed events.
After graduating in 2005, Erin enrolled in tertiary study in Public Relations and Marketing before swapping into HR and Management. She then worked as an HR advisor and completed additional study in Occupational Health & Safety and has worked in the mining industry for a number of years.
“I love the people and problem-solving element of Health & Safety, and having a background in Human Resources has complemented my approach to the role,” Erin said.
“Working in the mining industry is very exciting as there’s always something happening with very dynamic departments.”
She reflected that her time at St Stephen’s School taught her about meeting deadlines and different approaches to study.
“Also learning different teacher expectations or ways for things to be done was very reflective at both Uni and in a work environment and the need to adapt.”
You can find out more about Camp Connect at www.campconnect.com.au.