At JOC we’re fortunate to come across many entrepreneurs working in the Built Environment. These innovators are both inspiring and aspiring, often chasing their own journey as much as they are changing the industry, and for the better!

It’s this passion for their work, their profession and their city that JOC gets behind and is proud to support. Our ethos has always been to take an active role in the city, to help shape the future and ensure our ideas, often captured on paper, become real tangible objects, buildings, places.

To celebrate the end of year and share insights from some of these exciting new businesses, we invited Matthew Player, CEO and Founder of BLOCKBRIEF, ShanShan Wang, CEO & Chief Designer of Roam Technologies and Lucy Humphrey, Director at Lucy Humphrey Studio and Co-Founder of Archrival, Sydney to speak at the inaugural #JOCPanels.

Listen to the Conversation and following QandA (separate track) below…

A selection of quotes from the panel:

On starting –

  • “I graduated from University of Sydney Architecture in 2007, and after working for only a year and a half, I left my practice and started my own studio, and it wasn’t something I planned…” – Lucy Humphrey
  • “I never expected to start a company, it was a mission to build something, and build something better, and people have jumped on since then” – ShanShan Wang
  • “When I started it, the data was in different places, in different formats, we brought it together” – Matthew Player


On collaboration –

  • “We hurt ourselves by having the mindset of not sharing the idea. In the end we could have saved ourselves 3 years, a lot of hassle and long nights, if we knocked on the door a little earlier and been a bit more open about our idea” – Matthew Player
  • “You can have an amazing idea but you can’t do it yourself. At the end of the day, a great product and service is built by a bunch of great people” – ShanShan Wang
  • “When people are there for the project, rather than the money and without financial pressure, you can battle with the project purpose” – Lucy Humphrey


On product development –

  • “The original product we came up with looks dramatically different to what it is now” – Matthew Player
  • “As good designers, we have that empathic thinking, we try to think of different perspectives, outside perspectives. The best way to do anything is to build it yourself, test it yourself, then go to funding.” – ShanShan Wang


On funding –

  • “Having money not as a focus, we’ve been able to make money” – Lucy Humphrey
  • “One of our biggest problems I had going to the US was that if it’s not in New York City, or it’s not doing anything in US or London, [VC] don’t care. We had to overcome that with a good product solution and be really disciplined about it” – Matthew Player
  • “When you don’t have VC money, go to people that have experience in that market. Focus on people in that space that know the built environment that are VC or angel investors, so you don’t need to train them up, and they have experience with the built environment” – Matthew Player
  • “We’re in Australia, funding is tough full stop, but it’s helped us to think more creatively. We’ve been lucky to have had a lot of grant funding rather than investment funding” – ShanShan Wang


On resilience –

  • “Always have multiple things in the air, rather than all your eggs in one basket, to avoid disaster” – Matthew Player

A selection of photos from the panel:













Images courtesy Boaz Nothman.