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Local startup makes it Happen for millennials

Do life better.

This is the clarion call to 18-35 year-olds the world over by Brisbane tech startup Happen.

Founded by millennials for 'the social media generation', Happen is being touted as the answer to a modern day challenge—how to keep up with our myriad social networking sites and applications.


Happen aims to take only the best parts of the web across social, collaboration and productivity and consolidate them into a single platform with its unique Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

"Young people, especially university students, are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of platforms today that are trying to help them connect, consume, get organised, buy more, see more and do more," says Vanessa van Dalsen, Happen’s Head of Marketing.

"There are so many programs that complete specific tasks and do them really well but nothing that lets them do more of what they love in the same place.

"We're addressing this need by leveraging technological advances to create something that will have a real impact on young people's lives—we are not trying to duplicate these platforms, we're simply taking the best parts and consolidating them."

And with this single vision, Happen was born in October 2014. The platform enables users to track their progress across everything that matters to them, from fitness, work or study to travel and entertainment.

"It’s way harder than it needs to be to connect the dots of your life when they're scattered amongst everyone else's. So we want to flip the script on social publishing by rewarding those who publish the most helpful content to others—all quality over quantity, all helping you get more out of life."

The team at Happen don't just talk the talk, they also walk the walk. They use Happen to organise their workload, plan conferences and exhibitions, and stay on top of each other's activities.

Happen's founders aren't the only ones excited about the its potential. Happen recently landed a spot in Microsoft's Bizspark Plus program for the most promising startup idea, complete with $120,000 of tech credit.

Last year, Happen beat over 3000 other hopefuls for a place at the prestigious Web Summit conference in Dublin attended by Facebook, Google, Uber, and other tech giants. The exposure alone scored Happen an exclusive invitation to exhibit at Collision, Web Summit's sister conference in New Orleans this coming April, placing Happen in the top 10% of international applicants.

Marty Smee, the 33-year-old co-founder of Happen, previously won a $5000 grant from the Lord Mayor's Budding Entrepreneur Award for the Happen concept. Happen also received funding from Scott Blume, former Wotif CEO, and Andrew Brice, Wotif founder, to build a Happen mobile app and explore international options in 2016.

The team is currently on the lookout for fellow young innovators and entrepreneurs looking to commercialise their ideas, and are willing to use Happen to make it happen.

The Happen beta site is live and Happen Lite is free to download on the App Store, with an Android app in the works.

Further information

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
18 July, 2017

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