Wollongong software development company Devika is growing so fast it recently relocated from the University of Wollongong to the city centre close to other locally founded startups in global demand.
Devika managing director Ken Kencevski is also celebrating the business he founded five years ago being listed 18 in Australia and 92 in the Asian Pacific on Deloitte's list of the 500 fastest growing technology companies.
It is not the first time Devika has been recognised in such a list for sustained growth over several years.
"In 2018 we were a Westpac Top 200 Business of Tomorrow," Mr Kencevski said.
"And in 2019/20 we were in Deloitte's top 500. But this time around we are in the top 50."
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Mr Kencevski said it was good to be able to keep growing quickly but it has not been his primary focus .
"We do very little marketing. It has just come through word-of-mouth. We build website, mobile apps and virtual and augmented reality applications," he said.
"For us the growth has definitely been in building mobile and web applications that have been like number one on the app store. A lot of them have gained traction and done quite well. And some of our clients are in Deloitte's fast 500 as well."
Business didn't slow during COVID-19 for Devika. The team had less face-to-face contact with clients. But that did not stop them improving products to combat how the pandemic was impacting those businesses.
"This is how a lot of them came out stronger," Mr Kencevski said.
The majority of Devika clients are in NSW and North America.
Increasing demand for its products has seen the team grow from 4 to 18 in the last three years. The move to 233 Crown Street, Wollongong occurred in January and Devika is still hiring.
"We are opposite Grill'd," Mr Kencevksi said.
"This recognition is pretty good. We are still focused on building good products and it is nice for the team to be recognised for the work it has done.
"The other thing that has happened is we have become independent software vendors for a lot of big companies. For HP with virtual reality, we are one of only two vendors in Australia."
Mr Kencevski said it was important for such businesses in a rapid growth phase to have their own space.
"And being in the CBD is really convenient," he said.
"You want to support the other businesses around you as well. Being in town in large new space meant we could host the last Siligong networking event and around 40 people attended."
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Mr Kencevski started Devika by taking a management tool he developed for his parent's business.
He had a desire to work with other young entrepreneurs and show the world what Wollongong start-ups can do.
After completing a Bachelor of Information Technology majoring in eBusiness at the University of Wollongong, the former TIGS student developed the IT and marketing side of his parent's business Speedmaster.
The eBusiness and digital methods he developed over fives years helped Speedmaster be recognised as a Top 100 Retailer in Australia.
At the time Mr Kencevski was driving race cars, training to be an acrobatic pilot and was chosen as an Australian ambassador for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs and Global Entrepreneur Network.
And represented Australia at the G20 YEA (Young Entrepreneur Alliance) Summit in Beijing in 2016 along with young entrepreneurs from around the world. The G20 YEA is a collective of organisations that promote youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change.
In 2016 Mr Kencevski had already met many of his heroes including Richard Branson, Tony Robins, Jordan Belfort, Mark Webber and Casey Stoner.
He founded Devika as a creations agency heavily embedded in the technology industry.
His goal was to build solutions for clients and develop a community involvement program called Devika Learning to teach uni students about what the business implemented for its clients.
As part of Pledge 1% the new business set out from the start to give up one per cent of its equity, product, and employee time to the community.
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