Creating change in training technology

It’s hard to encapsulate years of hard work and talent in a single television advertisement (below). University of Queensland Marketing and Communications Officer Lauretta Acharya shares the stories of UQ’s key change makers, starting with businessman Andrew Barnes.

Located in an underwhelming brick office building with a chiropractor, massage parlour and finance broker, the Go1 office looks like your average suburban business. However, beyond this modest façade is a thriving e-learning start-up with eager young tech and business professionals, funky collaborative workspaces and a growing presence overseas.

At the helm of Go1 is CEO and UQ PhD student Andrew Barnes. In 2014 Andrew turned his love of learning and technology into a career when he co-founded Go1, a company specialising in online learning management tools.

“The mission behind Go1 is to unlock positive potential in people. And we do that through our education technology product,” Andrew says.

“We partner with organisations and help them deliver training so that they can fulfil their missions.

“It might be compliance training in, say, workplace health and safety, or it might be training in terms of their policies and procedures.”

Quietly confident and a goal-oriented hard worker, Andrew describes starting Go1 as something that required sacrifice but was worthwhile because of the opportunity to have a positive impact.  

“I think education in general is a really important topic, and that’s because it’s one area that a small change can really make a big difference,” said.

 

 

In the past two years, Andrew and his colleagues have grown Go1 into an award-winning business. The company recently secured more than $1 million in seed funding, which has allowed Andrew to expand his tech start-up in Australia and around the world. Their partners include some of Australia’s biggest organisations, including NAB, Seek and Telstra, as well as large government organisations and not-for-profits.

“We help the Queensland Government with training of State Emergency Services, paramedics and other emergency services. So if there’s a flood or a cyclone, making sure that everyone’s aware of the processes and the material to follow.”

Andrew, who is working toward a PhD in Business Management at UQ, didn’t always think further study was for him. His PhD supervisors, Associate Professors Damian Hine and Tim Kastelle, recognised Andrew’s keen business mind while he was an undergraduate economics student.

“They convinced me to apply to do honours, and I was fortunate enough to get accepted,” Andrew says.

After he completed honours, Andrew was encouraged to apply for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, and in 2013 he was named as one of Australia’s nine Rhodes scholars for the year and travelled to Oxford University where he completed a Master of Science in learning and technology.

Andrew credits the success of Go1 and his career journey so far to the support of Associate Professors Hine and Kastelle.

“They continue to push me to do more,” said he says.

“The opportunity to do postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, and to start a business that now has an international footprint – I don’t think those achievements would have been possible without the experience I’ve had with my studies.”

Last updated:
14 June 2016