This Aussie Tech Startup Helps You Take Your Office Anywhere in the World

Espresso Display

In early 2018, Scott McKeon and Will Scuderi were working on a university assignment when the final-year engineering students noticed that a lack of screen real estate was slowing them down significantly. That night, Scuderi used a 3D printer to create a bracket that could attach a tablet to the side of his laptop – but both students knew there had to be a better solution.

And they quickly realised that being able to fit an entire workstation into a small bag wasn’t just useful for study. As a keen traveller who’s been to about 50 countries, McKeon knew that “a portable second screen would mean I could work from anywhere in the world”.

Espresso Display
Scott McKeon and the ultra-thin Espresso Display.

Just over a year after first setting their minds to the task, the Sydney duo had designed the Espresso Display – the world’s thinnest portable monitor and McKeon, who was just 24 at the time, flew to Shenzhen, China, to personally assemble the prototypes. At just 5.5 millimetres thick, the Espresso monitor was thinner than most phones and resembled its namesake in that it was compact, increased productivity and looked at home on a café table. The rotatable screens now come in two sizes that have touch functionality, a sleek aluminium finish and can be set up in seconds with a simple cable. 

The initial response from consumers was so positive that large-scale manufacturing began within months. Scuderi flew to China with mechanical engineer Fabian Maritato to put the prototypes into mass-production, with the support of mentor Gary Caldarola, who brought 15 years of product development experience to the founding team.

Working with international suppliers for the first time carried significant risks but the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card gave the young entrepreneurs the peace of mind necessary to proceed. And with no pre-set spending limit¹, the Card also gave them the flexibility to make larger payments with confidence. 

“With overseas manufacturers, you really need security over where you’re sending your money,” says McKeon. “We enrolled with American Express AccessLine™ so we could make trusted payments virtually anywhere in the world². The secure protocols around setting up a supplier on the platform helped give us confidence in those payments at a time when we needed to get every step right. Plus, with every purchase, we could earn Qantas Points³ that would help us fly between Australia and China regularly for meetings with suppliers and manufacturers.”

They also used the Card to pay for online ads that helped drive the growth of Espresso during the pandemic – in just 10 months sales increased tenfold. “For growing ecommerce businesses, one of the big things is how much you can commit to the ads that are generating your sales,” he says. “Having up to 51 days to pay for purchases on our American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card⁴ unlocks that cash flow and allows us to grow so much quicker.”

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

As a result, the team has ballooned from “two uni students with a big dream” to more than 15 employees (and growing) in just two years and the business ships monitors (priced from $499) to more than 20 countries through Espresso’s ecommerce portal and via retailers such as Amazon.

“Our sales have exploded now that everyone is trying to adapt,” says McKeon. “In a time of change and uncertainty, that one simple idea has been so useful.”

Espresso has also tailored its accessories to meet an evolving customer base. The MountGo is a portable, foldable stand for use at home or on-the-go, while the MountPro is an easy-to-install magnetic mount that turns any space into an office.

Espresso Display
Will Scuderi and Scott McKeon

“Despite us initially aiming to be a ‘digital nomad’ traveller-type brand, the reality is that we’ve really helped people adapt to working and spending more time in their home environments. Right now, people can work in different places around their house but they also know that when they start travelling again, they can take their screens with them anywhere in the world.”

Unlock the possibilities for your business using 120,000 bonus Qantas Points* with the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card. Minimum spend $3,000 in the first 2 months of your approval date. New American Express Card Members only. Offer ends 12 January 2022. T&Cs apply. Learn more.

Unlock the possibilities

Scott McKeon shares his top small business tips..

• The key to… succeeding in a rapidly changing market

“Whatever business you’re in, it’s important to understand what’s actually happening in the world – people’s needs change really quickly and that can provide some great opportunities. Right now in Australia, lots of people are able to work from anywhere in their home rather than anywhere in the world – that’s not what we started the business for but that’s what people are genuinely finding useful right now.”

• The key to… making international payments with confidence

“Once we had our American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card we then enrolled for FX International Payments², which was really helpful when we began expanding internationally. The controls around setting up a supplier created a sense of security and our account manager had access to insights about the receiver that gave us a lot more confidence. And by enrolling for the AccessLineTM service² we could even use our Amex Card to pay suppliers who didn’t usually accept Card payments.”

• The key to… reducing travel costs

“We are a nomadic company; we source components from four different countries and sell in more than 20. So in order to visit the markets we sell in or visit the partners who help us design and create our products, we will need to travel. Earning up to 2 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on our American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card³ has helped us rack up millions of points in the past two years. And these points don’t expire as long as our account stays active. As soon as borders open, we’ll be able to use them to continue growing the business.”

Espresso Display

Amex Qantas Business Rewards

• The key to… connecting with consumers  

“Digital channels are incredibly competitive but they have never been stronger. Search engine marketing, social media marketing and email marketing are our bread and butter because that’s where people are interacting. As a company that’s entered the market during the pandemic, that’s how we’ve engaged with people, not just in Australia but all around the world.”

• The key to… cash flow

“One of the best ways you can utilise the Amex Card is to pay for your Facebook and Google ads. It means you’re earning Qantas Points – which is always nice – but, more importantly, you’ve got up to 51 days to pay for purchases⁴. If you have a sales cycle that’s less than 51 days, it means you can pay for the ads and you could have already earned your profit in the meantime.”

Unlock the possibilities for your business using 120,000 bonus Qantas Points* with the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card. Minimum spend $3,000 in the first 2 months of your approval date. New American Express Card Members only. Offer ends 12 January 2022. T&Cs apply. Learn more.
Plus, unlock uncapped points earning potential with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services using the Card.³

*Offer only available to new American Express Card Members who apply by 12 January 2022, are approved and spend $3,000 on their new Card in the first two (2) months from the Card approval date. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. 120,000 bonus Qantas Points will be awarded to the eligible Card Member's Account 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria has been met. $450 annual fee applies. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer. Subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions of the Membership Rewards Program available at American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and Conditions.

Click here for Terms and Conditions.

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