Imagine having clients before you actually properly start your business. That was the case for Refraction Media, now a four-year-old company that custom publishes career and educational resources on STEM. That’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for teachers and students. Apps, videos, animation, events and teacher professional development are all part of what they offer. Plus, they’ve buddied up with Google in the US to create a Careers for Coding resource there following an Australian edition.
Back in 2013, Refraction cofounders Karen Taylor-Brown and Heather Catchpole were publishing and editorial managers for Cosmos magazine. The magazine was restructuring, and after a discussion, that company “gifted some products” and sent clients over to the fledgling Refraction Media. Presumably, their openness gave them kudos, but those women saw the power of STEM and correctly predicted an unquenchable thirst for great content. Refraction Media hit a six-figure turnover within three months and cracked the million-dollar mark in their second year. They’re humming steadily at a seven-figure turnover and have definitely notched their place in the Edupreneur sector.
“With a focus on collective impact, we’ve brought together more than 200 champions of STEM, from industry, government and education, who share the Refraction vision: to inspire a smarter future,” says Taylor-Brown.
Their vision is definitely a “profit-for-purpose” global business rather than a Legacy Business. They have more than 100 long-term partnerships with sponsors and advertisers such as NRMA, CBA and ANSTO and higher education institutions. The latest coup is a multi-year contract with the Federal Department of Education to produce regular Careers with STEM teacher resources. Corporate clients contribute up 70% of the revenue they make from that magazine. In 2017, Refraction Media will create, print and distribute 400,000 magazines. They’ve automated part of their sales through a digital hub, CareerswithSTEM.com. It features exclusive stories, an interactive Australian university degree directory, career personality quizzes, polls, blogs and inspirational career-journey videos.
“We do try to remove ourselves from being the only people who can do this. We aim to automate so others can, that’s why we’re into collaboration and growth with other organizations and corporations,” says Taylor-Brown.