Pleasant State startup wins Aus and NZ innovation award
Ami Bateman has been awarded by not one but two Prime Ministers after using her MBA to launch a sustainable cleaning product company.
Ami (pictured above, left) launched her eco-friendly startup Pleasant State with co-founder Sian Murray (right) in 2020, after completing a Part-time MBA at Melbourne Business School. Just two years later, their business has now won a Trans-Tasman Innovation and Growth Award.
Ami and Sian received their award from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Adern at the annual Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney earlier this month.
"It really was an honour to meet two Prime Ministers who inspire me and the Pleasant State team to be humble and to do our part in helping people and the planet," Ami says.
"During my speech, I cheekily told Jacinda we could ship direct to her door in New Zealand, which got a laugh. When I met her afterwards, she told me she made her own cleaning products, but she would give ours a go."
June 30, 2022, marked the first full financial year for Pleasant State, which posted more than $500,000 in revenue for the period.
"This is a revenue hurdle few female-founded businesses ever exceed," Ami says. "We're hoping to inspire other female founders to go out and build large, purpose-led businesses, so that they can have great impact too."
When Melbourne Business School published a profile of Ami and Pleasant State in October 2020, the duo had only just launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo website.
"We've now had more than 10,000 unique orders through Shopify, and we're the only Certified B Corp cleaning brand in Australia, which means we meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability."
Pleasant State formulates, makes and sells non-toxic, zero-waste, dissolvable cleaning bars made from plant-based surfactants, which it says are used in more than 16,000 homes across Australia and New Zealand and have saved more than 85,000 single-use plastic bottles from going to landfills.
Launching a new company is difficult at any time, but especially amid a global pandemic and increasing international tensions that have created supply chain and logistics issues.
"We grapple daily with supply chain issues, as well as cost of capital and increasing paid media costs," Ami says. "However, as an agile and innovative team, we take these challenges in our stride and work together on new and creative ways to overcome them and come out stronger."
The Trans-Tasman Innovation and Growth Awards recognise emerging disruptors and innovators in Australia and New Zealand after assessing performance in the areas of collaboration, growth, talent and wellbeing, approach to funding, and environmental and social impact.
Like this year's three other winners, Pleasant State received a $25,000 cash injection and the opportunity to network with senior Australian and New Zealand business and government leaders at the leadership forum event.
Looking ahead, Ami is confident that the same vision that inspired her and Sian to start Pleasant State will keep them on track for more success.
"We exist to help forward-thinking people reduce toxins and single-use plastics at home. But our mission is to prove that doing good is good for business by balancing people, planet and profits.
"We're optimistic about the challenges ahead, which include raising capital from progressive investors, who can support our ambitious growth and impact goals, and diversifying our direct-to-consumer strategy to become omni-channel."
To find out more about Ami and Sian's award-winning business, visit the Pleasant State website.