Startup success leads alumnus to San Francisco

31 Jan 2019

What began as a small startup for a University of Queensland graduate has turned into one of the most innovative rich-text editing platforms in the world.

Computer science graduate Andrew Roberts (Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), 1998) is the CEO of Tiny, a rich text editor that powers a vast majority of the world’s text boxes used by millions of people every day.

“Tiny helps companies quickly deploy features and capabilities that enable a user-friendly experience, while still creating quality content,” Mr Roberts said.

Tiny helped launch and scale the adoption of WordPress, Medium and Evernote

Mr Roberts said it was the skills he obtained while studying at UQ that allowed him to take his startup idea to the next level.

“What helped me most was being able to take a mixture of business and IT classes,” he said.

“Getting that combination of skills was critical in becoming an entrepreneur.

“UQ also exposed me to key technologies much earlier than the rest of the world.

“I jumped into web design and development as early as 1995 and it helped me see what opportunities existed when I started my company in 1999.”

Tiny now has offices in California, Brisbane, and Sweden and has more than 50 staff worldwide, with over half of them in Brisbane.

“I believe startups shouldn't limit their ambitions to the Australian market and I think it’s important to think global from day one,” Mr Roberts said.

“The platform has been advancing innovation in Australia since 1999 and since then we have invested more than $25 million in innovation,” Mr Roberts said.

The company intends to invest more than $10 million in research and development in Australia over the next three years.

“This investment will expand Tiny’s lead in rich text editing, build augmented writing and collaboration extensions to its existing platform, and broaden the platform across the full content publishing lifestyle,” Mr Roberts said.

Tiny received the 2019 Innovation Award at the Australian American Chamber of Commerce Australia Day Gala and Innovation Awards.

UQ will celebrate 50 years of Computer Science this year. For more information on UQ’s computer science programs visit the Future Student’s website.