Spotlight: Coolamon Ventures

Wonnorua man, Danny Franks has turned his passion into his new business, Coolamon Ventures. We got the chance to have a yarn with him and find out what inspires him and what plans he has in the future.

Can you tell us what Coolamon Ventures does and what services you provide?

Coolamon Ventures is an electrical contracting company and we have a range of services that we provide. We have compound lighting, communications, data, as well as a unique installation called a solar bore which is basically a sustainable way to bring water up from underground into communities. It’s critical to infrastructure and it’s something that basically inspires me to call my company Coolamon Ventures. We also do site power establishment for construction companies. Construction sites are temporary and they obviously need power, so we help with establishing the required power for their various sites.

How did you get into this type of industry?

For 15 years I’ve been a heritage manager for our family owned archaeology consultancy. I’ve worked with various communities and I specialise in archaeology consulting in the Hunter Valley. I understand some of the issues our communities face and one of them was just fresh water. I’ve also seen this with the bush fire crisis, and I thought, you know what, I want a crack at this. I was speaking to my mate who’s an electrician and we have a great relationship and he knows I’m passionate about helping and working with community and he goes “mate, let’s have a crack at this”.

What’s the best part of owning your own business?

Definitely going from a conceptual vision into something that’s tangible. You start off with a vision or an idea, then you work out your strategy and mission statement and suddenly you see everything work the way you envisioned it – that’s probably one of the most rewarding parts of owning your own company.

What advice would you give to other Indigenous businesses that are starting out?

Just to go for it. There’s no need to be wary of being a Director. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I think coming from community and being Indigenous, we all have a strong sense of entrepreneurism as it is. It’s an inner trait that we all have and everyone should just jump across and go for it. It sounds difficult but we’ve all got it in us.

What’s planned for Coolamon Ventures for this Year?

We were rewarded the complete electrical design of a cultural centre, as well as the Solar Bore installation which we’re about to wrap up. That was our very first project. I’ll then continue to market our services to other construction companies and offer our services. I want to expand into the perimeter security market as well so I’m going to invest in some lighting power and create some temporary jobs for community members that I’m engaged with.

How has Yarpa helped you in your business and would you recommend Yarpa to other Indigenous businesses?

I think it’s so important to be connected with the business community and when you go into Yarpa, you’re hearing about other people’s journeys and business issues that they’ve overcome. So you’re sharing this with other companies and you’re learning with one another. It’s been an excellent opportunity to market who we are and what our company is about but also learn about other people in the supply chain.

So far, I’ve joined the pitching workshop, sat in on the Black coffee events and have been to a Yarpa Meet the Buyer event which is where I met my client for our first contact. They have complete transparency in those forums. Because of that original Meet the Buyer event with Yarpa, we were able to establish our company.

If you’d like to find out more about Coolamon Ventures, check out their website

You can also connect with them on Linkedin.