Canva: Melanie Perkins When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative. Her success with that first venture — and an unexpected meeting with a VC investor — eventually landed her the backing to pursue her original idea, and the chance to take on software industry titans like Adobe and Microsoft. Today, Melanie's online design platform Canva is valued at over $1 billion, joining the list of Australia's "unicorn" companies. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," how Tristan Corriveau collected used bars of soap from a hotel and recycled them into liquid soap with The One Gallon Soap Company.
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Canva: Melanie Perkins

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Canva: Melanie Perkins

Canva: Melanie Perkins

Canva: Melanie Perkins

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Phuong Nguyen for NPR
Melanie Perkins is the co-founder of Canva, Australia's first tech startup "unicorn."
Phuong Nguyen for NPR

When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries.

But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative.

Her success with that first venture — and an unexpected meeting with a VC investor — eventually landed her the backing to pursue her original idea, and the chance to take on software industry titans like Adobe and Microsoft.

Today, Melanie's online design platform Canva is valued at over $1 billion, joining the list of Australia's "unicorn" companies.

How You Built That

How Tristan Corriveau collected used bars of soap from a hotel and recycled them into liquid soap with The One Gallon Soap Company.

How You Built That: The One Gallon Soap Company

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/688299882/688762045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">